Photo Caption: Jeremy Camp performs at churches in Calgary and Edmonton for thousands.
The Church has been a part of The Mustard Seed’s work from the very beginning. In fact, the initial idea for a street ministry for the homeless grew out of the Burning Bush Coffeehouse, which was run by the First Baptist Church in the ‘70s and early ‘80s.
Since then, in the more than 30 years that The Mustard Seed has served people experiencing homelessness and poverty, our work continues to be fueled by the support of the church community in Alberta.
Right now there are hundreds of churches that contribute to The Mustard Seed in some way – whether by providing groups to sort donations, preparing and serving meals or giving financially to support our programs in Calgary and Edmonton.
“We simply wouldn’t exist without the churches in our community. They have been there from the start and they continue to walk alongside us in whatever way we need,” says Byron Bradley, Community Engagement Manager.
The Community Engagement team provides educational opportunities in churches that aim to foster a Christ-centred understanding of poverty and homelessness.
“Seeing how interested and invested they are in The Mustard Seed, even after all this time, it’s a reminder that we’re not alone in our mission to end homelessness,” Byron says.
Whenever we call, the Church answers.
Over the 2015 Christmas period, Victory Outreach Centre, Rockyview Alliance Church, RockPointe Church and First Alliance Church partnered with us to distribute food hampers in their community. With their support, and the generosity of Calgarians, we distributed a total of 735 hampers, feeding more than 1,600 people in need.
In October, we hosted two concerts with Christian performer Jeremy Camp that saw the church communities in both Calgary and Edmonton come out in droves. These events wouldn’t have been possible without the immense support of Centre Street Church and Sherwood Park Alliance Church.
These are just a few of the many instances of church support that have helped The Mustard Seed grow and continue to serve men and women in Alberta who are experiencing poverty and homelessness.
In the Bible, the church is explained as one body made of many parts, all of which are integral to the success of the whole (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). We are blessed to be a part of the amazing impact that the Church has when it unites to love people who are hurting.