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Ministries Making a Difference

Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Angel Tree, Mercy Chefs, Church of the Nazarene

Legal pressure. A Montana high school last week reinstated the Bozeman High School chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a school-sponsored club following pressure from Alliance Defending Freedom. The school had revoked the FCA club’s status in November 2019 after five years of operating on campus. ADF sent a letter to the school in December 2019, accusing officials of violating the First Amendment and federal Equal Access Act. 

Angel Tree goes virtual. With coronavirus cases surging, the Angel Tree program, a ministry that delivers Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated men and women, has pivoted its platform from physical Christmas trees holding ornaments adorned with a child’s name to online lists. Sponsors can choose a child from the list and have a third-party company ship a gift directly to the child. This at a time prisons have been hit especially hard with COVID due to crowded conditions—The Marshall Project has reported at least 227,333 cases among prisoners as of Dec. 1 and 1,571 deaths.

Mercy Chefs. Since the coronavirus swept into the U.S. in mid-March, Mercy Chefs has served five million meals to those impacted by the pandemic, as well as to victims, volunteers, and first responders in national emergencies and natural disasters—a significant increase from past years. It took more than a decade—from its founding in 2006 to early 2020—for the Christian nonprofit disaster relief organization to distribute its first three million meals. Feeding America has estimated that the number of people experiencing food insecurity in 2020 could rise to more than 50 million. 

Rehab ministry. Two ministries in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, are helping people coming out of prison and addictions by focusing on community and support networks. Rachel’s House and Lower Lights Recovery, both part of the Church of the Nazarene’s Lower Lights Ministries, provide relationships and housing as participants work through specific programs. Franklinton has the lowest life expectancy in Ohio, and 55 percent of residents live below the poverty line, according to Church of the Nazarene

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Christina Darnell

Christina Darnell is a freelance writer who has contributed to WORLD, The Charlotte Observer, and other publications.

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