Thursday, October 25, 2012

Venango County Children's Summit

We hosted the Children's Summit yesterday and had about 130 participants representing agencies, charities, and faith-based groups throughout the county.  The day featured presentations about changes that have been made to the legal system to make it non-adversarial, to decrease the amount of time needed for a child to find permanence (less foster care), to encourage families to take ownership of their problems and assist in the resolution of them, to decrease truancy, to encourage fathers to become more involved in their children's lives, and lastly to harness the faith-based community to help in the process. 
As you know, we've launched Mustard Seed Missions of Venango County in order to utilize the resources (primarily volunteers) of our churches to help people whom CYS has referred to our organization for help.  The help will include transportation, mentoring, and various repair projects designed to help kids (primarily) avoid being put into the system by helping their families to become better integrated in their community and connected churches where they can find acceptance and support.

There is a mountain of work left to go, but the journey has begun.
Thanks to all who have helped thus far, God bless you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mustard Seed Missions of Venango County: A cooperative effort where Faith Works

We finally have a name to simplify our Venango County Children's Roundtable outreach effort.  The committee met today and chose the Mustard Seed Missions of Venango County name under which this county-wide effort will begin.  The first project, a local home in desperate need of repair before winter, will be underway in the next few days, with other referrals from CYS (and other gov't agencies) to follow.  In addition, the transportation and mentoring components will also be up and running soon.
For those who may not know; an effort by local county government aid agencies (headed by CYS) to find faith-based partners to help families in need here in our county has been met by an overwhelming response of ecumenical cooperation in recent months.  The initial response from area churches has been a commitment to help from fifty area churches already, with volunteers for specific aspects of the project being gathered together into a database to help when the needs arise being put together.
In the months ahead, CYS will begin to regularly refer their clients who are willing to receive help from our organization and we will then match them out with volunteers who will bring both physical help and the love of Christ to them.  We are not simply a short-term need based group (although we must also meet that need for each family), but more than that, a group that wants to build long-term church based relationships that will help families to be connected to their community and have the support they need.
This effort will not be possible without the ongoing generous support of hundreds of volunteers whose time and care for those in need will be the true valuable commodity that we offer.  "We love because he first loved us." - I John 4:19

The website: will be up and running soon; we'll link it to the church's wesite
as soon as it is ready.