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.

 

When Paul reflected on the nature of service, he said: “Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 2:3-5 

 

Volunteer Spotlight

 

YvetteBallardScottieCannonDuring the week of September 21-27,  BMPC participated in Room in the Inn which hosts 12 homeless women for a week. Yvette Ballard organized the effort along with help from Scottie Cannon who tirelessly recruited volunteers. They are examples of the servants Paul describes in Philippians 2:3-5.
Yvette has been involved with RITI for about six years since marrying her husband Mike, one of the original organizers of RITI. Scottie, who learned about service as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, has volunteered in the church and in the community over the years. Their work on RITI shows a good blend of capabilities with Yvette attending to the details while Scottie finds volunteers. Scottie and Yvette agree the project takes both sets of skills, but it’s not an easy job. After the number of years working with RITI, Yvette admits she went into the week thinking it would be her last. Then, when an evening’s conversation with one of the guests revealed that their personal stories were very similar except for the outcome, Yvette changed her mind about continuing. Scottie says meeting people, both those helped and the helpers, is the best thing about volunteering. As recruiter, she contacts church members and any willing person, including some from her exercise class. This year, in addition to the middle school youth group, 42 volunteers represented BMPC. Yvette and Scottie agree that volunteer service is the key to feeling a part of the church. Yvette would like to see a broader, multigenerational base of volunteers for RITI and other efforts. Scottie observes that often volunteer opportunities reflect one’s phase in life with younger families centering in the involvement of their children and then becoming involved with other projects later in life.
Yvette teaches third grade at Johnston Elementary in West Asheville where she says each day is an act of mission. Along with Mike, she is a senior high youth group advisor, and she also teaches kindergarten church school. Her feelings about the church’s mission relate closely to her own experiences as a widow and as caretaker for her aging parents. She would like to see a bereavement support group for those s uffering loss and outreach to the elderly homebound who are often forgotten. Yvette finds inspiration in the many people who volunteer both in the church and the community.
Scottie, one of those admired volunteers, says she likes volunteering for many different projects and enjoys the variety of experiences they offer. Besides RITI, she is also part of a regular Logos cooking team and on the Mission Ministry Team. She volunteers at Kiwanis thrift shop and is on the Kiwanis Board, works at the Swannanoa Valley History Museum, participates in the Hunger Walk project, and for several years organized the Women and Children’s Retreat to allow women from The Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women to spend time with their children.
Scottie urges each person to find one thing to do both as an individual commitment and as an example to others, especially the children who will see mission in action. Yvette describes service as a recipe with potential volunteers the ingredients. In order for the recipe to work, all the ingredients are needed.  If anything is left out, the recipe will fail. None of us can do everything, but by working with others, combining talents, gifts, and a firm belief that a life of service reflects the “attitude of Christ Jesus,” all can contribute to a better world.