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.

 

Jesus’ baptism into service was not by a tentative sprinkle. Instead, he waded into the river Jordan to be submerged and begin his active ministry. Through Jesus’ example we can see that living in his Way pushes us to stand in the current.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

MikeOnSkis

Deciding to become part of a church is much like learning to swim. One may stand hesitantly on the side watching the activity, or dip toes in the water, or bravely jump right into the middle, where Mike Ballard will be swimming.

Having graduated from George Mason University of Law/International School of Law, Mike is a Paralegal at the Elmore Law Firm in Asheville. At BMPC Mike has served as an Elder, Deacon, Christian Education Chair, Chair of Local Missions, one of the organizers of Black Mountain’s Room in the Inn which his wife Yvette now coordinates, and member of the Nominating committee. As a result, Mike understands involvement in the work and mission of the church, and he encourages others, especially those new to the church, to jump in with both feet.

Besides his official duties, whenever there is work to be done, Mike is there, working with Habitat, hefting huge bags of rice for Stop Hunger Now, driving the church van, or sorting the Sunday morning offering.

Deeply devoted to Christian Education, Mike says as chair of the Christian Education committee, he discovered the scope of CE in the life of the church. From an array of adult, children, and youth church school (which he has taught) to the library, Logos, and Confirmation, the “tentacles” of CE spread throughout the work of the church.

With all his experience in varied church tasks, Mike says at the top of his list of church involvement is working with youth which he has done since Pat Tuttle recruited him around 1997.  He was a Logos table parent for high school youth and that evolved into high school youth group advisor.

With the youth, Mike has done local mission such as Asheville Youth Mission, Manna Food Bank, Rake and Run, Room in the Inn, a 30-Hour Famine to raise awareness of world hunger issues, and Stop Hunger Now. Mike says that Youth Sunday is always one of his favorite things every year, and he also enjoys accompanying youth to dinner at Highland Farms, in the homes of BMPC members. This past fall with the high school youth at a retreat in Lake Lure, Mike was able to water ski again for the first time in 15 years. Mike says working with youth is rewarding in very many ways, but especially because of what he learns from them.

Besides involvement at BMPC, Mike is co-founder and current vice president of the Blue Ridge Gator Club (University of Florida) in Asheville. For twenty years this group has enjoyed social and service time together, including volunteering at the Mountain Sports Fest.

One blessing of church involvement is that we are never alone in our desire and efforts to be active in all the possibilities for service. Mike is a good example of what it means to fit active church membership into a busy life. He welcomes all to jump in with him, assuring us, “The water is fine!”