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Community Missions begins new outreach ministry initiative

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Wed, Jul 27th 2016 09:05 pm

On Thursday, July 27, Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. will hold the first of three outreach ministry events in Niagara Falls. This one will take place from 6-7 p.m. at 18th Street and Linwood Avenue. It will be presented in partnership with four area churches: Bacon Memorial Presbyterian Church, Niagara Falls; Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, Niagara Falls; New Hope Baptist Church, Niagara Falls; and First Presbyterian Church, Youngstown. Future events will take place at other locations around the City of Niagara Falls.

The event on Thursday, as well as the future gatherings, will be focused on bringing information about the services Community Missions and other service providers offer in the community. Those who attend will be offered a free desert made with fresh fruits, and enjoy music and conversation with members of the partner churches.

"It is an attempt to help our neighbors learn about the mission," said the Rev. Raymond Allen, pastor of Bethany Missionary Baptist Church. "The outreach events are also opportunities for people to get to know one another better and for the partner churches to simply be present with our neighbors - to 'be the church' outside the walls of the church."

The outreach ministry initiative is deliberately an ecumenical effort, according to Rev. Mark H. Breese, agency minister and director of ministry and community outreach for Community Missions.

"A central part of CMI is how we work with such a diverse faith community," he said. "It is important for churches to see the potential in these kinds of partnerships. Finding ways to reach the community with information and opportunities that help with the everyday struggles of living is something which the entire Niagara faith community cares about. It only makes sense to work together. The mission wants to help make that happen."

The primary start-up funding for the Initiative comes from a grant from the Presbytery of WNY's outreach ministry team. Additional funding comes from a three-year One Great Hour of Sharing Development Grant from the American Baptist Home Mission Society, which supports the overall direct ministry work at CMI; and from the partner churches.

For more information, contact Breese at 716-285-3403, ext. 2259, or [email protected].

Since its founding in 1925, Community Missions has provided a unique blend of referral, crisis, community support and residential services for youth and adults. In 2015, the agency provided over 86,000 meals and 10,000 nights of care to neglected or abused children and homeless adults.

Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other under-served populations in both residential and recovery-oriented settings.

For more information, visit www.communitymissions.org.

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