400 Churches Commit to Unprecedented Detroit Outreach
DETROIT—More than 400 evangelical churches and Christian organizations throughout the metropolitan Detroit area have mobilized to form a massive and unprecedented outreach effort aimed at impacting people in need in the region.
Participants will engage in hundreds of local efforts to bring the Good News and good deeds to communities through an initiative called EACH—Everyone A Chance to Hear—starting on Easter Sunday this April.
"This is all about showing the love of Jesus through both our prayers and our actions," said Bob Shirock, senior pastor of Oak Pointe Church in Novi, Mich., and lead pastor of EACH. "There is great need in our area. We hope that this kind of outpouring will make many people more curious about the love of Christ through thousands of different prayerful acts of personal and community service."
Most EACH community activities and initiatives will be determined individually by different congregations and organizations across metro Detroit. Every congregation and Christian organization will determine its own activities.
However, the EACH collaborative has committed to four larger initiatives:
• A massive Prayer Walk on April 16 in downtown Detroit, expected to draw thousands of participants;
• Creation of two mobile medical and dental units, in partnership with the Covenant Community Care organization, to serve people in need in the most distressed areas of the region;
• Serving 10,000 meals a day through partnerships with the Detroit Rescue Mission and the Forgotten Harvest food organization;
• Five "resource fairs" to be held in May to provide a "one stop shop" for a variety of human service needs through a number of different help organizations.
"Showing Christian love is not about city, not about suburbs, not about politics, and not about position," said the Rev. Edgar Vann, bishop of Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit. "Jesus said, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' and we're trying to do what Jesus commands us to do."
A 7 p.m. prayer rally will be held Thursday, March 10, at five Detroit-area churches, with approximately 10,000 people expected to attend. These are just five of the more than 400 churches that are involved in EACH. The locations are: Woodside Bible Church in Troy, Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Northville, New Hope Assembly of God in Taylor, Grace Community Church in Detroit and Bethesda Christian Church in Sterling Heights. The rally will include live worship with prayer and devotional speakers featuring the nationally-renowned guest speaker Bekele Shanko from Campus Crusade International on a simulcast.
EACH is guided by a steering committee with church leaders from both city and suburbs. The EACH effort will focus on a 40-day period starting Easter Sunday, but the hope is that the impact and continued effort to help the community will continue well into the future. Most of the local church-based projects and actions will be determined by individual congregations and Christian organizations.
"As Christians we're called to love one another, to pray for each other, and to serve one another," said Chris Brooks, pastor of Evangel Ministries. "Our goals are simple and clear. We want everyone to have a chance to see and hear and feel God's love for them."
—EACH brings together more than 400 churches of different denominations to pray for and serve people in southeast Michigan.
—Thousands are committed to help people in need in communities across the region because the Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
—This is the first time in memory so many churches in southeast Michigan have united to reach out to our different communities to help.
—This concerted and organized effort will focus on the 40-day period starting Easter 2011, but the impact and continued effort will be lasting.
—Many thousands will pray for our community and our region on April 16 during a Prayer Walk in downtown Detroit.
—City and suburban church members will join together and volunteer to show Jesus' love through actions and prayers.
—Five resource fairs will be held in May in Detroit and downriver communities to help people with a variety of needs, as well as mobile medical vans and food support for the hungry.
—We hope people from all socioeconomic and spiritual backgrounds will be curious about who Jesus is and will want to find out more about His love for each of us.