CLAYTON — Through its “For the Valley” ministry outreach, a Clayton church is looking to make positive inroads into the greater Dayton area by moving beyond its perch alongside Interstate 70.
Salem Church of God immersed itself in numerous outreach endeavors in 2017 that sent more 1,100 people beyond its walls to assist others, donating an approximate 2,800 hours while completing 65 projects across the area. In 2018, look for those numbers to increase.
” ‘For the Valley’ is a Salem initiative to bring joy and hope to the Miami Valley through various ministries and service projects,” said Mindy Galvin, coordinator of outreach and discipleship at Salem.
And in that effort, Salem has invited the community to its “Good Friday” worship experience at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 30. The service will feature music, Scripture and contemplation of the events of Holy Week – and of their relevancy today.
Then on Easter, April 1, Salem will host identical worship celebrations at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., as Lead Pastor Steve Southards concludes the “Good News According to John” teaching series with a message titled “Is There More to Jesus Than You Think?” The services will include music provided by the Salem Choir and Salem Orchestra.
“For the Valley” gained momentum through annual “Love Does” Sundays at Salem that began in the summer of 2015. Now, “Love Does” activities are ongoing, including involvement with YMCA programs, assembling journey bags for the homeless and providing food backpacks to help sustain at-need school children on weekends. The church also is involved with the Gospel Mission, Northmont Community Table, Elizabeth’s New Life Center, Operation Rebirth, the Homework Club at Northmont High School and One Heart, a ministry to those in the adult entertainment industry.
On Easter 2016, Salem launched another way to take its message to the streets – literally. The church began distributing multi-colored magnetic crosses that affix to vehicles, the premise being to trade crosses with another parked vehicle displaying a cross of a different color and pray over it in the process. Two years later, 8,000 magnetic crosses have been distributed and are criss-crossing Miami Valley roadways and beyond. Similarly, “For the Valley” t-shirts, sporting the colors of local high schools, are showing up at area sporting events and elsewhere.
“The goal is to impact the community with the love of Jesus Christ and to be a congregation that is not limited to a church or a steeple,” Galvin said.
Salem Church of God is at 6500 Southway Drive in Clayton. For more information about the “For the Valley” outreach or Holy Week activities at Salem, please visit salem.church or call (937) 836-6500.