News Briefs: Sports, Camps, Multicultural Ministry

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (June 16, 2011) – Nearly 300 residents of North Minneapolis whose neighborhood was heavily damaged by a deadly May 23 tornado were inspired by Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who spoke to them at an event sponsored through Sanctuary Covenant Church.

The talk by the two-time Super Bowl winner had been planned months before, but was especially needed for the residents who are trying to recover from the storm.

Sharing several of his own struggles, including a career-ending knee injury, Frazier told the gathering, “I don’t let circumstances control my Christianity. My faith has propelled me in many adverse situations.”

Former Vikings punter Greg Coleman, through his involvement with North Minneapolis’ Sanctuary Covenant Church, organized the event. “When I saw Leslie Frazier take over the Vikings as head coach, I was inspired,” Coleman said. “I saw what he did to that football team, how he brought them together. I knew he could do that in this community. He has a platform, and these people need hope.”

Sanctuary Covenant Church as well as its Community Development Corporation have assisted and coordinated relief efforts in the neighborhood. The Vikings contributed $10,000 to the church’s effort.

To read more about Frazier’s talk, click here.

Covenant Harbor Summer Series Begins Sunday

LAKE GENEVA, WI – The summer series of Sunday worship services at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp begins at 10:30 a.m. this coming Sunday.

Sunday’s speaker will be William Crowder, Sports Spectrum chaplain, author and Bible teacher with RBC Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark and Teri Reed will return for their third summer season to serve as worship leaders.

It has become a tradition for Covenanters throughout the Lake Geneva and greater Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford areas to enjoy a grilled lunch or picnic and enjoy full use of the waterfront following the worship services each Sunday until the waterfront area closes at 4 p.m. For a list of other speakers scheduled for the Summer Sunday Worship series, click here.

The 2011 summer staff will be commissioned at the conclusion of this Sunday’s service with the first campers of the season arriving later in the afternoon. Openings remain for campers who have not yet registered for camp sessions later in the summer.

Harlem Congregation Honor Different Cultures

NEW YORK, NY – Jose Humphreys, co-pastor of Metro Hope Covenant Church, says in a recently published online interview that “people should be able to bring their whole selves to church. White, black, Asian or Latino, people are not expected to lose themselves … if you’re really made in the image of God, then your culture matters, your history matters, where you live counts.”

His comments are part of an interview that he and his wife, Mayra, gave to FaithStreet, a new organization seeking to connect people with New York City churches. Mayra co-pastors the congregation.

“Our church on a Sunday is now becoming more and more representative of the changing landscape of Harlem,” says Jose. “It’s nice to have singles and families that represent different cultures and ethnicities, worshipping together on a Sunday morning.”

Mayra adds, “We continually work to create a space where we’re actually listening to folks – deeply listening – honoring moments where people can feel affirmed in their identity, and even their questions about faith.”

Acknowledging that their Harlem neighborhood is filled with churches, the couple has started the church believing it can play a unique but mutual role with other congregations. “We also knew people would say, ‘Oh, it’s just another church,’ ” says Mayra. “But we were more interested in how our church could partner with others for God’s kingdom in Harlem. We try our best to take on the posture of collaboration with churches and institutions in our neighborhood.”

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