The associated Storehouse North Down project maintains a list of current requirements at http://www.storehousenorthdown.com
- To respond to God’s call to help the poor and the stranger
- To make church-community engagement more effective
- To facilitate cooperation between churches in that outreach
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (NLT)
The product of this group so far is:
- Christmas Day 2011 people with no family and/or no home were entertained in Kilcooley Community Centre. The Bayview Centre has now been offered for 2012.
- A Churches Directory has been produced (Philip has one)
- A food storehouse has been set up
- A web-site ‘Network North Down’ is being developed.
“If you want to go fast – go it alone.
If you want to go far – go together.
Andy has been working with politicians in Westminster for a number of years and I was very encouraged to hear from him that there are 25 Christians in the prospective candidates group and that he runs weekly Bible study, prayer meetings and monthly services with MPs.
Andy talked about our consumer society. Did you know –
If the whole world consumed like we do in Europe we would need 3 Earths;
If the whole world consumed as the USA does we would need 5 Earths!
‘God has promised in Revelation 21 to make all things new; a new Heaven and a new Earth. This is in every act of love and truth and mercy. It is a privilege to be called to be part of this. God could do it on His own but we are called to partner with Him in His mission!!’
Margaret Bailie (West Church) spoke about the Abba Trust she set up 20 years ago to respond to the needs of poor families for furniture, clothes and food. A team of 6 people are then backed up by the West Church congregation.
These efforts are now all being channelled through ‘Storehouse North Down’ (in the old Oneida factory) which Brian and Helen Sloan (1st Bangor) are running on a daily basis and which BICCI have been given rent and rates free! A young woman taking a gap-year, Emma, has agreed to help 2 days a week.
Margaret said she saw the Lord’s hand very much in all that had happened. The whole place has been painted and equipped without any funds.
The aim is to provide 6 food packages a year to those in need and Campbell Davis (Kiltonga Church) is organising the furniture collection and distribution. His team will undertake house clearances or take away furniture you are throwing out and save you having to go to the Dump!
They hope to be able to go beyond short-term aid but to work hard to discourage dependency and promote long-term sustainability. 100% of what is given is then handed out. No expenses.
Congregations are asked to donate non-perishable food, cleaning products and toiletries (see list). Volunteers are also needed to help with packing food parcels.
Representatives of YMCA, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), who help people who have got into debt and Salvation Army also spoke and Helen Sloan spoke movingly about the weekly English classes they run in 1st Bangor (the church opposite ASDA they say) and how this has led to them helping ‘strangers’ in our town.
It was all very encouraging and exciting to see the churches working together and to think we could contribute. I couldn’t help but think, as the morning went on, that this wouldn’t have happened without Crown Jesus Ministries mission in the last year which brought nearly all the churches together in various ways. Derek Cummings said in his concluding remarks:
“This is what the Body of Christ looks like!”