Every Thursday evening, the Church provides a community supper, where anyone is welcome for a meal and fellowship. The purpose of the dinner is to lift people up and be supportive. At least once a month, Youth Campus members provide singing or dancing entertainment, help serve dinner and clean, and spend time socializing with the Church members preparing the meal. Pastor Laurie Hartzell, a member of the Church for over 20 years, said, “The kids are so excited to participate. They always want to do more, more than there even is to do!” She is also excited about the ownership that supper attendees are taking in the Clubs. “These are OUR kids,” she has heard them say. Pastor Hartzell has seen, firsthand, the difference that has been made within the city when local kids are volunteering to be such good stewards of the community.
The Church family has also been supportive to the Clubs in times of struggle. Pastor Hartzell and trained members of the congregation volunteer to counsel and talk with Club members and staff whenever tragedy and trauma affect the Club. The recent death of a Club member left youth and teen members, as well as instructors, dealing with their grief. The Church was there to counsel the grief and make sense of the misfortune thrust upon kids, their families, and our community.
“The Clubs are one of the best things in Benton Harbor,” says Pastor Hartzell. “We just want to continue to pour water on it and help it grow.”