From Christ Church in Lexington:
Just wanted to let you know that we have had a prayer that God help us to be on mission in our new county before the building was even completed. And by God's grace, we are seeing that begin to happen.
Because of a connection through one of our members, I was invited to be on Jessamine County's InterAgency Zoom call. There I met Anna Kenion, a black Christian leader in Jessamine County (she works for United Way) who has her church working in her old neighborhood to serve disadvantaged children. After hearing about a big event she was doing with Jessamine County Police Department, local library, schools,etc. sponsored by her church in the neighborhood around the June holiday, Juneteenth, I told her about our book study and their desire to engage in racial reconciliation. She invited us to join her in a Juneteenth Celebration for children in Hayden Park in Nicholasville. We ran games and served popcorn. From this, we were able to see our book study participants who were reading Color of Compromise, engaging in racial reconciliation in Jessamine county while in their study.
It was our first mission work in the city in an area very similar to the one we work in, in Fayette County (in collaboration with Nathaniel Mission). Some of the Zoom Interagency leaders were surprised to see us there. We ran games with a wide-varied of ages from our church participating and getting to know people in Jessamine County. See a news clip about it.
We were also, because of a contact that led me to that monthly zoom call, able to have a presence at the Early Learning Village, helping them with their Ready to Learn Preschool event for Nicholasville.
Another opportunity arose from Interagency, after I told the group we were there to listen to needs and shared about our mission with children in Fayette Co. at Harrison and Cardinal Valley Elementary, a leader at Providence school in Jessamine County, met to talk to us about mentoring teens and was so excited to hear that we were on the same road as the school offering our land space and otherwise. They welcomed our congregation to come and mentor middle and high school students. So, now we can mentor elementary students, with the gospel included, in Fayette, and mentor teens in Jessamine County. So excited to have our members mentoring children in Fayette and teens in Jessamine.
Also, we now have a steady group of Asbury students, because of a former youth inviting them, (who started there last year) coming to worship and wanting to help us with the mission. Some have started playing in the band and some my mentor kids. Some are also interested in helping with our media. The family of this former-youth, has them over for lunch at their home almost each week, so exciting. So, this new school year, we attended Asbury University's Opportunity Fair at the end of August and gave away 300 bags of free bread, coupons to Solomon's Porch and N. Lime Donuts :) and invited students to worship with us. We were able to make new connections and hope to grow the students to worship and work with us. We have a good number each Sunday.
I have started a connection with the Chamber of Commerce as one of our members is on the board. She also owns a potential business place that could be a missional community or Fresh expression-Jazzercise of Nicholasville.
Two other exciting things: We have a new family that is interested in starting a missional community for parents, and we are looking at Bluegrass Community and Technical College at Newtown as well, as we have people there that want to invest in students that are on the edge, lifewise and faith wise.
We are excited about all of the above, especially in our new county, to show that we are serious about being a light in their community as we look for more ways to connect. Pray we find ways to make new opportunities for people to know Christ.