Local church is promoting more than just egg hunts this Easter

As many churches around the nation are busy preparing for Easter — a “Super Bowl Weekend” of sorts for most — one local church is trying to do more than just entice local residents to join them for a traditional Easter service and an egg hunt.

“Christ Fellowship is an extremely outward- focused church,” said Senior Pastor Rick Blackwood. “We put a large emphasis on serving the hurting and under-resourced in our community, and this year we wanted to make a difference in the lives of the youngest in our community.”

Christ Fellowship just announced to the church a focus on serving the needs of hungry children in Miami-Dade County. Recent statistics show that 70 percent of Miami-Dade students receive the free public school lunch program. Teachers at a school in South Dade, with which the church recently partnered, said, “99 percent of our students were part of this program, and they often find students crying in the hallway because they are hungry or tired.”

Christ Fellowship wants to make an impact in the lives of these children. Therefore, the church has launched a pilot program to provide backpacks full of food for students to take home on Friday afternoon. The goal is to provide food for students who need it during the weekend, when many simply don’t eat.

Christ Fellowship will take a special offering during Easter weekend services to fund the backpack program for the following school year. The goal is to raise $70,000, which will feed 350 students in 2013-14.

With one of the highest volunteer-tostaff ratios of any church in the country, Christ Fellowship provides opportunities for volunteers to get out into their communities and serve those in need. The church hosts more than 1,200 “reach beyond” opportunities every year, which allows congregants to volunteer their time, talents and resources to help others.

Caring for Miami, a ministry arm of Christ Fellowship, offers free medical, dental and mental health counseling services to families in need throughout Miami- Dade as well. Caring for Miami was bolstered this past December when church members gave more than $602,000 to help expand the services to help more people in downtown Miami and Homestead.

Christ Fellowship will accept donations for the backpack program from individuals and corporations. Donations can be made at any campus on Easter weekend, or online at www.cfmiami.org/give. For those interested in becoming backpack program partners, contact the Missions Department at 305-238-1818.

Christ Fellowship (CF) is a Christian church with seven campuses located in Downtown, Palmetto Bay, West Kendall, Homestead, Redland, Coral Gables and one opening in Miami Springs in September.

For more information, call 305-238-1818 or visit www.cfmiami.org

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