Thursday, April 14, 2011

Segue Ministries in Public Schools

Do you have children in the local public schools, or have friends with children in the local public schools? Do you have a heart for youth and teens, a heart that yearns to see these adults of tomorrow come into a relationship with Christ?

If you fit any of these three descriptors, you could be an advocate and supporter of Segue Ministries, a Christian ministry serving students of several public middle and high schools in Duluth, Johns Creek and Norcross.

Through relationships established with school administrators, Segue Ministries is on schools campuses conducting outreach to students, loving them, serving them and introducing them to the Gospel. Visit their website for details about the important programs this ministry offers:

http://www.segueministries.org/index.html

With this message you are invited to attend Segue’s first Wine, Cheese and Chat, a friend raising event on April 19th, 7:00-8:30 (address below). During this time we will enjoy fellowship, fine wine and cheese selections, and hear a brief presentation about Segue Ministries from its Executive Director, Rip Pruitt.

Yes, Segue will appreciate your financial support should you be moved to give to the ministry, but equally we need your prayers and encouragement. Please plan to spend this time with us for the benefit of students and the Kingdom!

Please forward this to those you believe would be interested in learning more about Segue Ministries.

RSVP by the 17th to gregoryelang@gmail.com or 404.863.2275.
3927 St. George Ct., Duluth, 30096 (Sweet Bottom Plantation)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Living as Servants

Back to School Drive a Huge Success

As people left Perimeter Church, they were handed an empty backpack. They were encouraged to return it in a few days, filled with school supplies. “I had no idea how this would turn out,” Debra Potter said. “We’d never done it this way before.”
Within days, backpacks filled with school supplies began showing up at the church.

Before it was over, 1892 backpacks loaded with pens, papers, markers and more, were returned and sat ready to be delivered to needy children in the community.

“We also encouraged families without the time to shop to simply donate $25 so that we could shop for them,” Jackie Deiter explained. “We usually raise $500 in that way, but this year we raised $7000!”

The backpacks were donated to children through Perimeter’s relationships with nearby schools and outreach ministries. Additionally, 150 bags for teachers were created from the excess school supplies and given into the classrooms.

While it is wonderful to recognize and celebrate the big picture, it is often the little picture, the impact of a single backpack, or three, that best illustrates the glory found in giving.

Jean Van Evenhoven took a few backpacks to work hoping to encourage her co-workers to help her fill them. Quickly they embraced the giving opportunity and began collecting money to purchase school supplies. And then it was discovered that a fellow co-worker had fallen on lean times and himself needed the backpacks for his children. “When we gave him the backpacks,” Jean said, “he was so moved and told me no one had ever done anything like that for him before. I told him we were simply responding to the opportunity God had given us to bless him.”

“I had only a few dollars in my pocket,” the man said, “and had no idea how I was going to provide my children with school supplies.”

“The experience taught me to keep me eyes open for opportunities to bless people,” Jean said. “When I received the thank you card his children had written, I realized what a blessing it is to me to be able to help others.”


Goldrush Food Drive Fills Garage

When Chelsea Sabo asked the young students participating in Godrush to bring in food for donation to the Salvation Army, she had no idea their response would be so overwhelming.

“At first I was stacking bags of groceries along the garage wall, out of the way so I could still get my car in and out easily. But the stack kept growing; every day more and more bags of groceries were brought in by the kids at Goldrush. Quickly it was obvious to me there was no space left for me to park in my own garage! I had no idea we would collect nearly a hundred bags of groceries during this drive.”

According to Deborah Wengrow, Social Services Director of the Salvation Army, the shelves of their food pantry were empty the morning the groceries were delivered from Chelsea’s garage. “It was an answer to prayer,” she said.


Kindergarten Shields Police in Prayer

Some kids carry Pokemon or baseball cards around with them. Others, like those in kindergarten at Perimeter School, carry cards depicting police officers.

The Shield-A-Badge with Prayer program asks people to commit to pray for an officer every day for one year, and to carry that officer’s photo and prayer request. “So often law enforcement officers don’t know if anyone appreciates what they do,” Kimberly Hicks, classroom volunteer, explained. “This program is a way to assure the officers that what they do is indeed appreciated.”

But the youth at Perimeter School wanted to take the program a step further. Each officer in the Johns Creek force received a small wooden cross engraved with Joshua 1:9. That verse reads - Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

“One officer teared up when a little girl told him she was praying for him,” Kimberly said.

“The children were very excited to visit the station to deliver the crosses,” Kimberly added. Since then, they have returned to the station to take cookies and cards and letters of encouragement. “They kids really enjoyed meeting the officers they were praying for, and having the chance to look through the one-way mirror in the interview room.”


Mom Makes Dresses for Children in Haiti

Katy Mulford, a stay at home mom with an infant in arms, has a degree in fashion design and a heart for orphans, but hadn’t figured out how to combine the two interests. She also hadn’t figured out how she could serve and care for her son at the same time.

“And then I read in the Pulse about ways we could respond to the crisis in Haiti, and saw the idea about pillowcase dresses. I knew immediately that was something I could do during my son’s naptime.”

Within a week Katy had sewn a dozen dresses from pillowcases of brightly colored flowers and polka dots. Before delivering them to the church, she prayed over the dresses, asking God to stir the little girls to realize the dresses were an expression of His love for them. “I was so impacted by making these dresses, I plan to recruit other stay at home moms I know to join me in helping those little girls who lost everything. I’m so glad God showed me something I could do to help.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stephen Ministry

Last night I had the pleasure and priviledge to help commission ten new Stephen Ministers, Christian lay-counselors, into our Perimeter Church fold. It was a wonderful experience, and reminded me of my own commissioning last year. I'm posting here today what I wrote on my own blog in April '09:

So now I’m a Stephen Minister; the commissioning ceremony was last night. Twelve others and I met with the other ministers and officially accepted into the ministry. It really was a powerful evening.

First of all, I went alone because Linley had come down with tonsillitis that day and was feeling pretty bad, so she and Jill stayed home but they did send me off with hugs and smiles of pride. I know I have their support.

We began with a brief social so that new and old ministers could get to know one another, and then went into the prayer room. Perimeter has a prayer team that meets at the church several times a week to pray for the church, congregation, community and more. Before this group we took our oath, answering “Yes, with the help of God,” to each question. It was a reminder to us that we are not healers, only messengers. God is the healer. Then we received our Stephen Ministry certificates.

After the formal commissioning, each new minister was lead away by two members of the prayer team who asked what weighed heavily on us, and then prayed for us individually. It was overwhelming to hear two people pray so earnestly and personally for me and my family. I am rich with blessings already, but if God finds favor in me as these two people asked him to, I’m going to be hard pressed to describe my gratitude. I tell you, it makes me want to serve Him even more.

Next we gathered in a circle and were asked to hold our hands out palms up. An Elder went around to each of us and anointed us, making the sign of the cross in each palm with francenscence oil. As he did so another Elder read to us the story of Stephen from the book of Acts. After each of us was anointed, we were asked to hold hands. As we did the prayer team gathered around us, laid hands on our shoulders, and took turns praying out loud for us.

I kid you not, warmth filled my hands, and I felt warm vibrations radiating from their hands on my shoulders into and throughout my body. Their words lifted my heart. The ceremony was as powerful as when I became baptized.
When it was over we all congratulated each other, Carla, my prayer partner during the training, and I hugged and made plans to meet with our spouses for a glass of wine next week, and then everyone went their separate ways.

As I got into the car I found two notes sitting on the passenger seat. Jill and Linley had driven to the church to deliver them, wanting me to know they were there for me even though they couldn’t attend the ceremony.

What a night. I’m proud to be a Stephen Minister.

Monday, February 15, 2010

An Encounter with God

On December 30th, 2009 John woke up with a plan to spend a portion of his day serving God. He was to visit several extended stay hotels to help distribute one hundred sack lunches to the children who live there, children who call the hotel rooms “home.”

He and his wife Kathy had participated in a few community outreach service projects in the past, but neither claimed to be immersed in missional living. Yet, on this day, the parents of three wanted to serve not only to help others but to give their children an opportunity to bless others with their good deeds.

The family of five piled into the car and headed for their first stop not knowing what God had in store for them.

Shalihia sat at the little table tucked in the corner of her hotel room, her head heavy in her hands, wondering what she was going to do. She and her two young sons had been living at the hotel for nearly three months and the cramped quarters were wearing her nerves thin. Christmas had passed without gifts for her children, and with their father in prison she hadn’t had anyone to share the season with. She and her mother hadn’t spoken to each other since October.

Back then, facing her mother’s ultimatum to either be baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness or leave home, Shalihia stepped outside into the cold taking with her only the clothing she and her sons were wearing. The twenty-four year old mother and her sons spent their first night homeless in the frightening surroundings of a shelter. They eventually made their way to the Norcross Cooperative Ministry where she received help to secure a room at the hotel where she now lived.

John and Kathy reached the first stop, an extended stay hotel in Norcross. They had heard of the growing numbers of families moving into the hotels after an eviction or foreclosure followed shortly behind the loss of a job. The children living with their parents in the hotels often received their only nutritious meal at school. For them, when the schools are closed, there are no such meals. For some of them, the sack lunches the church people brought would be all they would eat that day.

The couple stepped into the hotel lobby to deliver a box full of the sack lunches. They were greeted at the front desk and the attendant began to call the residents to announce that lunch had arrived.

Shalihia looked around her room. Her hopes had been high a few days before when all was on track for her to move into a nearby apartment complex, only to come crashing down when she discovered her identity had been stolen and her credit ruined. Now the required deposit was beyond her ability to pay. Making matters worse, her employer, having troubles of his own, was days late handing out paychecks. She had only a few dollars in her pocket.

Shalihia stared out the window and thought of the woman down the hall who watched her children while she worked, and remembered the woman’s words: Don’t worry, have faith and something will come through.

At that moment Shalihia’s telephone rang.

John and Kathy watched as a few timid parents walked across the parking lot through the cold to receive lunches for their children. When it seemed they had served everyone they began to pack the remaining bags to go to the second stop. John looked up and saw a young woman approaching.

“How many children do you have?” he asked.

“Two,” she said, giving an appreciative smile as she took the lunches. She turned back to return to her room.

Kathy, thinking the young mother might be hungry too, tossed her husband a third lunch. “Go after that woman and give this to her,” she told him.

Nearing her room, Shalihia heard a voice over her shoulder. It was John. “I forgot to give you a lunch,” he said, and handed another to her. She smiled a second time and thanked him again before turning around once more to go inside.

“In what was probably only seconds,” John recalled later, “I felt God prompting me to ask her if she needed anything else, and at the very same time I was nervously asking myself if I was prepared for what might come if I asked her.” He drew a breath.

“I was headed in the door when I hear his voice again,” Shalihia laughed when describing her encounter with John. “That man asked me, ‘Is there anything else that you need?’ I couldn’t believe it because I could tell in his eyes he really wanted to know. All of a sudden words just started to spill out of my mouth.”

John learned everything about Shalihia’s circumstances: her mother’s rejection, her delinquent paycheck, her credit in ruins, and her despair about her children having to live in a hotel. “I was stunned,” John said. “I felt so burdened by her situation that I knew we had to do something to help her, I just wasn’t sure what. I promised Shalihia she would hear from me again, and for the rest of the day I was preoccupied with her, wondering what God wanted us to do.”

John and Kathy decided to help Shalihia with the deposit she needed for the apartment, only to realize she had nothing to move into it. “We couldn’t let them sleep on the floor,” Kathy said. The couple began to spread word of Shalihia’s story to their discipleship groups, friends and neighbors. As other’s learned that the single mom and her sons had nothing but a few clothes, donations of gift cards, furniture and household items began to pour in. Dozens of people, some complete strangers to John and Kathy, mobilized to help Shalihia furnish the apartment.

“A few days after I got those lunches,” Shalihia explained, “the front desk of the hotel called and it was John on the phone. He told me to pack my bags; he said I was getting out of there! When I told my four year old son we were moving into an apartment, he said “Mommy, God is good!”

John helped Shalihia move into the apartment just four days after meeting her.

Kathy invited Shalihia to Perimeter, first to meet Kathy’s cohorts in Community Outreach, and later to attend a WOW meeting where Shalihia told her story. “I knew that God was at work in my life because I could think of no other explanation why people I didn’t even know would be showing me so much compassion and generosity.”

On Kathy’s invitation Shalihia began to receive guests to help her with Bible study group. She also attended A Taste of Perimeter and began to grow attached to the people she met. “I could feel the Holy Spirit as I listened to how others were living to love and serve people just as Jesus had done. Amazed at how God has blessed me already this year, I realized I wanted to commit myself to Him.” Shalihia has since accepted Christ as her Savior and is planning to attend the upcoming Inquirers Seminar.

“Before I met John, I remember thinking maybe I would go to my mother’s church and get baptized just so I could move my children back into a home, but now I’m so glad I didn’t. Now I know God because he showed himself to me through other people’s love, not their coercion. I wake up every morning now and instead of being filled with worry I think about how much God has blessed me. I know that he is real. God is real.”

John and Kathy, already faithful believers, grew closer to God through their experience helping Shalihia.

“I learned that I really could depend on God,” John explained. “When I sat down to write that first email to my friends asking for their help I didn’t know what to say or ask. But somehow Shalihia’s story unfolded and that email spread around like wildfire. Almost immediately responses began coming in with offers to help. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t doing anything in this scenario. God was doing all the work but letting me go along to watch. He was letting me enjoy his plan for Shalihia.”

“Yes, we came to trust in God’s provision,” Kathy added. “People we didn’t know were sending money or asking what Shalilia needed. It was amazing to see God at work, and amazing to see the joy in Shalihia’s face as she, through this encounter with all the people who reached out to her, came to know and love God.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sleep Well Tonight

Twice now I’ve seen groups of people sitting on the floor or around conference tables hunched over large sheets of flannel. They were tying two pieces of flannel together to make blankets, blankets with knotted tassels along all four sides. Blankets that would be donated to provide warmth to someone sleeping in a cold drafty home, or worse, outside in the stark weather.

I wanted to know the story behind the blankets, and I learned they were the products of a ministry aptly called Sleep Well Tonight. I had the pleasure of talking with John Duke, co-founder and Ministry Director, about the origins and work of Sleep Well Tonight.

Greg: Tell me how your ministry began.

John: My wife Joanne and I frequent downtown Atlanta, and the more often we went downtown the more often we witnessed people sleeping in the cold on benches or the stone steps of city buildings. It bothered my wife so much she began tossing old blankets in the car whenever we made a trip into town. When we spotted someone who obviously needed it, we gave them the blanket. This went on a few times until the police actually discouraged us from doing it! That bothered Joanne even more, so we began to pray about the situation, asking God to reveal to us how we could help these people.

A short time later, in June of ’08, we attended an event sponsored by Community Outreach which targeted helping the homeless of Atlanta. As I was cooking and serving burgers and hotdogs, a fellow came up to me and asked if I would pray for he and his family. Joanne and I followed him to his home, a ramshackle place with broken windows. I asked him if he could use a few blankets and pillows, and he said, “If you could help us like that, we would sleep well tonight.”

On our way home Joanne and I talked about that experience and decided we were going to get blankets to the homeless somehow, and we were going to call our ministry Sleep Well Tonight. Ultimately we decided to collect blankets, sleeping bags and pillows and offer them to existing organizations which would then distribute them into the communities they served.

Greg: How did the knotted blankets and volunteers come into play?

John: As we were asking churches to donate blankets to our ministry, Joanne discovered how to make knotted blankets. It occurred to us this would be a great project for Goldrush (a week-long summer event for youth), and all of a sudden there were four hundred kids making knotted blankets for us. That gave us the idea of encouraging other churches to engage their youth groups in making knotted blankets, and it went viral from there. In short order we collected more than 4,000 blankets!

As these blankets began to stack up in my garage, we decided to make sure the recipients knew that these were not just free blankets, but was also God at work. We began asking people to include cards of encouragement with each blanket, and we began including Bibles with them. We met with some opposition from a few of our secular distributors about that, but when a homeless guy came up to me and asked for more Bibles, I knew we were doing the right thing. The Bible is an integral part of what we do, and now we only work with distributors who understand and support that.

Greg: Wow, this has really grown from a rather simple idea.

John: I haven’t been able to park a car in my garage for nearly a year! But as it is turning cold I’m growing fearful my garage will become empty, that we will give all the blankets away. If not for the generosity of the churches and small groups that support us that could happen. We have eight distributors and a number of times we could not fulfill their requests for more blankets, but we gave them what we had.

Greg: So you no longer give blankets directly to the homeless, but instead you use distributors?

John: The co-ops, Salvation Army and several shelters distribute for us. They are able to reach more needy people that we can, so I now concentrate on collecting the blankets and delivering them to the distributors, and telling organizations about the ministry and helping them organize drives to make or collect more knotted blankets.

Greg: In addition to offering blankets, how might someone support your ministry?

John: Joanne and I are using our own funds to purchase the packaging and Bibles. We could use cash donations to help with those expenses, and of course we would love to receive donated Bibles. This winter we expect to give away more than the 4,000 blankets we gave away last winter; in order for the ministry to grow with the demand for blankets we will need financial resources beyond what Joanne and I can manage ourselves.

Greg: Your ministry has grown so large and so rapidly it has outpaced your ability to fund it.

John: Exactly. It has grown so large we also need space to store the blankets, Bibles and supplies. Joanne and I are praying about that too.

Greg: How large is the homeless population in our area?

John: It is so hard to say because it is next to impossible to obtain an accurate count of people who by the very nature of their circumstances don’t stay in place. And don’t forget that it isn’t only the homeless we serve. There are people who have a home but that home isn’t heated. The best I can tell you is that even though we gave away 4,000 blankets last year, we had requests for 12,000.

I left the meeting with John grateful for my home and the means to heat it and adequately clothe myself and my family. It is 35 degrees outside as I write this post, but the wind makes it feel like 26. It will actually drop to 25 degrees tonight, and we don’t know yet how cruel the wind will be. Along with John, I too pray for his ministry.

The needs of this ministry are clear: operating funds, blankets and storage space. If you have a heart for assisting Sleep Well Tonight, contact John or Joanne at john@sleepwelltonight.org and joanne@sleepwelltonight.org

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prison Outreach

This is the continuation of a post written in June about Jim Cook and his Prison Ministry. You can find the original story in the archive (lower right margin of this page) under June. One result of that interview was the press on my heart to help launch the pen-pal ministry. I'm happy to say that there are now a dozen volunteers ready to work with me in writing letters of encouragement and fellowship to the inmates of Gwinnett County Detention Center. We plan to begin wiht sending Christmas cards to about 60 inmates. In the event this ministry may interest you, the details are posted here for you to consider:

Prison Pen-Pal Ministry

Thank you for volunteering to write letters of encouragement and discipleship to a Gwinnett County inmate. Few people are willing to share their time with these men and women, and as a result loneliness is one of the greatest challenges they face. Inmates who have concerned and supportive contacts in the outside world have a much lower recidivism rate than those who do not. Your act of writing a letter is indeed an act of faith - faith that you can make a positive difference in another person's life.

Here’s how the Prison Pen-Pal Ministry works:

1. An inmate will request a pen-pal by completing a response card and mailing it to the Perimeter Church pen-pal address.

2. An email will be sent to interested parties asking if you would volunteer to write to that inmate.

3. Volunteers will be matched to the inmate of his/her choosing based on his/her personal criteria and level of comfort. Once matched, you will mail the first letter from your home or business to:

Inmate Name (Required)
Inmate ID Number (Required)
Housing Unit (Optional)
Gwinnett County Detention Center
2900 University Pkwy. NE
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

You must always use the following return address:

Perimeter Church
c/o Prison Outreach
9500 Medlock Bridge Road
Duluth, GA 30097

4. Remember to put the return address on the upper left hand corner of the envelope and include it again in the body of the letter in case something happens to the envelope. The prison won't accept letters without return addresses.

5. When the inmate writes back, your mail will be forwarded to you from Perimeter Church.

6. You would then write again to your pen-pal as long and as often as you feel comfortable doing so.

Before writing your first letter, it is important to familiarize yourself with the guidelines used by our ministry:

1. Focus your letters on words of encouragement and discipleship. Your uplifting words can make their prison sentence more bearable. Encourage them toward getting an education while in prison, learning a trade, becoming more spiritual, etc.

2. Feel free to ask questions, but let your questions be about the person and not the reason why he/she is in jail. However, if the inmate volunteers information about his/her crime, it is then okay to discuss it.

3. Be careful that your questions do not lead to unrealistic expectations. For example, “Where will you live when you get out?” may be construed to mean “I want you to live with me when you get out.”

4. Write a little about yourself - your interests and hobbies, your faith journey - but avoid sharing too much personal information. Most volunteers use only their first names in all correspondence with their pen-pal. Do not reveal any information that could result in you being identified and located (full name, personal or business address, phone numbers, date of birth, etc.).

5. Indicate how often you are willing to write; twice a month is a good standard. If you are only able to write once a month, let that person know so that he or she doesn't expect your letter sooner and then become discouraged.

6. You may choose to write only inmates of your own gender, or you may write an inmate of any gender. However, if you are writing an inmate of the opposite gender, please exercise extra caution to avoid giving the appearance that you are interested in a romantic relationship.

7. If you feel strongly that you do not want to write an inmate who has committed a particular crime, you must conduct that research yourself by reviewing the inmate’s crime data at http://www.gwinnettcountysheriff.com/ (click on the badge, then “Docket Book” on the right margin, then by the first letter of the last name). While we do not object to volunteers screening the inmates, our position is one of neutrality.

8. Do NOT include stamps, money, gifts or photographs in your letters. Be aware that all inmate mail is opened and inspected at the prison before it is given to an inmate.

9. Don't write to more than one inmate at a time; it can create a rivalry between inmates.

10. You may be tempted to visit you pen-pal while he/she is in prison. This is a personal decision but one that cannot be made lightly. To visit an inmate you must give your full name and address to the prison officials, and you will be required to wear a name tag bearing that information while you are in the prison. One should be extremely cautious about creating unintended expectations; inmates may mistake your kind visit as a commitment or opportunity to exploit.

11. If you should become offended by or incompatible with your pen-pal, simply write a letter explaining your reason for choosing not to write again in the future. But please remember, all inmates are not the same. You will find every denomination, race, educational background and class inside prison walls. If you discover you don't relate well with one inmate, don't let that stop you from writing to another. As with any new person you meet, each inmate has his or her own unique qualities which may or may not be appealing to you.

Please direct all questions regarding pen-pal procedures and issues to Greg Lang at 404.863.2275 or gregoryelang@gmail.com.

Write, bless and be blessed!

Monday, November 16, 2009

WOW

I walked into the Fellowship Hall late one Wednesday morning in October to find some thirty women busy at work, sitting around tables or in a far corner hovering over an assortment of bags. The room was filled with cheerful chatter yet everyone worked with a determined purpose.

Those sitting at the tables were busy making knotted blankets. Some women, scissors in hand, cut into the hem of the blankets to make tassels while others tied two blankets together with those same tassels, creating an extra thick offering of warmth for someone who would need it this winter. The finished blankets would be wrapped around Bibles before the morning was over.

The women in the corner were sorting toiletries. The sparkly toothpaste, colorful toothbrushes, baby shampoo and assorted items decorated with cartoon characters went to one table, the more “mature” versions of the same personal care items went to another table. On both tables these toiletries were wrapped in gift paper and ribbons, each capped off with a small slip of paper on which were found one of two Bible verses: I can do all things through God who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

These were the volunteers of Women on Wednesday (WOW), a division of Perimeter’s Women’s Ministry which meets weekly but also teams up with Community Outreach six times a year to serve a different ministry in our surrounding community. What I watched that day was their service project to benefit the poor and homeless who turn to the Norcross Cooperative Ministry for help.

I asked Tracy Baird to help me understand the WOW ministry.

Tracy: The role of WOW is to provide a place at Perimeter for women to connect, serve, and grow. Women can drop in at WOW any week or attend all year. Through our service projects, women have opportunities to serve without having to make a long-term commitment to a ministry. It is a great place for newcomers to Perimeter to meet other women and for women interested in volunteering to learn about a number of ministries while searching for the one that is a good match for her gifts and interests. We like to say “if you don’t know what you want to do, come to us.” We’ll help women find a ministry if they want to move on to a long term commitment, or, under our umbrella, give her opportunities to serve whenever she can.

Greg: Which ministries do you serve and in what way do you serve them?

Tracy: WOW provides women with opportunities to serve in the morning, and has served or is scheduled to serve the Norcross Coop, Light of Messiah Ministries, Wellspring Living, Victoria’s Friends, Children’s Restoration Network, and A Beacon of Hope. In addition, there are evening opportunities for women to serve and those projects include the Salvation Army Gwinnett, Open Arms House, Bethany Christian Services, and still others. We serve these ministries in many ways. Today we are making the blankets and basic necessity bags; we’ve made gift baskets of different varieties depending on who is the recipient of that particular ministry, and we’ve held food drives.

Greg: How do you choose a service project?

Tracy: In our relationship with Community Outreach we identify which ministries have needs that we believe we can meet with our pool of volunteers. We have the hands and the will, we just need a small but impactful project that we can complete in a single day.

Greg: This seems to be a great ministry for moms at home with young children.

Tracy: It is. We provide childcare for children up to age five so that moms of preschoolers can serve the community and be near their children at the same time.

Greg: Is WOW open only to Perimeter members or can any interested women attend?

Tracy: We are open to all women who want to come. We think many women have a heart for service and we encourage our regular attendees to invite their service-minded friends to participate. We have a Facebook group to help get our name and purpose out there, as well as a separate “women serving” webpage on the Perimeter website, and we welcome anyone who wants to come whether that is to serve or participate in our regular program.

Greg: And what is the regular program?

Tracy: Our typical program includes an inspirational speaker and great music over snacks and coffee, while also occasionally providing information on ministries where our attendees may want to serve or be served. There are movie clips, ballet performances, and other special offerings, as well as opportunities to just visit and connect with other women. We are also hosting a Women’s Ministry Newcomer Brunch three times this year, and showing two movies. WOW offers fellowship for women of all ages in addition to our community service projects.

And what is WOW doing in December? Visit the Fellowship Hall on Dec. 2nd, 9:30-11:30 to help prepare Hanukkah baskets for Jewish families in Atlanta, in service to the Light of Messiah Ministries.

Since 1992, Light of Messiah ministries has been proclaiming the message of Jesus to the Jewish community of Atlanta. They are committed to helping Jewish people learn more about the truth of the Messiahship of Jesus and helping Christians learn more about the Jewish roots of our faith as believers in Jesus.

From the WOW website:

WOW is a place where women of all ages and stages can attend anytime during the year and feel comfortable and welcome. Join us for a single session or attend all year. Our purpose is to share God's truth that sets us free, encourages our hearts, heals our wounds and offers hope for the future.

WOW is for you if you are seeking to understand God's plan for your life, wanting to be refreshed and encouraged, needing a friend, wanting to invite a friend, and/or wanting to connect within Perimeter.

For more information about other upcoming events, visit www.perimeter.org/women