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Helping Tree ministry promotes service

Andrea Williamson

Hartselle Enquirer

A local church has developed a new ministry to help connect their congregation to the needs of church and community members.

Fairview: the Grace Place founded the Helping Tree ministry last month. A wooden two-dimensional tree was placed outside of the sanctuary door with a bucket on one side. The congregation members can submit needs into the bucket, either for themselves or for other people, and then the program facilitators take the submissions and nail them to the tree. According to Pastor Milan Dekich, the intention of the ministry was to encourage their church members to serve.

“We want our church members to be service-oriented,” Dekich said. “We want to meet needs and show people Christ’s love. Jesus said, ‘…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ I believe that the most important expression of our Christian life is not what happens on Sunday morning. Instead, it is what we do throughout the week.”

According to the program director, who requested to remain anonymous, they started with approximately 28 needs posted on the tree. The cards are color-coded by categories such as prayer needs, home improvement, yard work, children, medical and many  others. Most of the needs have been fulfilled or plans have been made to complete them in the near future.

Dekich said that one of the projects they completed was to build a wooden ramp for an elderly man who was unable to leave his house since he couldn’t walk down the stairs. Other projects included serving at a homeless feeding center, securing housing for a homeless couple and connecting a woman to dental care. Dekich said that he is not aware of every project that has been completed, but he is fine with that because he wants people to constantly be self-motivated to serve others.

“People are doing things, and we don’t even know about all of them,” he said. “That’s fine, though, because that’s one of our goals for this ministry. We want to help people see needs and then give them the chance to fill them.”

The program director said the ministry has been a great success thus far, and people have been thankful to receive help. Dekich shared that one woman who was helped said the ministry was like having a family.

According to the program director, they have two goals for the ministry. Although they have had significant support in its first few weeks, they want people to continue to give so that the ministry can be self-sustaining. In addition, they would like to eventually divide the ministry so there is a coordinator serving over each of the categories.

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