First Christian Church
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Disciples of Christ in Dexter, Missouri
August 7, 2019
Arkansas congregation offers literacy support to community
When the problems facing the world, the nation, the town feel insurmountable, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but that’s just when it’s most important to lend a hand. Or a book.
Pine Bluff, AR, a town of about 40,000 people, has been “economically destroyed,” explains Rev. Kevin Robbins, minister at First Christian Church. “We have high crime, high unemployment. Once upon a time, Pine Bluff was the jewel of this part of the state. But somewhere in the 1970s-1990s, industry started fleeing.”
Now, the city is working to rebuild the town and attract new industries. The capstone of that initiative, Rev. Robbins says, is building a new library, still under construction.
There, First Christian Church saw an opportunity to form a new partnership and fill an important need in their struggling community.
Congregation volunteers started offering a monthly children’s reading program in the old library’s small theater. For those children and families, this program provided a safe, inviting place to gather and learn.
“I learned in seminary to know my scope,” Rev. Robbins remembers. “I can’t educate every kid in Pine Bluff, but I know I can provide a group of people, to welcome them, warm them, and read a story once a month.”
SENT Seminar application deadline this week
The NBA Incubate SENT Seminar equips Social ENTrepreneurs for leadership and change! This four-day seminar is designed for Disciples and their leadership teams who are starting new health and social services ministries. The SENT Seminar will cover the basics of nonprofit ministry startups, as well as skills for leadership and change in our global and faith communities. We invite Disciples social entrepreneurs with a budding health or social service ministry, or a solid idea for one, to apply. 
This year's event will be held Sept. 11-14 in Scottsdale, AZ. The application window is open now, and registration for those selected to attend, will be open through Aug. 9.
Watch streamed General Assembly worship services, thanks to sponsor ministries