I recently had the honor of appearing on the Christians Speak Up Podcast hosted by Eddie Jones. We had a great conversation! Enjoy!
The idea is a natural outgrowth of my life.
During the hardest times of my life, the Church was there. A church–the one I attended–but also THE Church–a small piece of it–represented largely in a denomination not my own. The help from those within my worship community and part of other such communities kept my family from being stuck in the poverty trap.
We knew deep need, and the Church stepped up. But we didn’t just get a hand out–or a number of them. We got a hand up.
Christians provided gifts of food, clothing, and money to us. But they also provided childcare so I could go back to school–and advice on how to succeed there and in the workplace. They encouraged. They walked with us.
We did not stay in poverty. And we have those Christians to thank today.
And so is born the idea of the Central Pennsylvania Service Fair–an event to let people in need know where they can get help–or how they can offer help to others.
The idea involves inviting Christian non-profits to participate in the fair. Pregnancy Resources organizations as well as feeding ministries. Children’s, youth, men’s, and women’s ministries. Ministries that provide material needs; ministries for spiritual needs. That’s who we’ve invited to begin.
And then inviting the community–offering fun activities for the family–and a meal. Food is a universal language of fellowship. And we want the day–for a few hours one day next month–to be a day of friendship and fellowship.
–To gather in worship before the event and lift up our community in prayer.
–To let this church over here realize that the church over there is filling a need no one else in the community fills.
–To let people know that someone is there to fill the need that makes them feel all alone in the world.
One church alone cannot lift a community of those in need. It takes individuals and congregations.
Every person who steps up places a brick of support into the wall those in need climb to get out of the hole they inhabit. They have to climb out themselves–but they need the wall of support in order to scale the heights.
A service fair can be a layer of bricks in somebody’s wall to climb out of their hole. The person we help today is valuable to God. And that person receiving help today may be the one giving help tomorrow.
You don’t know the difference your help can make. And you don’t really know the depth of the person you help. What you can know is that no one is beneath the love of Christ. No human being is ordinary.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”[i] —C. S. Lewis
Find a need. Fill it. Lay a brick in someone’s wall. What we do can change eternity.
[i] C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1949), 15. Qtd. in Restoring the Shattered
Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!
Photo Credit: Unsplash and Wright Place for Kids
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Nancy Head’s Restoring the Shattered leads the reader through a compelling and emotional story of the life of a woman who has experienced the best and worst moments of the modern-day church. At the same time, Nancy artfully weaves the surprisingly fascinating history of the church’s theology and its politics in a way that will challenge all of us to walk worthy of our calling.
—Bob Gresh, husband of best-selling author Dannah Gresh (nearly half a million books sold)
In Restoring the Shattered, Nancy’s account of her life experience, intertwined with historic events and lessons from faith leaders of many disciplines, mirrors the personal problems and societal tensions present in the Christian church. Ironically, as the Reverend Billy Graham came to Altoona in 1949 and found discourse in the church strained enough to test his commitment to evangelism, Nancy sees the same discourse today stretching well beyond the city limits of her hometown. Fortunately, through faith and determination, the difficult times strengthened Billy’s and Nancy’s resolve and both were better equipped to encourage others in their journey with Christ.
—Pennsylvania State Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
Since the beginning of Christendom, believers have not only engaged in the discussion of difference versus agreement on the doctrines we find within the Bible but have often found themselves participating in the nature of disagreement that brings hurt to individuals and to the church. In her book Restoring the Shattered, Nancy sensitively traces the history of division and encourages the church to focus on those doctrines that bring both harmony and light. She does this through sharing her struggles of separation within her own family and uses the images of shattered glass to illustrate our brokenness. It is a subject that we should not neglect and one that will benefit the church and individuals.
—Stella Price, author of Chosen for Choson (Korea) and God’s Collaborator
When I met Nancy, she served a university-appointed role as a mentor-teacher to me. She gave every impression of a whole person, a great look for a mentor to have. But like all of us, the external appearance of perfection exists only on the surface. Yet Nancy does have an internal assurance of completion—one which comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ. Restoring the Shattered offers readers a chance to examine breaks on every layer to see the combined work of restoration on which Nancy and Christ have embarked and offers hope and advice for those who wish to traverse that same path with him.
—Reverend Adam Shellenbarger, pastor, Joppatown Christian Church, Joppatown, Maryland
Restoring the Shattered is a wonderful first-person perspective of a person on the path of Christianity. It shows the commonality of Christian beliefs that can be shared in our confusing world.
—George Foster, businessman and lay Catholic
I’m a pastor who Nancy gets to hear all the time. It’s been a joy and a privilege to read her and hear what she has to say. She is the real deal! Her passion and insight come through in everything she does, including in her book Restoring the Shattered. This is a joy to read, and it can help you on your life’s journey.
—Reverend John Collins, First Church of Christ, Altoona, Pennsylvania
Paperbacks available later this month. E-version available October 5.