Nazarenes in the News: January 2023

Nazarenes in the News: January 2023

Nazarene News Staff
| 26 Jan 2024

Nazarenes in the News is a compilation of online news articles featuring Nazarene churches or church members.

North Carolina pastor shares impact of Local Church Grant with board of trustees.

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

(Foundation for Evangelism, Dec 21, 2023) Rev. Jeremy Reese, pastor of Aiken Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene in Aiken, S.C., addressed The Foundation for Evangelism's board of trustees on November 10 as a panelist of Equipping the Local Church Grant 2023 recipients from diverse contexts and denominations. This panel was comprised of three grant recipients from different settings and denominations including United Methodist, Church of the Nazarene, and Christian Methodist Episcopal. It provided an opportunity for Dr. Christian and the two other grant recipients to share their experiences, challenges, and successes resulting from the Foundation's grant funding.

Rev. Reese described how the grant funding allowed their congregation to build relationships with the unhoused people in their community, providing food assistance, showers, counseling, assistance finding permanent housing. Pastor Reese shared that one of the most encouraging things he’s seen is the church take a personal interest in the people they are serving, getting to know their names and their stories. 

"It’s the personal connection of it. ‘How’s my church getting involved in this – how are they overcoming some of their own stereotypes, and stigmas, and fears…and unknown racism? How are they overcoming those things? That’s been exciting to see." 

"We are honored to have Rev. Reese share the story of his church's experience at our annual meeting," said Dr. Heather Lear, Vice President for Grant Administration for The Foundation for Evangelism. "He candidly shared the challenges, joys, and transformational outcomes that demonstrate the power of our grant program in equipping local churches to create a culture of evangelism."

Missouri church shelter struggling to keep up with demand during harsh winter 

Joplin, Missouri
(KOAM, 17 Jan) - The Joplin First Church of the Nazarene has been operating a daytime shelter for nearly 12 consecutive days.

Accommodating almost 150 individuals daily, according to Pastor Shana McGarrah. The shelter opens from 7 AM to 7 PM each day and offers three meals a day to those seeking refuge. McGarrah said that the shelter opened before others in the area due to her concern of temperatures dropping so rapidly. However, according to McGarrah housing so many and providing them all with food has put strain on the shelter.

"It's been a little hard because we are we are not, you know, we're not funded by anybody. We are donation driven. And so with providing three meals a day, 150 people a day, it's, it's been a little bit hard," said McGarrah.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Washington church to create 105 affordable rental homes with redevelopment
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(Daily Hive, 11 Jan) - The Vancouver First Church of the Nazarene is looking to renew the facilities of its congregation through the construction of a new mixed-use, six-storey building with affordable rental housing.

The existing 1948-built church property is located at 998 East 19th Avenue, which is at the southwest corner of the intersection of Kingsway, East 19th Avenue, and Windsor Street in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood. Much of the property is currently used as a surface parking lot.
To achieve the redevelopment, the church is partnering with non-profit housing operator Catalyst Community Developments Society, under an arrangement where the church retains ownership of the land and the non-profit housing operator enters into a long-term lease to construct and operate the building.

There will be a total of 105 secured purpose-built rental homes, with 31 units at below-market rates and 74 at market rental rates. The unit size mix is 30 studios, 37 one-bedroom units, 26 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units.

On the ground level, there will be over 12,000 sq ft of replacement church and multi-purpose community space for the congregation.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

North Carolina church provides emergency warming center

Brevard, North Carolina

(WLOS, 21 Jan) - The need for warming centers across the region was especially high this weekend as temperatures plunged into the single digits in certain areas Jan. 20-21.

Transylvania County's typical warming center was closed over the weekend, but the community made sure those without a warm place to go were not left to freeze outside.

"Young, old, doesn't matter," said Stephanie Hall, a volunteer with The Haven of Transylvania County. "We want you in, out of the cold... We've got plenty of food, sleeping bags, anything to keep them warm. Coats, sweatshirts, socks, gloves, hats, all kinds of good stuff. Food, coffee -- come in. You don't have to stay here, you can just come in and get a warm meal and a blanket if that's all you want."

Emily Lowery, the executive director of The Haven, said she didn’t sleep much last Wednesday night after learning The Cove Church warming center might not be open over the weekend.

The Haven oversees the county's two homeless shelters, but they don't have the capacity for emergency walk-in residents.

That didn't stop her from trying to help.

“I’ve seen people come into the shelter with frostbite and had to have their toes amputated, and it changes their life forever," she said. "It’s not something that we can just turn our backs on.”

Years ago, Lowery said her agency oversaw Code Purple at various churches across Transylvania County, so when the need arose once again this weekend, she quickly jumped to action.

The Church of the Nazarene opened its doors during the extreme cold that hit the area over the weekend -- and volunteers more than delivered.

To read the rest of the story, click here.



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