Blue River Valley Church of the Nazarene in Springport is a small congregation with a big passion for supporting foster families. Lead Pastor Marcia Freeman and her church felt the call to begin the Helping Hands Foster Ministry in 2018, and they quickly learned how essential this service was to local families.
“This is a passion engraved on my heart and soul,” says Pastor Freeman. “And it is now engraved on my church’s heart and soul.”
This congregation of just 30 worshippers provides respite babysitting, toiletry kits for new foster placements, monthly meals, cards of encouragement, and other services for foster families in their community. The COVID-19 pandemic did not dampen the need for their work: on a single day in the summer of 2020, the ministry received 13 referrals to their program.
In autumn 2020, Blue River Valley received a grant from the Center for Congregations to fund additional advocacy training for members of their church. This training allowed volunteers to deepen a partnership with the Department of Children’s Services in their region and increased their ability to reach foster families who might need their help. In the second half of 2020, they helped 70 foster children through this ministry. Now, their hope is to inspire other congregations to consider whether they, too, could play a role in supporting foster families and children.
To learn more about this program, find resources on any congregational topic, or learn how your congregation can work with the Center, you can contact the Center for Congregations office nearest you.