Smith Center, First Christian Church
Article compiled and written by the CCK Communications Team. Originally published in the February 2023 issues of the Kansas Messenger.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. – John 16:33 KJV
For First Christian Church Smith Center (FCCSC), the tribulations of the COVID pandemic, brought forth a real opportunity to bring cheer in their mission to support youth and the community.
FCCSC offered school startup prayers outside the school during that period, and someone mentioned the low morale for staff/teachers at local schools struggling during the year. An idea was raised, and “cheer baskets” were born as a way of lifting the spirits of staff/teachers. The baskets included things like candy, morale mugs, special coffee beans, fruit, pens/pencils, school supplies, gift cards for local businesses, and Chamber bucks that could be used in various businesses.
The cheer baskets were given to teachers and staff at the local elementary school and at Smith Center high school. These baskets were greatly appreciated by the staff and teachers; they even gave back the baskets so they could be used again next time. These not only improved the morale of the staff and teachers, but they also further connected the church with the local school system. The initial cheer program was such a success that the plan is to prepare two or more of every quarter.
To further connect with the schools and community, FCCSC donates annually as sponsors to the high school yearbook and for some sporting event programs. They team up with local school groups (4H, FFA, FCCLA, etc.) and provide an annual father-daughter/mother-son dance, a watermelon stop for the annual tractor run, support post-prom events, assistance with Baccalaureate services, and aid in summer meals at the schools.
Around Holy Week, they have been providing Easter baskets for several years now, delivering them to a list of those who might need a lift in their morale, those who have special needs for help during the year (rent, utilities, hunger, etc.), or those who are struggling to make ends meet.
The brightly colored Easter baskets might have such things as a spatula (Easter themes), thermos style mugs, gift cards, trinket containers, bibles (Gideons), candy, fruit, and, in general, special things people might not regularly buy for themselves.
Overcoming tribulation in everyday life serves as this congregation’s guiding light to equip and connect with their community.