The River Run Church of the Nazarene, while fully organized, is small. Our focus is on Christ-centered outreach into our community. We have offered numerous outreach activities this year. Many new faces have joined us for Christian fellowship and to support our Christian outreach ministries. The following is a listing of many of our 2013-2014 outreach activities:
• We ran a Garden Harvest Series in July and August. We had six participants in one or more of the four sessions. We also have equipped our food pantry/fellowship meals program with kitchen and food preservation equipment.
• We ran a silent auction, in November, in conjunction with a “Maine Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen” workshop. Funds raised will benefit our food pantry and fellowship meals program. Several area residents participated, contributed auction items, and supported the effort financially.
• We ran eight free community fellowship meals during the church year and served a small group of regular attendees as well as some new faces.
• We organized a series of activities in September, October, and November, including three services and a fellowship meal, to coincide with the “My Hope with Billy Graham” Maine District initiative.
• A four week small group series on “A Life God Rewards” was offered in August and September.
• A River Run daily church blog, using WordPress, was continued into early September. We currently have 140 worldwide WordPress followers and 60 followers through our church Facebook page. We expect to return to daily blogging in the future and currently promote church events and post announcements to the blog.
• Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and open community gift exchange continues to be well received. We had some returning community residents and several newcomers to this year’s event.
• Our October Sing-along provided a Christ-centered gathering place for our returning college students and a few of their friends.
• Compassionately, we reached out to assist several people and families in the area by providing assistance to help satisfy food, meals, personal care items, and home heating oil needs.
• A Christ-centered health and wellness support group, which seeks to provide direction to individuals who want to create a balance in their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health by putting Christ first, has been formed through the River Run Church. Our initial twelve week cycle will conclude in June 2014. Additional twelve week cycles and other health and wellness activities/series are planned. A workshop related to this Christ-centered health and wellness initiative will be offered at the District SDMI/NMI/NYI Convention in April.
Goals for the 2014-2015 Church year and beyond:
• Focus on establishment of study/church groups in multiple locations… feeding into centralized River Run Church of the Nazarene site,
• Develop online study/church group[s]… possibly via Facebook groups, WordPress blogs, YouTube video clips, and/or Google+ hangouts/chats,
• Formalize the establishment of the Compassionate Ministry Center via bylaws and operating procedures,
o Continue to develop outreach ministries related to food security [food pantry, soup kitchen/fellowship meals, community garden, and farmers’ market]
o Continue to explore storefront or similar type ministry center locations/options
o May include work to establish a Sebasticook Valley Area Council of Churches
• Offer to collaborate with and provide outreach assistance to other District Nazarene Churches.