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Church to raise funds for missions

ALBANY — Over the next seven days, Covenant Presbyterian Church is hosting a number of events as a means to help raise an amount equivalent to 10 percent the church’s operating budget for missions it supports regionally, nationally and internationally.

The church’s World Missions Conference initiative, which has had a fundraising goal of $25,000 in years past for the missions it supports, is now looking to raise $43,600 between now and March 17 to help benefit those missions.

Albany Advocacy Resource Center, Alpha Pregnancy Center, GraceWay Recovery Residence, Liberty House, Albany Rescue Mission, The Anchorage, Heifer International, Rivers of the World, Gideons International and the Whiz Kids mentoring program along with missionaries in Albania and Pakistan are among the nearly 30 beneficiaries of the initiative, said spokesman Dr. Kevin Smith.

Considering how the response has been in years past, Smith said those connected to the initiative are “cautiously optimistic” about the odds of reaching this year’s benchmark.

“This has been an ongoing process,” he said. “The goal in the past has been $25,000. This year, we decided to do a stretch goal. The church has been heavily involved in missions, and with this expanded goal, we are trying to get the word out.

“The response has been good before; we have been able to reach our goal if not do better. ... We are optimistic about it, because the congregation has usually responded pretty well. All of our mission activities are funded through this, and we had some folks who felt we could step up to the challenge.”

The events taking place at the Covenant Presbyterian this week are meant to raise donations and awareness for the cause, and will be kicked off with the appearance of Rodger Nishioka, an associate professor of Christian education from Columbia Theological Seminary, at the church’s service this morning.

On Wednesday, there will be a barbecue dinner in the church’s fellowship hall at 5:30 p.m., which will be followed by a concert from the band “Unbroken.” Admission is $10 per person except for children under the age of 10, who can eat for free, Smith said.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, there is a car wash being sponsored by the church’s youth group taking place at 2516 Dawson Road. The following day, Rivers of the World President Ben Mathes will be participating in the church’s Sunday services.

The March 17 services will be followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall, Smith said.

“(The initiative) is important because a lot of folks out there have been hurting,” he said. “Anything we can do to help the church, help those who have fallen on hard times, is a good thing.”

The barbecue dinner and the March 17 luncheon require reservations, Smith said. Those interested in attending those events, or are seeking more information, may call the church at (229) 436-5731.

Covenant Presbyterian is located at 2126 W. Edgewater Drive.