VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/9/14)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) announces that “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done”—formerly known as “Ecumenical Work Week”—has been slated for Aug. 3-9, 2014.
The renaming of the yearly volunteer effort to rebuild New Orleans’ hurricane-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward is intended to spotlight the need for continued work and ministry in the region. In addition, AB GIRLS will be joining the effort. The national leadership team of AB GIRLS, a ministry of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, is encouraging girls to attend ’Til the Work is Done to participate in this critical mission and, through special opportunities for girls during the week, build relationships with other girls of faith. (For more information about AB GIRLS and AB Women’s Ministries, visit www.abwministries.org.)
“Almost nine years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, residents continue their efforts to rebuild, but they need our support,” says Victoria Goff, ABHMS national coordinator of Volunteer Ministries. “Members of the faith community were first responders, and we will continue to be there for storm survivors until the work is done.”
Volunteers will paint, lay sheet rock, tend community gardens, cut grass and install insulation, 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. In addition, the week will include worship opportunities with people of faith from across the United States, including one to be led by AB GIRLS.
Individuals and groups are welcome for all or part of the week. While all ages are invited, youth and youth groups are particularly encouraged to participate, as this effort holds special lessons for young people. This week of witness will visibly transforms lives—those of volunteers as well as those of residents.
Round-trip transportation costs to New Orleans are the responsibility of volunteers. Additional costs include lodging ($30 per night) and registration ($25 per person). Scholarships are available.
Launched by the National Council of Churches in 2007, the effort has been coordinated by ABHMS since 2010. More than 570 American Baptists have volunteered since its inception.
Those unable to volunteer 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.
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 is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.