VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/17/12)—Once again, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) will sponsor “Here Until the Work is Done VI” Ecumenical Work Week 2012 in New Orleans, La., Aug. 5-11. Volunteers of all faiths are needed to help Hurricane Katrina victims, still living with destruction wrought by the storm, to rebuild homes, churches and communities.
Volunteers will paint, lay sheet rock, cut grass and run errands, among other tasks, as well as support and encourage those in need. Construction skills are not required; unskilled workers will be supervised and directed on the job. The week will also include worship opportunities with people of faith from across the United States.
“The amount of recovery work yet to be completed will surprise volunteers,” says Victoria Goff, ABHMS national coordinator, Volunteer Ministries. “Even though it’s hot, humid and uncomfortable in New Orleans in August, the reward of sharing God’s love through this work with many who feel forgotten brings incomparable refreshment to the spirit.”
Individuals as well as mission work groups, from churches or regions, for example, are welcome, along with those who can attend only part of the week. All ages are invited, but youth and youth groups are particularly encouraged to participate. This week of witness that visibly transforms lives—lives of volunteers as well as those in need—holds special lessons for young people.
Round trip transportation costs to New Orleans are the responsibility of volunteers. Additional costs include lodging ($30 per night) and registration ($25 per person; youth under 12 free). Scholarships are available.
Those who cannot participate in the week can support the effort by:
- making a financial contribution;
- sponsoring a participant;
- helping to spread the word; and
- praying for participants and full restoration of the Gulf Coast.
Launched by the National Council of Churches in 2007, Ecumenical Work Week has been coordinated by ABHMS since 2010.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.