From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Disciples volunteers put muscles into mission

From "Office of Communications"<>
Date 12 Apr 2000 12:42:00

Date: April 12, 2000
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Clifford L. Willis
on the Web:


	PALM BAY, Fla. (DNS) -- They weren't all working on a new Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ) building, but Disciples youth and leaders in 
Palm Bay, Fla., the week of April 2 found many ways to put muscles and 
heart into mission.

	Slower than anticipated progress on a building for the Mision Cristiana 
de Palm Bay meant some of the youth groups were sent to other sites. But 
both youths and leaders seemed happy to be at work -- painting, digging, 
drywalling and even constructing a swing set at one of three locations in 
the greater Melbourne area. "I really enjoy doing it," said Victoria 
Reese, Watkinsville, Ga., as she raked branches and leaves out of the sand 
at Mision Cristiana.

	Kristen Finnerty, also of Watkinsville, busily stirring mortar for the 
first row of concrete blocks, said, "It's fun, but it got hot yesterday."

	More than once, an adult leader was heard to check with a youth worker, 
"Did you put your sun screen on today?"

	In Palm Bay for the spring break were groups from Crestwood (Ky.) 
Christian Church, Versailles (Ky.) First Christian Church and Watkinsville 
(Ga.) First Christian. The 40 youth and adults were the largest number in 
any one week of the VisionBuilders! spring build.

	In addition to the work at the new church site, youth and adults were 
painting the exterior of Melbourne First Christian Church and doing 
renovation work at the House of Prayer in Palm Bay. The nondenominational 
ministry has been housing some of the work groups this spring.

	The Watkinsville First Church youth were especially proud of their 
efforts to be part of the Florida work team. The youth raised more than 
$3,500 for the trip from bake sales, car washes and gifts from both church 
members and the wider community. Their extra effort meant they were able 
to stay in a nearby motel instead of sleeping on the floor with the other 

	On-site coordinator, the Rev. Charles Babcock, said one of the best parts 
of the volunteer work effort has been cooperation from unexpected places. 
"The House of Prayer has basically given us the keys and allowed us to use 
whatever we need," he said. Babcock's wife, Burnell, prepares meals for 
the volunteer groups.

	Additional help has come from the Palm Bay (Independent) Christian Church 
which shared its showers and kitchen facilities. On Wednesday night, when 
that church has a dinner and services, youth and adults meet at the 
Melbourne First Church to eat a dinner prepared by members of the Hispanic 
congregation, then stay to sing with the church choir during its weekly 

	Supervising the new church construction is Earl Watson, Elwood (Ind.) 
Christian Church. Earl's wife, Gretchen, is also involved with the 
project. She handles the accounting and recordkeeping tasks.

	Although work on the new church has been delayed, planners are optimistic 
to complete the work by early summer. 

	-- end -- 

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