Shannon Williamson, a dear friend of mine and one of the most Christ-like people I know, has asked for my help in getting the word out about a great opportunity. Shannon grew up at the Carrollton Avenue church in New Orleans, and she's played a big part in that church getting back on its feet following Hurricane Katrina. Read Shannon's words below and consider what you might do in response to this appeal.
As most of you already know, I grew up at the Carrollton Avenue Church of Christ in New Orleans. It is an amazing church that truly embodies the church described in Acts 2:42-47. After the storm, the church had nothing. No money in the bank, no insurance, no pews, no song books, no equipment, nothing. The church saw the great need of the people of New Orleans, so instead of getting the building back in shape we used the facility to help support relief work.
The building is still not totally together for this reason, however the church remains as a beacon of hope in a city in such desperate need. The truly amazing about Carrollton is that out of their desperate situation they still managed to give faithfully to God's people and have planted a church in a neighborhood that was spiritually wasting away. This summer we hosted a 3 week drama and art camp for 45 children (the largest number we've ever had). The church works with the neighborhood schools to help them get the supplies they need and they just started an ESL class two days a week to serve the influx of non-English speaking Hispanics since the storm.
The Carrollton church taught me what it reall means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and is perhaps the reason I have any faith left at all. If you were to analyze Carrollton and look at all of the small parts, it certainly seems less than mediocre. We never start on time, the singing is never really great, the sermon is never the best one you've heard, and sometimes the planning is a little to be desired. But when you are there you leave different, because you met Jesus there, and no one who ever meets Jesus walks away unchanged.
The church building at Carrollton has come a long way in the four years since the storm. We're back to a safe, functional place to fellowship, worship, and minister in most of the facility. But we have one last "gotta fix" item, and that's the windows in the auditorium. Numerous panes are broken or cracked, letting heated or cooled air out, and humidity, bugs and critters in. Most of the frames are rusted, many are stuck (some open, some closed).
Repairs to the windows are something that must be done professionally, and special ordered to fit the existing structure. Carrollton is having a special offering on Sunday, December 13th, to raise the money needed to replace the windows. Bids are still being received, but the estimate on repairs/replacement is between $50,000- $60,000. Please prayerfully consider how you might help. Use this address to email the Carrollton church for more information on how to get your donation to them: firstname.lastname@example.org