Friday, December 30, 2011
Rosalind Hills Baptist reaches out with Community Christmas Party
Have you heard?
'Have you heard?'
- Urban Professional League debuts awards for professional achievement
- Wells Fargo makes 2 donations in area
- Dancing with the Valley Stars dancers step up donations
- Seniors may renew vows on Feb. 14 at Elm Park Estates
- Kroger customers donate $10,000 to effort aimed at fighting cancer
Rosalind Hills Baptist Church threw its fifth annual Community Christmas party Dec. 3, and more than 400 people from various southwest Roanoke communities attended.
Church members provided breakfast and a Christmas program, and attendees left with a gift box that included grocery staples to help them through the holidays and small gifts for their children.
The party is an extension of the church's food pantry ministry, which "was started with just having shelves of canned goods in the Sunday school hallway," said the Rev. Brad Smith, Rosalind Hills' senior pastor.
The party, Smith said, "is a great opportunity to reach out to our community. The boxes we pass out may very well be the only holiday meal many of the participants receive."
Congregation members volunteer to operate the food pantry ministry, which is funded through donations, including more than $5,000 in food and donations for the party. Food also is provided through a partnership with the Feeding Southwest Virginia food bank.
Since January, the church has seen an increase in the number of families and individuals it serves.
"As of late, we are seeing that they are asking the question, 'Do I eat this month or do I pay my electric bill?' '' Smith said.
Because of the food pantry, the church is able to tell them, "You get the heat squared away with, and we'll help with the groceries," he said.
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Members of the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, an interdenominational congregation in northwest Roanoke County, have welcomed their new pastor, the Rev. Thomas Reeves, and his family from Illinois.
Reeves replaces the Rev. Philip Bottomley, who had served the Lutheran/Episcopal congregation since its merger in 2006. Bottomley, who has been a strong advocate for the ecumenical movement, has retired. He and his wife, Sylvia, are moving to Philadelphia to be closer to family.
Reeves, who is serving the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul in association with the DOMA Anglican diocese, was ordained as an Anglican priest in 2010. He has served in nondenominational, Baptist, Presbyterian and Anglican churches, and he works with an agency that deals with foster parenting and at-risk children.