Local Missions

Local Missions 2018-12-03T10:14:15+00:00


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.

Annelise Sears oversees the Local Missions Team at All Saints Church. Please contact Annelise with questions or ideas: Annelise.Sears@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.

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 Annelise Sears at Annelise.Sears@gmail.com or 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.

Pregnancy Support Services (PSS) is a Christian, nonprofit committed to providing honest, helpful and accurate information to women in Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas who are considering their choices in an unplanned pregnancy and education for middle and high school students about healthy relationships.  At PSS, women are offered help and hope as they consider their choices, and youth in our communities can learn to distinguish between unhealthy and healthy relationships.  Visit pregnancysupportservices.org for more information.

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.

Other Community Ministries

Local Missions Testimonies

Ben Rauscher
I’ve so enjoyed getting to know the refugee family we were assigned through World Relief. It has taught me firsthand how any person who is refugee is unique and not just a number. It has also been fun helping someone learn about American culture. One of the most rewarding things was when one of their teenage kids recently got a job at Cookout and I was able to be part of that process – he was quite excited. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know the others on our Good Neighbor Team.

Judson Van Wyk

“Hey crybaby!”

This was my greeting the other day as I walked into Reality Ministries. My good friend Sidney was ragging on me for getting emotional at my last “Tuesday Night Live” gathering a couple evenings before, since I was about to move away from Durham after graduating from divinity school.

TNL, as we call it, is a weekly time when teens and adults with and without intellectual/developmental disabilities gather together at the Reality Center to eat, laugh, sing, and celebrate their mutual belovedness in Christ. It is one of the very few places I have encountered where the condition for belonging truly is mere presence—though, perhaps I shouldn’t say “mere.” Because during the past three years of volunteering and interning at Reality, I have begun to learn that “mere” presence is one of the greatest gifts we are able to receive or to give.

Certainly, there are some particular things to learn and consider in relationships with folks who have intellectual or sensory disabilities. But I—and anyone around Reality—would be the first to tell you: I am no “professional.” I do not bring some sort of “expertise,” “ability,” or “technique” that makes me as an intern exceptionally “useful.” I—like every other participant, volunteer, and staff person at Reality—merely show up. The miracle of Reality is that my “showing up” (and everyone else’s) is received by others as a gift genuinely worth celebrating. In the midst of a world (and sometimes in the church) where we are constantly defined and hierarchically categorized by what we do, this is a radical thing.

So, yes, I got a little emotional at my last TNL the other night. Sidney may give me a hard time, but during my time at Reality he (and many others) gave me a gift that remains one of the most valuable of all—he gave me the gift of a friend. I pray that through All Saints Church’s involvement with Reality Ministries, many of you would have the blessing of learning to receive others—and yourself—as a gift too.

John 15:15 – “…I have called you friends.”

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!      

When I found myself wanting to connect with people from cultural backgrounds other than my own, I signed up to help out with ESL on Saturdays, and it has become one of the highlights of my week! The program is a welcoming, family-like atmosphere for both volunteers and the students, creating opportunities for me to build friendships with folks I wouldn’t know otherwise!  I love it!

Emily McSwain

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