Recent News

Study Center Now Offering Curbside Pick-up

Starting May 22nd the Study Center will offer curbside pick-up and drop-off for books. Its staff will be following the Ohio Library Council's guidance for offering this service safely (disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks & gloves, social distancing, etc).

Here are the options for reserving and picking up a book:

  • Login to your study center account at studycenter.xenos.org, search for your book, click "Place Hold," and select "New Location at RDP" as your pickup location.
  • Call the Study Center at (614) 423-4145, and simply tell us over the phone what book you would like to reserve and when you will be picking it up.
  • Come to the Study Center, knock on the door during business hours, and let us know what book you would like (least preferred option, but still available).
  • When you arrive to pick up your book, we will bring the book out to your car, and place it in your back seat or trunk for you.

How to return books:

  • Place books in the drop-off bin by the front door of the Study Center, located at 620 E. Oakland Park Ave. This is available 24 hours a day.

The Ohio Library Council encourages all locations to isolate returned books in bins for 2-3 days so that no trace of the virus can survive before being put back on the shelves. We are going one step further, and isolating the books for 4 days before we put them back on the shelves. We want to make sure that our services are safe for everyone to use.

Here are the updated hours that we will be offering the curbside pick-up service:

  • Monday - Friday: 1pm - 6pm
  • Saturdays: 1pm - 4pm
  • Sundays: Closed

Inside use of the Study Center will remain closed until further notice, as keeping with the Ohio Library Council's guidelines. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kevin Zahler at zahlerk@dwellcc.org.
 

Dwell Volunteers Diligently Serve Food Pantry

With many people in need of food these days, with dozens of volunteers from Dwell are answering the call each week at the All People’s Fresh Market on Parsons Avenue, a program of Community Development for All People. They’ve been packing food boxes, loading them into customers’ cars, cleaning, directing traffic, and handling administrative tasks.

The Market offers fresh food to folks on a low-income and is the largest free food distributor in Ohio serving between 500 to 700 families a day. As such it needs many volunteers—at least 20-30 each day, 5 days a week (Tuesday through Saturday). Dwell volunteers have stepped up, with 45 percent of the pantry's volunteers coming from our church. Over 30 people from Dwell serve each week, with some volunteering more than once a week.

Dwell member Adam Householder works for the market and says there is a growing need for volunteers now, as people start to go back to work and some current volunteers can’t continue. You can easily sign up using the POINT app. You can see a current list of volunteer events at this link.

Dwell member Keenan Lewis has been volunteering there and says it’s fun and refreshing, with the work consistent but not complex or overwhelming. Keenan says he plans to continue volunteering there. “I can tangibly see how this is helping the community and making a difference in me as well.”

Please consider joining in this effort to help meet a real need in our community, showing them the love of Christ through your actions. If you have questions about signing up, contact Jess Grady at Jgrady@4allpeople.net.
 

Dwell Support Ministries Take Their Service Online

A number of Dwell support ministries are, for now, meeting online--a way to continue to serve and encourage, including those who may be especially vulnerable at this time. These groups are sharing God's love and strength with people battling addiction (and those who love them), military veterans, people with mental illness, and those with special needs. You can see a full list of ministries below.

Tim Downs volunteers with the weekly Call-Sign Bible study for veterans. In March they stopped their in-person meetings, but after a few weeks organized online meetings--“We just missed this group of people so much.” He says it’s encouraging to connect and hear what everyone is going through. They’re offering short discussions on topics like fear, anxiety, and isolation, and have spent time praying together.

Rachel Yensel with the Promise group (serving people whose family members or close friends are battling addiction) says it's worth struggling through the awkwardness of meeting online to continue to share their lives. She says quarantine, isolation, and the death of "normal" can exacerbate problems of addiction and codependency so they’ve been talking specifically about transparency, boundaries, and healthy relating. “It's just been really great hear the different ways people are wrestling with God's truth, and claiming His promises during such an uncertain time. These online meetings have helped us share about our struggles, encourage one another, and have accountability to move towards God's peace and comfort amidst the unknown.”

Access (Dwell’s ministry to people with special needs) has moved its twice a month Bible study to Zoom. Greg Roth with Access says these meetings have been exciting and have helped people stay connected during the shutdown. Greg says, “Some folks haven't been working and they miss the social aspects of their jobs probably more than the pay checks.” He says those who’ve joined seem very appreciative and encouraged about the opportunity to fellowship, pray and learn about God.

Here's a list of Dwell ministries meeting online, with contact information. If you don't see your ministry, please reach out to the leader listed on the Dwell website.

New Class on Making Your Ministry House Great

There's a new class starting soon designed to help those living in a ministry house create a great ministry house--one that is welcoming, unified, and makes a difference in the lives of both residents and outsiders.

The 3-week class, Life Together—Being Part of a Great Ministry House, will offer strategies for developing a strong vision for your house, along with strategies for promoting that vision. It will also cover common problems and situations people in ministry houses encounter. Conrad Hilario and John Ross will lead online teachings, with questions available for house members to discuss together afterward.

John says it’s an exciting subject to consider. “Dwell ministry houses are a key wineskin God uses to make our church vibrant and unique. We want to offer as much training as possible for leaders and members to make their houses as good as they can be.” He says the class will also be helpful to high school seniors and others who are considering moving into a ministry house. John says it’ll help them think through what the Bible says about deep, loving fellowship and how a ministry house can help make that happen.

The class starts May 27th, and is free--no registration required. There’ll be more information coming soon about how to participate.

Dwell Classes Continue, Despite Cancellation Challenges

Thanks to technology and the quick work of the Equipping Division staff, Dwell continues to offer great classes to equip you to understand the Bible and accurately apply it to your life. Over the last few weeks the division has been offering a reduced schedule of 6 classes, and is now preparing for 5 additional classes for the second half of the spring quarter.

Just added this week: Reasons to Believe with Doug O'Malley and the Confluence of Character and Competence in Leadership with Josh Benadum. Doug will explore common objections to Christianity and some responses. Josh's workshop dives into the connection between character and leadership, and how pursuing character often leads to greater effectiveness in serving God.

Registration is now open for these classes, and 2 others (Mike Sullivan's 6-week class on Daniel, as well as Lee Campbell's 5 week class on the minor prophets.) You can read more about these classes and register at xenos.org/classes. There is also a class on creating a great ministry house

Class Registrar Kim Phillips says the COVID-19 restrictions started just as they were finishing up winter quarter classes and preparing to launch the spring quarter schedule. Kim says they quickly evaluated the classes they were planning, and decided to postpone or cancel several classes that either had low registration or wouldn't work in an online format.

Kim says, with so much uncertainty at that time, they made plans, but had to continually change those plans as new information came in. The move to an online format created a number of obstacles--creating an online payment portal, modifying class documents, arranging Zoom and Google Classroom links, and training teachers and assistants on remote technology--that the staff overcame in a short period of time.

While not ideal, Kim says the online arrangement has allowed a blessing: people around the world are taking these classes. She says people are participating from South America and Africa, as well as cities in the U. S. 

Pacesetters Ministry Pivots to COVID-19 Needs

On March 12th the Dwell Pacesetters’ ministry was ready to launch a bi-weekly Bible study for senior citizens. But that same day Ohio issued COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, and it was put on hold.

That hasn’t stopped the Pacesetters’ ministry from serving seniors in a different way—both those in Dwell and those in the community. Pacesetters has paired 80 Dwell seniors with younger volunteers who are checking in with them by phone, chatting with them, and praying with them. If needed, they’re picking up groceries and running other errands so the seniors can stay safely at home.

Katie McCauley is in the college ministry, and she and some of her roomates are volunteering. She says the older woman she's connected with seemed very appreciative, and that a short phone call went a long way to be helpful.

And Katie says she, herself, found it helpful--"I was encouraged to hear an example of what it looks like to follow God for the long haul. And it was challenging for me to hear the woman request prayers for her family's safety and talk about how much she missed seeing people in our fellowship." Katie encourages you to consider becoming a volunteer since it's something you can do from home.

In addition, Pacesetters has gathered up encouraging notes and cards for people who live at Friendship Village in Columbus. The group dropped off more than 200 cards to be distributed there. This is in addition to hundreds more cards and letters from individual home churches.

If you’d like to be a part of these volunteer efforts, contact Pacesetters at pacesetters@dwellcc.org

Good Grief Group Will Meet Online

By John Montgomery

The Good Grief discussion group will conduct a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, April 21st, at 6:30 pm. This group provides support, comfort, and understanding for high school, college and young adults who have lost a loved one.

The state of emergency in our country not only causes grief but enhances grief that is already present. Grief cannot be quarantined or isolated until a “convenient” time. Yet grief and suffering by nature are isolating.

In his book, Forever, Paul Tripp observes that suffering tends to isolate us from the people nearest us and makes us feel that others cannot understand what we are experiencing. Tripp also notes how suffering can cloud any sense of faith or trust in God because of the unanswered “why” questions. Yet, connection to others and to faith can be essential in times of grief.

During a time of grief, it is important to seek out people who acknowledge our loss and who will listen to our raw expression of grief. Sharing pain with others won't make it disappear, but it will, over time, make it more bearable, more understandable, and less isolating.

Although no two people experience grief in the same way, by attending Good Grief you may find that other people have had experiences, feelings, and struggles that are similar to your own. Good Grief also provides opportunities to comfort and support others. Often you don’t realize how much you have learned or how well you are doing until you find yourself comforting and supporting someone else in their grief struggles.

Please encourage anyone you think might benefit from this group to attend. Email grief@dwellcc.org  or text 614-268-7998 to obtain the Zoom log in or ask any questions.

Plans Move Forward to Establish Urban High School

In a few months Dwell is hoping to fulfill a long standing dream of opening an urban high school, dedicated to helping students succeed, academically, relationally, and spiritually, as they transition from middle to high school and beyond. Akili is scheduled to start its first school year in July (dependent on current COVID-19 restrictions being lifted). It now has a website for more information: akilichristianhs.org.

The name Akili is a Swahili word meaning “the mind, common sense, wisdom,” and the school’s mission is to teach students the valuable trait of wisdom through their experiences and education at Akili.

Ari Adkins is the principal of Akili, and has been working with Student Ministries Division Coordinator Joe Botti to create and establish this new school. Ari says the idea was born out of Dwell’s history of working with low-income families through Urban Concern and Harambee Christian School. Although most Harambee graduates earn their high school diploma, many struggle spiritually in their high school years, succumbing to the difficult atmosphere they encounter in public high school. They have been invested into so wisely and lovingly while at Harambee, yet the pull of the world system is strong. Ari says, “Our hope is that by establishing Akili Christian High School, we can provide students with a sound spiritual environment as well as learning environment, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed relationally and functionally after high school and into our college ministry.”

To this end Akili will promote the Christian worldview with an emphasis on the importance of character. Akili will offer Bible classes as well as encouraging students to engage with Dwell high school Bible studies. They will also be mentored by mature adults—Dwell Life Coaches who can help with important practical skills like personal finance, nutrition, securing a driver’s permit, job acquisition, and skill-building. Ari says they not only hope to equip students for the real world, but also to equip and motivate them to return to mentor others with the same needs, and to become effective leaders in their communities as well.

Elders Announce Financial Plans during Covid Crisis

After much praying, research, and discussion, Dwell elders have put together their plans for handling the church's financial matters at this time. Here's their statement:

We wanted to make our church aware of steps we are taking at this time related specifically to finances of the church. We need to be prepared for an anticipated impact on donations as a result of this time of economic instability. At the same time, we don't want to overreact or fail to see God's provision for us at this time.

We will be taking a very conservative approach at this point to the budget presented earlier this year and voted on by the FST. Specifically:

  • We will seek to help our staff as a first priority, keeping people working as much as feasible and paid through the next two months in particular. All staff who can work from home are doing that, and limited staff whose work is required on-site at any church facility are all strictly following CDC protocols for safety.
  • Growth in our 2020 budget is frozen. We will not be initiating any of the Strategic Initiatives that were proposed and presented for inclusion in our annual plans.
  • "Black-Ink" items that were approved for spending by the FST will be put on hold at this time.
  • Projects that we had planned for the year, including one's previously approved but not yet underway, are also all put on hold at this point.

We greatly appreciate the generous and sacrificial church we are part of. Those of us who can continue to give robustly should stay the course, even as some of us can no longer do so.

Any or all of these steps can be revisited as our financial picture becomes clearer in the future. 
Thank you for your support, and your witness and service in our communities.   
 

Serving from Home Through Prayer: Missions

Through prayer, you can serve even while respecting the governor's order to stay home. For the next few weeks we'll feature some prayer points for different ministries in Dwell. Today, some items from the Missions Division:

During this tumultuous time of lock-downs and limited physical contact, many of our Global Partners around the world will struggle to gather together for fellowship. Not only that, but many of our partners work among some of the poorest people in the world, and this pandemic disease will have the worst effects on the poor. Pray for creativity and resilience in their churches and efforts to serve their communities.

Here are updates and prayer needs from a few of our partners:

Ethiopia

  • Prayer requests: "We recently returned from visiting our partner, Bethel Church, in Ethiopia. It was very encouraging to see their growth in both the house churches and in leadership. Last year, we worked together with the elders of Bethel to formulate a plan for church planting over the next five years. Their leadership in this area has been excellent and they have already made tremendous strides toward their goals. To date there are over 1,000 people attending 57 house churches! During our visit we were also able to help them facilitate a medical clinic in a region where they aim to plant new churches. After the clinic Bethel church followed up with patients and will try to start a home church. This is a really exciting move since the region is relatively unreached, other than a couple of house churches that Bethel has planted nearby. In addition to the clinic, we provided a training seminar for church planters and home church leaders. We covered content from the book of Acts about early church growth. Pray that the home church leaders and church planters would persevere in this trying time and continue strengthening the home churches."
  • Coronavirus Update: There are fewer than a dozen cases reported in Ethiopia, but there is concern the virus could spread quickly and that there are more people infected. Pray for the Kassa family and their health.

Friendship Ministries Cambodia

Pages