The purpose of the Local Missions Team is to inform, lead, educate, and inspire our congregation regarding the opportunities for loving response to local needs, both spiritual and physical, in the name of Christ.  We are committed to loving every part of our community, especially the overlooked, under-resourced, and marginalized.  Local mission initiatives at All Saints are ministry because they prioritize relationship, outreach because we go to people not yet a part of our family, and missional because they proclaim the good news of Christ.

Who are we and what do we do?

The Local Missions Team (LMT) endeavors to link All Saints Church to local mission partners that exemplify the values of our congregation.  We try to be vigilant in our awareness of additional ministry outreach possibilities. and seek to engage the congregation of All Saints in becoming intimately involved in the multiple opportunities available to us in Durham/Chapel Hill.

Lydia Kiefer oversees the Local Missions Team at All Saints Church. Please contact Lydia with questions or ideas: lakiefer@gmail.com

On-going Ministry Efforts

Fil-A-Bag for . . .

This is a quarterly outreach project to assist in providing supplies for various ministries in our area. Each quarter a ministry is selected for whom we can provide items that are used on a daily basis. We encourage families, small groups and individuals to fill a paper grocery bag with items from a provided list. These items are then blessed during a Sunday morning service and delivered to that ministry. We have currently provided supplies to Reality Ministries, Pregnancy Support Services, World Relief and Samaritan Health Center and will seek to support other local ministries in the months to come.

Our Ministry Partners

We currently partner with World Relief Durham and have multiple Good Neighbor Teams in place that are assisting in the relocation of refugees coming to the United States from around the world. On-going training is provided and new Good Neighbor Teams are formed as the need arises.

To learn more about World Relief and register as a volunteer affiliated through ASC, please contact Vickie Couch at ASCLocalMissionsTeam@gmail.com and visit www.worldreliefdurham.com and begin the process to become a part of this vital ministry in our community.

Reality Ministries is a community-based non-profit that offers a variety of opportunities for participants to work, play, learn and grow together. Their mission is to create opportunities for teens and adults with and without developmental disabilities to experience belonging, kinship and life-changing Reality of Christ’s love.

The Reality Center is a place where we strive to reflect God’s heart for humanity, a place with no margins where everyone is accepted, valued and celebrated in service to others in the Name of Christ in Durham/Chapel Hill. Visit their website at www.realityministriesinc.org to learn more and volunteer.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a vibrant campus ministry that establishes and advances witnessing communities of students and faculty. They minister to students and faculty through small group Bible studies, large gatherings on campus, leadership training, thoughtful discipleship and life-changing conferences and events. Hank Tarlton is a deacon at ASC and leads the Intervarsity ministry at UNC/Chapel Hill. You can contact Hank for additional information at HTarheelton@mac.com

Current Good Neighbor Team Needs

Our 3rd Good Neighbor Team is preparing to welcome our 3rd refugee family from Aleppo. Click HERE to learn about what we’re doing, and click HERE to access a spreadsheet with all of the current needs.

Other Community Ministries

Peter Uhlenberg: After our team, led by Joe Adelman, finished setting up the apartment for the Najjar family and prayed over it on Sunday, June 5, we were very anxious to meet this family. I was blessed to be at RDU on June 7 to welcome them, along with NJ (my grandson), Debbie Hooker and her granddaughter, and Katie Anderson. We also had a great interpreter, Noor, and a World Relief intern, Brian. We held up the beautiful welcome sign in Arabic, and waited as Ahmad, his wife and three children approached us.  What a moment of joy.  After greetings, Ahmad’s first words were “We are so happy to be here!” And I was so happy to be there, to see them arrive safely after living for three years as refugees in Jordan.  While we waited in front of the terminal for Brian to bring the World Relief van around for their luggage, NJ, Mohammed, Darin, and Qusai kicked a soccer ball around.  We talked with Ahmad and Ahmal with the help of an interpreter.  Again, Ahmad said several times “We are so happy to be here.”

The next Saturday, NJ and I took the Najjars to the Life and Science Museum.  What a day! Climbing on the dinosaur, watching the bears and lemurs, sailing boats on the pond, running through the mist fields, and exploring the amazing tree house structures.  The three children could not have been more excited, and the parents too.  Thank God for Durham and this place for the Najjars to begin to learn about life in their new home.  In addition, I got to play with the rambunctious 3-year-old Qusai (and his siblings Mohammed and Darin) while Ahmad and Ahmal attended several cultural orientation meetings at World Relief.  And our team had a special evening with them for a potluck at Joe and Terrie Adelman’s house. Last thought: I am so happy to have had the privilege to welcome the Najjars to Durham.

Lydia Kiefer: For me, I am not naturally good at navigating language barriers and different cultures, so in the beginning, I was much more comfortable with apartment set up and those other “easy” details.  The first time I went to visit the Najjar family, I feared making a cultural faux pas or not having any way of communicating.  When I arrived at their home, I had only just stepped across the threshold, and I was offered dessert and a special homemade tea for Ramadan.  The family themselves could not partake as they were observing the fast of Ramadan, but they made me feel like an honored guest.  Rather than finding an awkward social situation, I found a friend in Amal. We shared pictures of our families and talked about our mutual interests.  Ahmad mentioned that he was surprised to find the American people so kind and welcoming.  He said he assumed that the violence he had seen in American media was typical of all Americans, and he was apprehensive about whether or not his family would be safe. It has been encouraging to see the church embrace the Najjar family, meeting their needs with donations and gifts, but also welcoming them as brothers and sisters.  We have such a unique opportunity to share God’s peace and serve this beautiful family. Thank you for your support.
Teri Adelman: It has been a real blessing to work with the Najjar family as they transition to the United States.   Even before I met them, I couldn’t help thinking about what they must be feeling as they left their country  behind to find a safe place to live.  Upon meeting them  (even with the language barrier…)  I found a warm and friendly young couple with 3 young children who were very thankful  for everything we had done in setting up their apartment, but more so,  they were  extremely  appreciative that people were there to greet them and establish a friendship with them.  

There have been many good times we have already spent with the Najjar family such as taking them to eat at Aladdin’s Eatery in Briar Creek and having them (and our Good Neighbor Team) to  a potluck dinner at our home , but dearest to my heart was the day I spent with Ahmad  last week to take him to buy car insurance and get his driver’s license.   Getting the insurance was relatively easy….a few phone calls and a short time in the insurance office.  I then took him to practice driving  in a parking lot to make sure he was familiar with the vocabulary and location of turn signals, hazard lights, etc., in my car.  He did great and said he was ready to take his road test.  The DMV was another experience altogether (think about the sloths in Zootopia, if you’ve seen it)  and you get the picture!   We sat for 2 hours waiting to be called in to talk to the DMV officer.  Once in front of him, Ahmad gave him his State Department issued papers and very slowly the officer did his entries into the computer.  At one point, he got up and went into a back room for about 10 minutes and Ahmad asked me what was wrong and told me his heart was beating very fast.  I reassured him it would be okay (although I wasn’t exactly sure!)  The officer reappeared and told us we would have to get back in the road test line and that it would be only a few minutes.  At this point, Ahmad was quite tense, so we went outside to wait.  I again assured him it would be okay and not to worry.  After 30 minutes passed, the officer reappeared and said that he was ready to give the road test.  As Ahmad drove off, I think I was more nervous that he was!!  They returned with the officer smiling and Ahmad giving me the “thumbs up” signal – he had obtained his license!  The following evening the Najjar family invited us to their home to share a meal.  It was a middle-eastern feast – all homemade by Amal!  They expressed their thanks to us verbally and with an exquisite meal.  Getting to know this family, seeing the challenges they face daily, and building a relationship of mutual trust and respect have been an amazing blessing to me!      

Vickie Couch oversees the Local Missions Team at All Saints Church. Please contact Vickie with any questions or ideas: asclocalmissionsteam@gmail.com.