By establishing the Outreach and Education Center in partnership with the Daystar Christian School, the Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist Church bears a testimony to model a service exemplified in Jesus’ method of
the ministry of reaching out to those around him (E.G. White, Ministry of Healing, 143).

Studying the local demographics and closely working with the pastor, the church’s outreach coordinator is showcasing determination to follow their example. The research found that Pueblo is one of the poorest cities in Colorado, with about a 22 percent poverty level, many single-parent households, numerous homeless individuals, and a high level of drug abuse.

“The needs here are many. The ministry leaders agreed that outreach involved all ministries working collectively to reach our community. As the idea of ministries collaboration was conceived, we formed a team of dedicated volunteers who developed a mission and vision statement, bylaws, and a board of directors to move forward. We
set our goals to be professional and efficient in our efforts for Pueblo,” said Kathy Guagliardo, Pueblo First outreach coordinator.

By partnering with the Daystar Christian School to use the building for the Outreach and Education Center, the organizers hope to lessen prejudices toward church-created programs. “We have begun to present programs such as NEWSTART, Grief Recovery, Diabetes Undone, and Exercise/Stretching classes. The center recently held a Vacation Bible School for the first time in several years, with excellent attendance and previously unseen interest by the community, Guagliardo explained.

Also, the Adventist Community Services found its new home at the center. Their Angels of Kindness “mobile unit” is reaching Pueblo’s homeless. Furthermore, ACS extended the hand of collaboration with the local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and the Ham Radio group was provided space to organize meetings at the center.

With professional help, the Outreach and Education Center plans to offer tutoring classes the fall of 2022 in mathematics, science, and reading (grades 1-8) to help kids in our community succeed. In addition, they are planning vegetarian cooking and drug recovery classes in conjunction with parenting and Bible study classes.

The church leaders work to extend their influence throughout Pueblo. Their aim is that the community would know that, like Jesus, they are caring, compassionate and active people living to reflect Christ’s love and His life. Their mission reflects what the prophet Zechariah stated in the words spoken by God to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by
power, but by My Spirit” (Zech. 4:6).

Information supplied by Kathy Guagliardo, Pueblo First Church outreach coordinator.

Photos: Pueblo First Church