Helping churches help people
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
— 1 John 3:18-23 (KJV)
I moved to Eagle River six years ago. I had seen an affluent side of the community until my son started kindergarten. For two years, he came home stating that his classmate did not have lunches and that he was sharing his food with this child. I also met multiple homeless families and heard stories of people struggling and fearing for their futures. I made a decision to find a way to make a difference in the community and committed myself to looking for ways to help children and families with children have their basic needs met.
Love INC of Eagle River was started seven years ago as a non-profit agency to help people in Eagle River and surrounding areas. Love INC is in partnership with 16 churches. We receive calls from churches, schools, local businesses and people in the community for different needs. These needs vary from requests for transportation to doctor’s appointments to purchasing clothing and furniture. Today, there are many requests for rental assistance, utilities, and roof repair. Love INC in turn contacts the partner churches and others with a listing of these needs and as a joint effort more and more people in the community have been able to receive assistance. We also pray with each one of the callers and help spread the good news of the Lord.
Our current partner churches are: Eagle River Church of the Nazarene, Community Covenant Church, Eagle River Church of God, Eagle River Missionary Baptist Church, Eagle River Grace Church, Grace Community AME Mission, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, King’s Way Ministries, Peters Creek Christian Center, River of Life Lutheran Church (ELCA), Riverside Community Church, Skyline Family Fellowship, St. Andrew Catholic Church, United Methodist Church of Chugiak, Joy Lutheran Church and St. John Orthodox Cathedral.
Our current board consists of five members, including myself; Marguerite Culhane, a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church; Kevin Dougherty (board chair), a member of St. John Orthodox Cathedral; Linda Jacobs-Thompson and Lorie Mills (treasurer), of Eagle River Missionary Baptist Church. Our Executive Director is Reverend Gracie Jackson, Pastor of Grace Community AME Mission.
As the Vice Chair of the Love INC Board, I want to thank all of our partner churches, individuals, and businesses for their support of Love INC of Eagle River. I pray that Love INC will continue to grow and that more churches, individuals, and businesses will join in helping our mission to end poverty and homelessness in our community.
This column is the opinion of Sirpa Gorman, vice chair of Love INC of Eagle River.