Peace Point Chapel, a church located in the middle of residential Sikeston, Missouri since the 1930s, has never been known in the community for any particular reason. But this year the church family has worked to be more involved with community needs—starting with scheduling activities that benefit the community.

Celebrating on Thursdays

After opening a successful Celebrate Recovery program in a neighboring city, church members decided to begin one in Sikeston last winter. Celebrate Recovery is a program designed to nurture individuals through their hurts, hang-ups and habits, and provide a safe place for pointing them to Jesus. Church elders Tina and James Moore lead out in the program at Peace Point Chapel, where participants start with Bible study and prayer before breaking into gender-specific support groups to focus on a weekly curriculum. The group in Sikeston started strong with 12 participants, and has gained momentum. Tina, who was instrumental in opening the CR in neighboring Gideon, works with local law enforcement to encourage individuals to fulfill their court-appointed rehabilitation at Peace Point Chapel on Thursday nights, where they can learn 12 steps God’s way.

Since recovery is no longer just about drug and alcohol addiction, all church members are encouraged to participate on Thursday nights to gain support in recovery from food addiction, depression, anxiety, co-dependency and more. In many ways the church family has learned more about each other at CR than they have while attending church together for decades!

Springing Into Health

While spring was in the air Peace Point Chapel started to schedule cooking schools again, something the church hadn’t done in years. Velma Williams hosted the Spring into Health community cooking class in March. A small group of nine gathered for a short informational talk about health and nutrition, followed by a kitchen demonstration. Participants spent the evening chopping, mixing and cooking healthy meals and sampling dishes that church members prepared and brought. The evening ended with door prizes and samplings of homemade and all-natural scrubs and deodorants. It was a fantastic evening of fun, food, family—church family—and community interaction.

Seventh-day Adventists have used cooking schools as community outreach for years, but Peace Point Chapel doesn’t want to stop with cooking. Upcoming programs will include gardening and food preservation, and homemade hygiene/cleaning products—two topics that are hot in the Bootheel.

Relaying for Life

Fundraising has been on the hearts of Peace Point Chapel members in recent years, since the church is undergoing an extensive remodel. Programs like Pathfinders and Adventurers require fundraising to operate. It seems we don’t hesitate to ask our community for money, but often fall short when the same is asked of us. This year Peace Point Chapel decided to turn the table and join about nine other churches to organize the Scott County survivor dinner, which is a special meal for cancer survivors held a week before the Relay for Life event. Two of our members are cancer survivors, so this was a special opportunity to give back to the community, and our own members.

We enjoyed the planning meetings, the Christ-driven mission, and the spirituality of the entire group of participants so much that we decided to form our own Relay for Life team. The PPC Warriors joined late in the year (two short weeks before the Scott County Relay for Life event in Sikeston), but managed to assemble a team of seven and raise a small amount of money for the American Cancer Society. Since the relay is on Sabbath the team didn’t sell food or other goods. Instead, the PPC Warriors offered a free photo booth, complete with an antique frame and props. Since Relay for Life is a year-round fundraiser, the PPC Warriors are already planning fundraising events for the coming year—events that will allow church members to join with other community churches in a common goal, to form bonds with other churches and community members, and to work together as a church family to support cancer survivors in Sikeston.

Establishing Caring Connections

Peace Point Chapel is located in the heart of a city that seems to be touched with violence weekly. The needs of the community are diverse, but just as all of us do in this world individuals are focusing on safety. Citizens want to feel safe in their cities; families want to feel safe in their homes; people want to feel safe in their freedom, choices, salvation, etc. It’s our hope at Peace Point Chapel that through community involvement, we can open doors to the people around us. It’s true, our church doors have been open—since 1937!—but Sikeston has not yet seen us as a safe place to come. It’s with this in mind that we continue building bridges…over time, with hard work and many hands.