Fueling the Passion

Church #1. Meet Krista Lovell. She is the Mission Coordinator at Faith Presbyterian Church, a worshiping community of 300 in Huntsville, Alabama (www.presby.org). In 2016, over half of the members of her church (approximately 175 people) were involved in 20+ service project. That’s amazing!

 One day Krista started to poke around the church and stumbled into an old fashion church library.  She thought, “Here sits a room, not in use, and no one has checked out a book in years! This room is prime real estate to do something new.”

Space with high visibility can speak in ways that this old library caught the attention of Krista. She dreamt of what the library room could be. With 10 % of the church’s budget going to missions and outreach, Krista wanted a space that could connect people of all ages to the 34 mission partners. Her vision casted caught the enthusiasm of the church!

She got as many people involved as she could to transform the dusty library into a new Mission Center. With the foot traffic in the hallway, people stopped in to visit the center and learn about the different projects. Each mission partner has a shelf which tells a story by displaying what that mission partner is about, their needs, and ways to be involved.

Krista said, “I give tours to all ages and stages of life, who are interested in stepping out in missions. It’s a match making process so by visiting the Mission Center people can see what they are interested in and sign up.”

But displaying information and events isn’t the only thing that goes on in the Mission Center. There are spontaneous hands-on projects for people to do right away. Kids come in and decorate bags for the weekend food shelf or a Christmas ornament for the giving tree.

Other planned projects happen (in above photos) such as cutting netting material to produce a bag to hold fresh potatoes that are then delivered to feeding agencies (over 40,000 lbs of potatoes!) or intergenerational projects such as tying quilts for the children’s home.

What Krista has learned in the process is that people have passion. They want to make a difference. But it takes listening, asking questions, and interviewing to help people connect with the right mission partner so that they can step out successfully in outreach. That’s what this new space does by breathing life not only into a mission center but into the hearts of those who serve others.

Why does this Mission Center matter? It matters because of what Acts 1:8 says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (NRSV)” This verse doesn’t ask if you want to be but that you will be a faithful witness to the ends of the earth. That includes Alabama! Their vision statement says that “Faith Presbyterian Church seeks to be Worship-Centered and Mission-Focused as we join together in Christ’s ministry.” The Mission Center helps people faithfully live out this vision by being God’s witnesses locally and globally.

To learn more on this story, contact Krista Lovell at  klovell@presby.org or 256-881-4811.

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