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Encouragement Link is a duly registered non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to bring peopleAshland Dickey Crew  2007 into relationship withEncouragement Link the Lord. David and Jenna Winkowitsch established the ministry near North Dickinson in 1999, and continue to provide “hands-on” leadership. The ministry of Encouragement Link focuses on the youth of the area who need spiritual direction and like-skills development. Alan and Gretchen Griffiths serve as our local connection and Alan makes several trips each year to provide supplies and assistance. Two important events during 2012 have become a source of celebration for the staff of Encouragement Link. The first item is the transfer of ownership of Elijah Bible Camp, the camp facility that has been the site of Encouragement Link’s summer camp program for the past ten years. With the change of ownership, there will be very little change at Camp Elijah, but the ministry will be operated under the leadership, values, and organizational approach of Encouragement Link. This is a major step forward in program development. The second event of celebration is the successful reaching of the fundraising goal for the Metropolitan Hall Matching Grant Challenge. Over $20,000 was raised by the December 1 deadline which enables them to receive $10,000 in matching funds. Praise the Lord! This $30,000 for Metropolitan Hall will provide what is needed to complete the large front room of the hall (30’ X 60’) for occupancy. The Hall already provides office space, meeting areas, and a lounge as part of the Coffeehouse ministry. The additional space will be used for gathering events, retreats, and assemblies. David and Jenna have expressed their Praise unto the Lord for such faithful supporters who have given so generously. If you want to know more about Encouragement Link, you can email David and Jenna at elinkup@gmail.com, or talk to Alan and Gretchen. They will be glad to share the story of how God is using this mission to touch the lives of young people who desperately need His love.
 
Ashland Care Center is a concerned group of Christians equipping people to make healthy choices consistent with God's gift of life.  Through outreach, education, and support to women in unplanned pregnancies, and to the community, it promotes choosing life, chastity and healing with God.  With a clearly stated Christian perspective, the Ashland Care Center provides counseling, material support, and material assistance.  Persons are encouraged to consider alternatives other than abortion, and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is presented to all those who ask for help.  With an annual budget of only $60,000, the ACC relies heavily on the donations of churches, individuals and fund-raisers. Our own congregation has the ACC in our church mission budget and also participates in the annual "Baby Bottle" offering in February. ACC is located at 199 Sloan Avenue in Ashland.  Melanie Miller serves as the Executive Director of the ACC.  Our church is grateful for the continuing ministry of this outstanding organization and is proud to partner with them in caring for those with particular needs in our community. Our congregation is encouraged to volunteer time and skills at ACC.  Call 419.281.1111 or go to www.ashlandcarecenter.org for complete details of volunteer opportunities and training.
 
The mission of the is to provide hope and practical assistance with compassionate Transformation Networkaccountability to help people overcome life’s challenges through the power of Jesus Christ. Located on Claremont Ave., this ministry was formed in 1999 with a vision to help people in the Ashland area who have struggled with severe circumstances in life. The Transformation Network is based on relational ministry, a more time-consuming and personal approach, rather than the commodity ministry, a 20th Century model. “Teaching people to fish” is the philosophy utilized with the struggling people instead of that of “giving someone a fish.” The leaders of this ministry feel a special calling to individuals with specific needs: those in jail or recently released from prison, those who have been abused, those with drug or alcohol addictions, or those who have been victims of violence. Focused ministries are offered, including WINGS(life training for inmates moving back into society), Family Life Skills (a 26 week training group that helps individuals and couples break the cycle of dysfunctional behavior), Domestic Violence workshops, Bible studies, Learning To Live-Learning To Love (classes to strengthen Christian marriages), Budget Counseling, Recovery groups, and a Christian Sports Café. Bob Buford and Dan Phillip are the ministry staff and directors of Transformation Network while the remaining staff positions are volunteers. It is guided by a board of local individuals. Our church includes Transformation Network in our mission budget with an annual donation of $600.00. In addition, we have provided scholarship money for an individual to take the Family Life Skills training. For further information on this mission partner call 419-207-1188 or go to the website at www.transformationnetwork.org
 
Located in the heart of downtown Ashland, Pump House Ministries sprawls over four city Pump Houseblocks and includes 17 buildings. The core of these ministries is not located in a building but in the heart of its founder and director, Bruce Wilkinson and his passion to touch people with the love of Jesus. Pump House Ministries encompasses a wide-range of activities and events. Bible studies and training classes are held throughout the week. The Pump House Grille is the setting for five-star fine dining as well as a training experience for those needing to learn practical vocational skills. Revivals 2 Thrift Store provides quality, gently used merchandise at reasonable prices. The 21st Century Learning Center is an innovative after-school program for struggling students. The Food Pantry gives away nearly 3000 pounds of packaged food weekly to those in need. In addition, three meals are served daily, Monday through Friday, to whomever shows up hungry. The Carpenter’s Program is a ministry of rehabilitation and job training for those seeking a life-style change. The Homestead is a dormitory-style residence for men who need a place to stay. In addition, the River of Life is a prayer ministry of healing and intercession for anyone who seeks the touch of God’s hand. Special events include “Easter in Ashland” and “The Alternative” (a Christian alternative to Halloween). Ashland Dickey Church is a partner with the Pump House Ministries providing budget support from offerings as well as volunteering time and talents. If you have an interest in living out your faith in the “hands on” manner, contact Bruce Wilkinson at Pump House Ministries at 419-207-3900 or visit their website: www.pumphouseministries.com
 
Camp Inspiration Hills is a campground owned and operated by the Northern Ohio District Church of the Brethren. It features a clear Christian focus challenging campers to grow in their faith and experience a new appreciation for God’s creation. The 212 acre facility on Highway 604 just west of Route 83 north of Wooster consists of beautiful woods, open meadows, and a four acre pond. Each summer Camp Inspiration Hills hosts a full camping program for all ages. Specific age-groups are Senior High and Junior High as well as elementary grades with Junior Camp and Three Day/Two Day Camp. In addition, two performing arts camps are Senior High Youth and Junior High Youth. Wilderness Camp provides a camp for those who want to “rough it,” and Bike Camp allows campers to follow a scenic route off-site. Our church provides a 50% scholarship for the youth of the Ashland Dickey CoB to attend any of these sessions. In the summer, adults may participate in one of two Work Camps and other opportunities for involvement with multiple age events. During the rest of the year, Camp Inspiration Hills hosts many groups, including public school outdoor education classes, Koinania retreats, district picnics and cook-outs and individual church events.  Two summer events for our congregation are the District Picnic in June and the Chicken Bar-B-Q in September. The additional budget support from our church is $4,600.00. Camp Inspiration Hills is a gorgeous facility for our congregation. Take a drive to check it out (about 35 minutes from Ashland) and tour the camp.
 
 
TheBrethren Mission Fund mission statement of the Brethren Mission Fund, headed by Earl Ziegler, is that “With the salvation of souls around the world as its chief aim, the Brethren Mission Fund provides a channel through the Brethren Revival Fellowship to help resource sound Brethren mission work or Brethren workers wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ is being presented. “ With this clear purpose in mind, the BMF sponsors seven missionary couples, work camps, mission projects, and on-going ministries. Information on these ministries is in the BMF Newsletter printed in our “Brethren Beacon” which is circulated five or six times a year. Since its inception, the Ashland Dickey CoB has supported the BMF and because of our close connection with the Brethren Revival Fellowship and the overseers of the BMF, we do not need to designate our financial support ($900.00) that goes to the BMF but have complete confidence that it will be used appropriately.
 
The Ashland Christian Health Center(ACHC) opened its doors on August 16, 2003 as an outreach ministry of the churches of Ashland County to provide holistic health care for the uninsured or under-insured individuals of Ashland County. Located at 380 Fourth Street, ACHC is staffed by volunteers who are committed to taking care of the whole person just as Jesus did. Patients are seen on a first come, first served basis on Tuesday evenings beginning at 6:30 PM as well as on Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. The Health Center is for any adult (age 18 or over) who is without health insurance or whose income falls below 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. Patients are asked to pay $20 per visit; however, they are seen whether they are able to pay or not. If unable to pay, patients are asked to perform four hours of volunteer community service. In the first year, local agencies received over 155 hours of volunteer service from the ACHC patients. Prescribed medications are provided at reduced prices through the local pharmacies of Buehler’s, Discount Drug Mart, Samaritan Hospital. ACHC is staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses, receptionists and greeters.  On average each daily clinic sees an average of 14 patients with a wide range of medical problems. Dr. Roger Snyder is chairman of the ACHC Board with Bobbi Harpster as the Executive Director. Ashland Dickey CoB has budgeted $800 for the year. ashlandchristianhealthcenter.org

 

Shoebox
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the mission emphasis for the month of October. Ruth Ann Yocum is the shoebox coordinator. Shoeboxes are filled with small toys, school supplies, personal hygiene items and other appropriate items for children around the world. The age groups range from 2-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-14 years. Ashland Dickey CoB has provided over 100 boxes for this important ministry. Most importantly the congregation is asked to pray for these children every day.
 
SAMARITAN’S PURSE CHRISTMAS BOX PROJECT
Gift box suggestions and ideas: “Freebies” like note pads, pens and pencils, nail files, hats, etc. It doesn’t matter if they have a logo. Handmade items like headscarves (square or triangle with ties), hats, small stuffed animals, washcloth puppets, wooden toys, jewelry, etc.
 
Monthly seasonal or holiday sales:
JANUARY: Christmas plastic cups, small stuffed animals, pencils, stocking stuffers at Wal-Mart, large package of small cars that can be divided, socks, t-shirts.
FEBRUARY: Valentine plastic cups, small stuffed animals, pencils, small gift items, play jewelry, stickers, balloons, hats, mittens, socks, t-shirts.
MARCH: Coloring books, water color paints, small story books with mostly pictures (Wal-Mart carries ones with Christian themes), St. Patty’s day items, winter clearance items.
APRIL: Easter plastic cups, small stuffed animals or toys, kaleidoscope, bunny ears, whistles, small puzzles, socks, t-shirts, blow up items (they don’t take up much room) coloring books, stickers, things with Easter message.
MAY: Balloons, ball caps, small box of chalk, bandanas, summer style hats, sunglasses, jump rope.
JUNE: Travel size games, children’s card games, Slinky.
JULY: Patriotic items, reduced summer items like t-shirts, shorts, flip flops, sunglasses, beach balls.
AUGUST: Great time for school supplies like crayons, pens and pencils, markers, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, rulers, erasers.
SEPTEMBER: Batteries, travel size etch-a-sketch, soap, washcloth, toothbrush, tooth paste.
OCTOBER: Reduced Halloween candy (hard), flashlights or other light-up items, funny or light-up headbands.
NOVEMBER: Complete boxes. Bring to church along with the $7.00 for postage per shoebox. A volunteer then will take to Park Street Brethren Church
DECEMBER: PRAY!! for mailing of packages, children to receive them and their families, for volunteers, for God’s blessings.
DO NOT SEND: glass, liquid, chocolate, war related items/toys/figures.
 
Emergency Disaster Fund - One of the key characteristics of the Brethren movement has always been a sense of responsibility to “help those in need.” Our church began in an era of persecution, and the sharing of wealth and goods was essential for survival. In the 300 years that have followed, our desire to “be like Jesus” has been the motivation for several relief ministries, including the Emergency Disaster Fund. Established in 1960 as part of the Church of the Brethren Disaster Response Ministry of the General Board, the Emergency Disaster Fund provides a way to channel resources quickly and effectively. Trained staff work with a network of relief agencies to insure that donated money and supplies are not wasted or squandered. Whenever there is a need, whether from a natural disaster or political strife, assessment teams are dispatched as soon as possible, working in close connection with Church World Service, the Red Cross, local government officials, and local congregations. Specific needs are identified, and information is distributed throughout the denomination; Church of the Brethren members around the world are given an opportunity to help. In 2005 over one million dollars was distributed from the Emergency Disaster Fund, the highest total in the 45 years of the fund. The concerned areas included the Tsunami relief, Hurricane Katrina relief, as well as relief efforts for other hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and drought. Besides monetary assistance, the fund helped with refugee assistance, food distribution and housing needs. We are excited to be part of this important ministry. In 2005 besides the budgeted $1500, two special offerings for the Tsunami Relief and the Katrina Relief were given. The 2008 church budget has $1500 designated for the EDF, and special offerings will be authorized by the Stewardship Commission when appropriate. This is one way that we all can partner together to help those that are starving, those that are homeless, those that are injured, those that need love….. “Bringing hope and healing to broken lives.”
 
 
The Ashland County Food Bank was started in 1980 by the Ashland County Ministerial Association out of a desire to help those in need throughout our area. Originally housed in one of the local churches, the current facility was purchased by the Ministerial Association (funds were raised from churches and individuals) and donated in 1988. Located at 121 West South Street, just one block off of Main Street behind Gilbert’s Furniture store, there is easy access from the city parking lot on the south side. While Associated Charities and the Food Bank are technically two distinct organizations with separate governing boards, it is hard to imagine one without the other. Because of the overlap both in mission and in function, the Ministerial Association asked Associated Charities to be the distribution arm of the Food Bank, since Associated Charities was already a long-standing benevolent organization in our community, having been started by the churches in the early 1900’s. Today, both organizations share the same facility, many of the same staff, volunteers, and clientele. It is a partnership that provides efficiency and maximizes donated resources. The Executive Director, Rosemarie Donley, reports that prior to the Christmas season, they were seeing 16-20 individuals and families per day who were in need of food, clothing, and everyday supplies. Now that the holiday season has arrived, that number has jumped to over 30 per day. In 2004, the Food Bank helped provide nourishment for almost 500 families, and Associated Charities gave out over 50,000 articles of clothing. People in Ashland County are seeking help because of two primary reasons: health problems that have sapped their financial resources and unemployment.  The monthly needs appear in the Brethren Beacon newsletter, and items that are placed in the tub at the back of the sanctuary are delivered by Rick Koch on a regular basis.  www.associatedcharities.com