Coordinator's Blog

Palmetto Works and CBFSC Enter Three-Year Covenant Partnership

At this year's General Assembly at Timberlake Baptist Church, CBFSC entered a three-year covenantal partnership with Palmetto Works Community Development Corporation in Conway, SC. This ministry, an offshoot of partner congregation Palmetto Missionary Baptist Church, strives to equip everyone for their age and developmentally appropriate work.

 

 

The partnership between CBFSC and Palmetto Works has been growing over time. For the past two years, through missions partnership grants, CBFSC has helped fund their Palmetto Kids summer cultural enrichment program which aims to expose children to music, dance, and the arts. This gives these children the opportunity to explore gifts and abilities that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

This past January youth from across the state joined with Palmetto Works for PilgriMissionSC. During this time of reflection and growth, the youth helped build raised bed garden boxes for Palmetto Works' C.H.O.P.S program. C.H.O.P.S, which stands for  Culinary and Hospitality Operatives Prepared to Serve, "is an 8 month program designed to teach basic culinary skills as well as social, financial and other life skills to returning citizens of Horry County." The gardens will help by providing participants the opportunity to learn about and practice "Farm to Table" food preparation.

We're excited to be entering in to this partnership with Palmetto Works. This three year covenant will allow for a deeper connection between CBFSC congregations and Palmetto Works CDC. If you would like to learn more about Palmetto Works or how you can become involved in their ministry, you can visit their website: www.palmettoworks.com.

The Genius of Congregational Church Government

Very many “yes” and one “no,” is how votes usually went in one church I served.

My dear friend (let’s call him DF for short) would very often vote “no” because he had remaining questions about the issue, the budget, or the implementation of our plans. DF questioned from a faithful heart and voted with the best intentions for the church in mind…though I suspect that once in a while he voted “no” so our decision making wouldn’t seem like a disengaged and perfunctory “rubber stamp.” I love DF and appreciate how much he treasured the processes of congregational governance because it truly is a God-blessed inheritance from our Baptist forebears.

The genius of the congregation having local autonomy, and the thing that DF’s questions and votes assured, is it makes the church perfectly contextual. The congregation through committees, councils, deacon boards, votes—whatever processes it chooses—decides who leads the church and what it does in the community and world. No one from outside a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-related congregation can tell it who to call as pastor, who to ordain as a deacon, where to send their money, or what mission endeavor best reflects the heart of the church. Local autonomy frees the congregation to tune their life together toward the particular call of God on them. Congregational governance leads to incarnational ministry because your physical location in a community shapes how you live God’s call.

The congregation exists as the highest authority in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship life so the Spirit’s work in the local church guides who we are as a Fellowship. As churches choose leaders and engage in missions, as they adapt to cultural change and adopt future visions, we encourage that autonomy and invite collaboration for missions and ministry together. Autonomy plus collaboration means that there is a lot of diversity among CBF-related congregations because the contexts of ministry vary across the Fellowship. CBFSC’s mission to encourage congregations to thrive, nurture spiritual development, and value innovative and collaborative missions and ministry is shaped by the ministry and vision of local congregations.

Congregational governance makes ministry perfectly contextual. Collaboration lead by local autonomy makes missions and ministry global while expressing the faith and heart of congregations. Dear friends may not always agree with one another but when committed to each other, with the Spirit’s help, they show Christ’s love in unique ways for their community and our world.

Transforming York Together

CBF of SC partner congregation, First Baptist York, in partnership with Tender Hearts Ministries of York, is actively engaged in transforming the lives of homeless women and children. Tender Hearts Ministries is an independent 501c3 that works to help transition homeless women and their children from lives on the streets to productive lives in society. Through a rigorous process, the women learn self-sufficiency, find work, and learn to care for their family. Tender Hearts desired this program to last 24 months, but due to legal restrictions, they are only able to offer shelter and on-site programming to their clients for nine months.

Answering the call to help, First Baptist York has allowed Tender Hearts Ministries to use their 20140930_133811mission house as transitional housing for one woman and her children at a time. In this setting, the women are able to learn more about self-sufficiency and responsible financial decisions, and the programming of Tender Hearts Ministries can continue for longer than the nine month restriction. This allows for greater success in transforming the lives of these women and children.

CBF of SC was able to partner with First Baptist York through a Project Grant. Their mission house is an older home, and it was in need of a new roof and some flooring so that this partnership could continue.

Your support of the Beverly Greer Offering for State Missions makes such projects possible. By clicking here, you can invest in projects and partnerships like this one. Simply choose "State Missions" in the menu as you make your gift.

Transforming Conway Together

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina’s partner, Palmetto Kids is actively working to transform the lives of some of Conway’s at-risk children. This year, through our partnership grants, CBF of SC was able to partner with their summer cultural enrichment camp, which gave the children a safe place to be, while also teaching them music, art, and dance. [embed]http://youtu.be/4LsWiR7Y948[/embed]

During the year, Palmetto Kids offers after-school programming for these children. On Mondays, the children are part of a Freedom Readers program aiming to achieve higher literacy rates while providing children with age-appropriate books that they add to their home library. The rest of the week, the children take part in arts, theater, music, and dance classes.

Your support of CBF of SC’s Beverly Greer Offering for State Missions helps us to partner with ministries like Palmetto Works that are actively transforming the lives of children around our state. Please click here, and choose "State Missions" in the drop-down menu to invest in this kind of Kingdom work.

Take some time to visit Palmetto Works’ website to learn more about Palmetto Kids and their other, transformative ministries in Conway.