Our Local Mission Partners

Due to our deep investment in the local community and our desire to encourage members to get involved with a ministry that is working toward a social issue that they feel called to be involved in, much of our mission and outreach is done through partnerships with local ministries and organizations that are dedicated to a specific goal. BMPC has a deep investment — with our prayers, our financial support, and our members who are involved in the leadership and work of these organizations. Church members: please let Margo Smith know where you are plugged in! For more information about any of these Mission Partners, please check out their websites, or contact BMPC Mission Co-Chair, Susan Jumper at susanjumper@charter.net.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry

SVCM is a non-profit ministry that BMPC members helped organize in 1975 to address the immediate needs of the individuals in this community. BMPC members donate roughly 170 volunteer hours EVERY month, and our congregation donates over 350 items of canned goods monthly, and over $10,000 annually to SVCM.

Habitat for Humanity

We have a long and deep relationship with Habitat for Humanity working with them every summer to build a Habitat house in partnership with other Presbyterian Churches in the region.

Room In The Inn

Room In The Inn partners with local faith communities to provide shelter for up to 12 women each night. Each week, a different congregation opens its facilities to welcome the women as guests, offering a warm safe place for them as they work hard to move forward to permanent housing. The simple goal is to keep women without homes from sleeping on the street and risking their safety. The greater goal is to build loving relationships with them, one week at a time — this is when real ministry occurs. Room In The Inn is Homeward Bound’s most community-driven program, with more than 2,000 volunteers from over 40 faith congregations mobilized each year. BMPC hosts these women once a year. For more information or to volunteer, contact Yvette Ballard.

Helpmate

Helpmate offers compassion for victims of domestic violence by providing safe, confidential shelter to women and children who are leaving dangerous and potentially lethal living situations. For over 30 years, Helpmate has been helping victims of domestic violence in Buncombe County. Helpmate is a primary provider of crisis services offered exclusively to victims of domestic violence in the Asheville area.

Ministry of Hope

Ministry of Hope is a community funded chaplaincy program which employs on-site chaplains at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women (SCCW). The chaplains conduct religious services and provide pastoral care and counseling to the inmates, many of whom struggle with addiction, abuse and grief issues. These women are within five years of release or parole. When the program began in 2007 the inmate population was 80, but now the potential population has grown to 454. Through the Ministry of Hope Chaplaincy program the women are offered a sense of hope. There are volunteer opportunities to work with the women in this program by contacting: Kelly Stephenson — Administrative Assistant, The Ministry of Hope. The chaplains are Rev Lynn Michie and Rev. Chaplin Carol Dalton

Black Mountain Home for Children

We have volunteers who work in the study hall and in the garden. Last year the garden at the Home grew produce for donation as well as for campus meals. We also help to support a special academic incentive program that provides a special field trip for children who earn a required GPA at school.

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand raises funds and collects school-related items for students in the Swannanoa Valley. Their popular spaghetti dinners and hamburger/hot dog sales help ensure every child’s dignity by providing help for school lunches, fee-related activities, clothing and more.

Bounty and Soul

If you want to feel as good as you can about helping the food insecure in our valley, and if you would like to volunteer either regularly or as your schedule allows, Bounty and Soul may be your calling. Volunteers for Bounty and Soul drive trucks to MANNA FoodBank and “shop” for perishable foods that cannot be stored on shelves; then they drive to locations for distribution – on Mondays to Blue Ridge Apartments, on Tuesday mornings to St. James Episcopal, and on Tuesday afternoons to Children and Friends Daycare – where food is unloaded and arranged for distribution. Before the food is passed out, Allison Casparian, the director of Bounty and Soul, leads an educational session demonstrating healthy food preparation and alternatives for a healthy lifestyle. Following the distribution of food, volunteers clean up the location and the remaining food is taken to SVCM to be distributed there. If you would like to be part of this meaningful mission, you can just show up: Mondays 11:45-2:30 at Blue Ridge Apartments or Tuesdays 2-5:30 at Children and Friends Daycare or contact Allison Casparian or Margo Smith.

ABCCM

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry is a family of Christian congregations providing emergency assistance, temporary shelter, medical support and prison ministry to local residents.

Black Mountain Pastoral Care and Counseling Center

Black Mountain Pastoral Care and Counseling Center serves as a mental and spiritual health resource for the area and is supported by the ecumenical religious community as well as by civic and health care organizations in the Swannanoa Valley.

Bread For The World

Every May we join with Bread For The World in writing letters to our elected officials to encourage them to protect state and national funding for food programs that help feed our brothers and sisters in this country and around the world.

 

Where our mission money goes

 

Today when Christians follow Jesus’ commission, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation,” their message is often in the form of service and sharing gifts of education, medicine, and technology to make lives better. 

 

Volunteer Spotlight

 

JessiStitt

Jessi Stitt has spent two and a half years in Malawi and a year in Haiti, teaching, and recently three weeks in Malawi installing clean water wells. Jessi says she is motivated by a desire to travel places she would otherwise not be able to go, and, in doing so, to serve people in need.
Jessi grew up in a family for whom mission is natural. All the Stitt children are involved in serving others, her brother working for the Mentor Network in Macon, Georgia, and her sister working with the Open Door Community, an Atlanta a mission to the homeless, prisoners, and other social injustice issues. Jessi, too, found work in domestic mission when for eight months she ran the Presbyterian Disaster Administration village in Pearlington, Mississippi, serving victims of Katrina.
She says she did not anticipate spending her life as a missionary when she majored in French and minored in Mathematics in college, but she says being flexible has helped her follow God’s lead wherever she is sent. When she thinks she has everything figured out and is following a plan, she has often been surprised by changes in direction. Her flexibility and her willingness to let God guide her has allowed her to adjust.
During her latest trip to Malawi, Jessi worked with Marion (Illinois) Medical Mission installing clean water wells. During her three week mission, Jessi helped install 73 wells. During the summer, the mission installed 2,504 wells. To accomplish so much, Marion’s field officers, supervisors, and builders work with the Malawian villagers to dig the wells, make the bricks, and prepare the wells for the mechanics provided by mission crews like Jessi’s. By the time the mechanical crews come to a village which has asked for assistance, the well is already prepared for the equipment which will complete the well, and the local residents have been trained to maintain them.
Jessi reports her most memorable moment on this trip came when they entered the first of two villages where they were going to install wells. Their plan was to drop off the equipment needed at the first village, travel to the next village to install their well, and then return to complete the well in the first village. As they entered they were met by villagers singing and dancing in celebration of the coming well. However, when equipment was dropped off and the workers left to go to the next village, the residents of the first village were distraught even though they were assured their well would be completed later that day. As the crew drove away, an elderly woman followed them enjoining them to return to build their well.
When they did return, as promised, the old woman latched on to Jessi’s hand and led her to the place the well would be installed. She would not let go until the process was completed and they had celebrated the working well. The people, especially women, benefit from the wells because they no longer have to walk as much as a mile to collect water of questionable purity from streams that provide water for all, including the animals. Jessi said she realized the importance of their work when one man observed about the access to clean water, “You made us people today.”
Jessi is not sure what she will do next. She says if she had a chance to go on another mission she would go gladly. She would like to travel to Central or South America, but notes she needs to work on her Spanish before that happens. Until her next call, she volunteers at the church, with youth, serving Logos meals, or anywhere she is needed. Jessi demonstrates that living at God’s bidding can lead to serving in ways one could never imagine. She waits to see where God will send her next.