Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tuesday's Special Call @ Tinney Chapel
Click on any image above to view it in larger format or click the arrow below to view a video of a break time food line during ESL Class.
The Special Call of Tuesdays at Tinney Chapel
When Pastor Sue Gross heard the Lord call her to establish a language ministry at the quintessential country church, she heard it as clearly as when He called her to the ministry itself: Now is the time!
She talked it up at church gatherings, plus District and Conference events, and eventually put it to a vote at the Tinney Chapel administrative council, where it passed quickly, with several volunteers signed up to help before the night was over.
But English As A Second Language (ESL) was not something that anyone at Tinney Chapel had ever considered before as a likely ministry for this church, and several events did conspire to delay the launch of this new ministry.
But it did launch, and grew rapidly, largely by word-of-mouth!
Every Tuesday evening, from 6 pm to 9 pm, passersby on County Road 4620 probably wonder what's going on: cars are parked all over the property, kids are playing at the basketball court and in the fenced playground, all supervised by Tinney Chapel volunteers, of course.
Inside, the parents are eagerly immersed in the learning of English as a second language. Most of their kids are already bilingual. Some of those kids are inside playing games in the church's youth classroom at Tinney Chapel's 8,000-sq.-ft. Family Life Center, itself another surprising ministry--built and paid for in just four years.
Four of the Sunday School rooms are used for ESL classrooms on Tuesday nights. The roomy commercial kitchen is a beehive of activity in preparation for the food line at ESL's 7:30 p.m. break and the big auditorium is filled with a mix of parents, kids and church volunteers munching on snacks and drinking iced tea or sodas.
The new ESL ministry has already surpassed the crowds at Wednesday night Bible Study, and just keeps on growing.
On this Tuesday, some are working on a video about this new ministry, which we hope to make available on the Conference website in hopes that it will inspire other churches, especially others in rural settings, to follow our example.