By Sharon Mager

WESTERNPORT, Md. — In response to the impending shutdown of Luke Mill, a nearby paper factory in Luke, Maryland, Bruce Outreach Center (BOC) in Westernport, Maryland, is proactively offering assistance to the community. The church family is lovingly allowing the use of their spacious facility, formerly a high school and a middle school, to government and local businesses in an effort to help the community through what could be a difficult journey. An estimated 675 people, from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will have or will soon lose their jobs as a result of the 131-year-old mill closure.

BOC hosted a job fair in May, drawing hundreds of people. Members managed a table offered prayer and provided information about the church. Members had many opportunities to chat with neighbors. Most importantly, BOC Senior Pastor Steffan Carr said, “We told folks that the Lord loves them.”

Carr said the church is becoming a central hub in the midst of the mill issue and they’re using the opportunity to respond in love and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“God has given us 118,000 square feet for a reason,” Carr emphasized.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The church has food available for those in need and will host another job fair on June 18. They’ve also opened their doors for local companies and agencies to help provide social services information and offer job interviews.

Carr said the community is feeling the impact from the mill closure. “It has already hit many people’s pocketbooks and has had a really negative impact in our community, and it’s just getting started,” said Carr with a sigh.

For more information about what BOC is doing to help, and how you or your church can get involved, email Pastor Steffan Carr.