One Great Hour of Sharing domestic emergency food, shelter grant
Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. in Niagara Falls recently received a $5,000 grant from the One Great Hour of Sharing Domestic Emergency Food and Shelter fund, from the World Relief Committee of the American Baptist Churches USA, and facilitated by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. The grant allows Community Missions to maintain faith services components available across its many services through 2014.
Faith services at Community Missions provides a full-time pastoral presence at the site, opportunities for weekly worship, fellowship and spiritual development groups, and special activities with a focus on faith. There also is a focus to engage the Niagara faith community to help churches and ministries volunteer, provide food, clothing or hygiene items, as well as financial support to Community Missions.
"We are so grateful for this help," said Rev. Mark H. Breese, director of ministry and community services at the mission. "With the holiday season during the last quarter of the year, it is often the time when pastoral services and spiritual support for those we serve is most needed."
Community Missions was founded in 1925 and provides a wide range of services, including crisis housing for individuals and families, food through its soup kitchen and food pantry, and other essentials such as clothing and furniture to those in need. The agency offers a parole re-entry program and the only residential HIV/AIDS program in Niagara County. Community Missions provides residential and community-based programs for adults and youth struggling with mental illness, along with services offering youth and their families diversion paths through the juvenile justice system.
"We are very proud to have Community Missions as a validated ministry of the ABCNYS," said Rev. Jim Kelsey, executive minister for the American Baptist Churches of NYS, on a recent visit to learn more about the services available. "The type of ministry happening at the mission is very important. The mission is not only helping people in need, but also serves as a resource for churches from all over to learn how to do this work in their own communities."
"As American Baptists around the world seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we are honored to be able provide this financial assistance to Community Missions of Niagara Falls as they seek to minister and provide assistance in their community, especially during the advent season," said Victoria Goff, national coordinator of volunteer and disaster response ministries for the ABHMS. "With so many in need, it is comforting to know that Community Missions is there to provide a respite to many."
Members of the Bethany Missionary Baptist Church Praise Team (Niagara Falls) provide music for a special Advent worship series in Community Mission's community soup kitchen.