“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
Cancer Care Ministry
Members of Oak Grove Baptist Church (OGBC) in Bel Air, Maryland, started a cancer care ministry, collecting comfort items for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. On October 2, they delivered 40 hand-sewn bags to the Kaufman Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.
Church member Kelly Herzing started the program this year. She and another OGBC member, Gail Shipley, spent many hours sewing the bags by hand, using a variety of materials appropriate for both men and women. They and other church members also sewed lap blankets and some folks crocheted cozy caps. In addition, Herzing also sewed a “port pillow” for each bag. A patient can cover the chemo port with the pillow on the ride home from the hospital and prevent the seatbelt from rubbing against the tender area.
Church members also provided lotions, lip balms, bottled waters, socks, peppermints, small hand sanitizers, and puzzle books.
Herzing started the “Hopeful Hearts Cancer Ministry” when a close friend developed stage four colon cancer. “After watching her go through chemo, and the things it did to her body, God put it on my heart to start this ministry. What better way to honor her memory and to help others?” she said.
Ten volunteers had a “packing party” to stuff the bags. Along with the comfort supplies, the volunteers included handwritten messages to let patients know that someone is praying for them. “We let them know that they’re not alone in their fight,” Herzing said.
Volunteers also made bags for children with crayons, coloring books, and stuffed animals. Though the Kaufman Cancer Center does not treat patients, Herzing said parents and grandparents can give the bags to children.
For more information about the ministry, contact Herzing.
Bible Memorization Initiative
Redland Baptist Church in Derwood, Maryland, encourages members to memorize Scripture. The “52 Verses” initiative features a different passage each week which members can learn with their families. There are memorization techniques and prompts to promote discussion.
Associate Pastor Kevin Freeman said the emphasis began as part of the church’s family ministry and then evolved into a church-wide focus.
Members log on to Redland’s website to get the weekly verses. The church also uses a resource to provide artwork for each verse.
Some Sunday School teachers start their lessons with a recitation of the previous weeks’ verses and an introduction of the new selection.
The church also emphasizes the program from the pulpit.
Chili Cookoff and Dessert Auction
Elvaton Baptist Church (EBA) in Millersville, Maryland, will have a chili cookoff, followed by a dessert auction at 6 p.m., on November 9. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. The church will use the proceeds to help fund a youth trip to Skycroft Conference Center for the “ReCharge” winter retreat in January.
The church drew over 200 people for their annual Harvest Festival on October 19. Volunteers offered free food as they chatted with neighbors. Kids had a blast with games, “bouncy houses,” face painting, and hayrides.
Visitors stopped by a welcome booth where they received Bibles and literature. There was also a prayer booth for folks to stop and chat, share prayer requests, and pray.
Two families that attended the festival returned to visit the church for the worship service on the following day.