News

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.

ClassThe 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.

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.

Pacesetters

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

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.

Akili logo

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.

Like Harambee, Akili will strive to help its students meet and exceed state academic benchmarks. Its curriculum will be set up to allow students to complete their graduation requirements by the end of their junior year, so their senior year can focus on one of 3 career pathways: college-preparatory, vocational (trades), and information technology/medical science.

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.   
 

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

  • EthiopoiaPrayer 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

Dwell elders have set up a COVID-19 crisis benevolence fund. Here's their statement about how it will be used:

Given this unfortunate COVOID-19 crisis, we are seeing increasing levels of shut down. Some of our members have already lost jobs, are facing economic hardship, and there is likely more to come. It appears this will continue to worsen for a time, and we all hope for the economy to rebound. Unfortunately, this means some of our dear brothers and sisters who already face financial instability will be hard-pressed and in great need.

In the New Testament, the church took care of the poor financially --especially those belonging "to the family of faith" (Galatians 6:10). These individuals were often orphans and widows, whose families were unable to take care of them (1 Timothy 5:8). As a result, we would like to organize a collection for the poorest members of our church, similar to what the early church did during the famine that ravaged the entire Roman world (Acts 11:27-30). The elders are opening a designated fund to help them.

For those of us who have job security and have been blessed with great resources from God, we should all prayerfully consider digging a little deeper during this difficult time. May God grow us to become more like the Macedonians, and even more so, like his Son: "For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God." (2 Corinthians 8:3-5).

Here is the link to donate: https://member.xenos.org/page/186?AccountIds=159