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New Joy Reaches Out to Mothers, Children

Story by Faith Crumbly


Visiting children display books in the 10-volume The Bible Story that they won in a New Joy Fellowship drawing.

Allegheny East Conference’s new Joy Fellowship children’s puppet team from Hagerstown, Md., and five Christian clowns from the Breath of Life church in Ft. Washington, Md., launched a pre-Mother’s Day outreach in Hagerstown’s City Park.

Puppets and clowns were the pied pipers who dispersed throughout the park. They drew children and parents to the park’s north pavilion where the clowns’ Bible-based skits and the puppets’ Bible story and character-building songs were staged.

New Joy members distributed cards to enroll people both inside and outside of the pavilion in the children’s drawing for a 10-volume set of The Bible Story and the mothers’ drawing for a gift basket.

Prior to the creative witness coordinated by New Joy Fellowship’s Women’s Ministries, Personal Ministries and Adventist Youth departments, Men’s Ministries had been serving a picnic lunch to church mothers. Of the many passersby who paused to return members’ greetings, two women accepted separate invitations to eat. One family accepted cookies, bottled water and punch to eat with their own sub sandwiches. However, the other woman and her children enjoyed their first totally vegetarian meal, including a protein salad that they relished. Hours later children in the park were randomly selected to draw names for the gifts. Church members expressed surprise and joy and that the names of these two families’ had been drawn from the bag stuffed with entries.

The church’s communication director distributed the New Joy Fellowship website address (www.newjoysda.org) to families in the park, inviting them to see photos of the day’s activities.

Denise Johnson, Women’s Ministries director, noted, “Of the many names that were collected as part of the drawings, several people requested prayer, Bible study and to be notified about New Joy Fellowship’s future programs and activities.”