First Christian Church Texas City Invites a Blue Theology Mission Station to Engage Children
Each year, the National Benevolent Association invites congregations and ministries to apply for a Mission & Ministry Grant. These grants are reserved specifically for projects that will impact older adults as well as historically excluded youth and young adults. Below is a story from a grantee who received funds for their work in 2022.
First Christian Church in Texas City is just completing our first year as a Mission Station Outpost for the Blue Theology youth education program, which was created by Pacific Grove Christian Church in California. Our church is an outpost for the Galveston Bay area of the western Gulf of Mexico. The Blue Theology program is a great fit for us as we have members who are extremely passionate about caring for the ocean. We are excited about bringing this program to Texas to help area youth groups understand the theological connection of caring for the ocean.
During our pilot year, we hosted two youth groups representing three different churches. Our intent was to also host a third group comprised of historically disenfranchised youth, utilizing the grant money received through NBA’s Mission & Ministry Grant program. Although we’ve had difficulties in scheduling, we are continuing to work towards hosting them. The grant money will assist in covering the cost of entry into the events, providing food for the group, and covering administrative costs.
Our two completed groups visited a nearby Fish Hatchery in Lake Jackson, participated in a program at Moody Gardens, helped the Galveston Bay Area Foundation plant sea grasses, and completed several beach clean-ups. While in the church, the groups had lessons on the importance of caring for the ocean and the enormity of the task. The kids also learned how to make sleeping bags for the homeless from recycled plastic shopping bags, wrote postcards to elected officials to share their concerns about environmental issues, and had discussions about how to ’be blue back home.’ Each evening they had a service in the sanctuary to close the day. The two groups we hosted so far were successful and provided a great deal of learning for the attendees as well as for our Blue Theology team!
We also used this inaugural year of the program to develop relationships with some of the area programs that will be excellent partners for future groups. We will use the ‘off season’ (winter months) to continue to strengthen relationships and find additional opportunities. We are extremely appreciative of the work done by Gabrielle Poli from Creation Justice Ministries as she picked up much of the slack where we needed experienced people to help us make the program meaningful while we learned ourselves. We also appreciate being the recipient of a Mission & Ministry Grant!
Are you interested in receiving grant funds for your health and social service project? Consider applying for a Mission & Ministry Grant here.