Members of Elk Creek Church united in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday to bring dinner to more than 160 struggling families in the local area, last month.Pastor Mike Silliman of Elk Creek Church, of Oxford, says that this effort was part of a four-week sermon series called "United". For the entire month of November, preceeding Thanksgiving Day, Silliman challenged the congregation to "be the church" and not just "go to church" by donating their money, time and prayers to this cause. The goal: to accomplish "Big for God".
Big indeed, together the church collected more than $3,000 in four weeks. This money was used to purchase all of the food, which created 160 complete Thanksgiving meals.
United again, members of the church met the Sunday before Thanksgiving to assemble and deliver the meals.
"We are so glad we could extend the love of Jesus to so many," said Stilliman. "Thank you for your help and support."
In addition to the food purchased by the church's collections, Chester County Cares and individuals donated canned goods and other non-perishable items to include in the meal packages. HomeFront Christian Outreach in Oxford worked with the church to find families who would benefit from the donations this year.
In a blog posted to the churches website, www.elkcreekonline.com, Mandy Wyatt of HomeFront Christian Outreach, had only positive things to say about the new church and its charity efforts. "Praise God! It is amazing what this church does and we are so glad that you partnered with us to help our clients," wrote Wyatt. "I am so happy to find a church that truly thinks outside the box, yet has Biblical principles. It was an amazing day and how fast everything went and smoothly. Thank you all so much."
Wyatt continued on to mention that she had received multiple emails throughout the night from some of the recipients thanking the church for the wonderful dinners.
ElkCreek Church has only been established in the community since September, 2007 and is already making an impact on the community with events such as this.
In April, 2006, Pastor Stilliman and his wife, Naomi, moved to Southern Chester County and began hosting meetings in their home with several friends. As they grew in numbers, the nondenominational church organization officially launched as the Elk Creek Church on September 23, 2007.
The congregation currently meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the Penn's Grove School, located at 301 South Fifth Street, Oxford.
Elk Creek Church is part of a group of voluntary churches called the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.