To live as followers of Jesus, we must not ignore the example Jesus set. Jesus didn’t talk about religion in buildings. He didn’t spend his time in Torah studies discussing the merits of this teacher or that. Those things have their place…but more often than not during his...
Anthony Lyle is originally from Pittsburgh and moved to Maryland with a company for work. We asked him about his experiences with his connect group. Here's what he had to say... What is your occupation? I move furniture and perform sound system installations. I do a lot of sound work for...
In the middle of what was supposed to be a restful night’s sleep, Bob Ogle heard from Jesus. It was 3 AM and He had a response for something Bob had been pondering. Pastor Drew always encourages Severn Runners to serve outside of the walls of our church building. Bob and his Connect Group...
Despite how we may feel at times, we all have extraordinary stories to tell. Our lives are all uniquely different, and our stories are not something that we should shy away from. Jesus told stories in order to convey important truths in a way that people would understand. We can all relate to...
The weather forecast for the weekend was bleak. You know what they say about Maryland: If you don’t like the weather, wait half an hour and it’ll change. However, the forecast held steady and one thing was for sure—it was going to rain. At the start of the week people were...
To live as followers of Jesus, we must not ignore the example Jesus set.
Jesus didn’t talk about religion in buildings. He didn’t spend his time in Torah studies discussing the merits of this teacher or that. Those things have their place…but more often than not during his years of ministry, Jesus was right in the middle of crowds of people.
He was in the midst of the broken, but he wasn't telling them what they needed to do to get right with God. Instead, Jesus was lovingly addressing their needs first. Feeding the hungry. Healing the sick. Helping the poor. Holding the children. Loving the unlovable.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'
Acts 20:35 ESV
Although our world looks much different than Judea of old, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. Right here. Right now.
We are the ones who need to get close to the hurting. To help the poor. To hold the children. To love the unlovable. We are the ones Jesus is calling to shine his light in this broken and dark world.
When we put aside our comfort and reach out to show the love of Jesus to the uncomfortable, we are truly thinking Kingdom and living Jesus. There is no other way to do it. There is no way around it.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
First John 3:17
Does your heart break for the oppressed?
Do you break down when you see the homeless on the street?
This is the Spirit telling you where God wants you to get to work.
Bear one another's burdens,
and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 ESV
Can you easily share some of your food or money or time with the poor?
Do you have a soft spot for children, the elderly, or the terminally ill?
This is where God wants you to serve.
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. Proverbs 28:27
Some believers have a Spiritual gift to do these things, so it comes easily and naturally—it is a passion. But passion or not, we all have the responsibility to do something to make things better for the broken and thereby point to the love of Jesus.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16
The good news is, you don’t have to figure out how to get close to the broken on your own. The Church at Severn Run has many ministries and program partners in the Baltimore area where you can fulfill the calling Jesus has put in front of you.
Here are some ways you can get involved—Right Here! Right Now!
With Ministries Like:
The Transformation Center
Bringing about transformed lives and transformed communities leading to a transformed city. It is the hub for many of our ministry Impact Project including Lilies Place (clothing and food distribution), Celebrate Recovery, and Beautiful Feet (homelessness ministry). There will be many upcoming opportunities as well such as the building construction projects, the school they are starting called Hope Academy, and the GED/Jobs Programs.
Based in Curtis Bay, The Well is a community of women mentoring and learning identity, value and giftedness. Lives are transformed through long-term relationships and practical programs that offer community, give opportunity and promote responsibility to lead women to the purpose God has for them. They need volunteers to help the women of the ministry.
Morningside House of Friendship
The first Thursday of each month you’ll find a room full of youth mingling, talking and singing with the elderly guests of Morningside as they participate in Collide’s monthly missions program. Morningside House of Friendship is an assisting living facility in Hanover MD. that partners with Severn’s youth ministry, Collide.
The International Justice Mission
A global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Their global team includes more than 750 lawyers, investigators, social workers, community activists and other professionals who work at 17 field offices, one of which is close to our area.
Partnering with Local Organizations Such As:
Local Police Departments (like this Connect Group did)
Local Fire Departments
Or with Churches Including:
Grace Redeemer Church
Building lives is a work of art. It is the work of the Master Artist - Jesus Christ. Come see what God has been doing through Grace Redeemer Community Church and get involved in their great missions projects.
Elevate Church is a diverse community of people. Located in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis, we desire to be a church that makes a difference in the lives of the community. Elevate Church exists to elevate the name of Jesus, equip believers for service, and to engage the community with service projects and the message of the transforming power of Jesus Christ. They are always looking for volunteers to help with missions projects.
The Broken Wall Project
A community of faith in West Baltimore seeking to integrate the values of authenticity, community, advocacy, and transformation as they follow Jesus believing that diversity ethnically, educationally, financially, and relationally makes everyone better. They hold services on Saturday evenings and need volunteers to help with many different projects.
Captivate Christian Church
Founded in Baltimore, Captivate Church is focused on bringing life by connecting people to God through Jesus. They provide a very real place of healing, grace and forgiveness. They need volunteers to help with projects in the Baltimore area.
Of course there are also many ways to serve at Severn Run as a volunteer in any of our ministries listed at severnrun.com/serve or specifically helping with some ministries reaching the broken and based on our campus like:
The Christian Assistance Program
A coalition of Severn-Odenton churches that provides food and clothing to needy families in the community. Donations are welcome every Sunday (you can find the monthly need focus in the church bulletin). Volunteers are always needed.
The Kairos Prison Ministry shares the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women, and youth, as well as their families, to help them become loving and productive citizens of their communities. Volunteer opportunities include prayer partners, food support, and for those speaking to inmates in the prisons.
Companions of Hope
A support ministry for cancer patients and their caregivers. Volunteers are needed for helping with welcome baskets, card making and writing, providing transportation to appointments, making meals or phone calls, and prayer.
Blanket the City
Spend a Saturday morning giving blankets, prayer and encouragement to the homeless in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. This opportunity only happens once per year, but affects lives for much longer.
Volunteer to help Severn Run host homeless men and women for a week at the church during the colder months of winter. This event takes many hands to make it work right. Volunteer to bring and serve food, or help during the day or nights wherever you are needed to help make our guests feel welcomed and loved.
Operation Christmas Child
In partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, Severn Run is a collection station for OCC Christmas boxes collected each fall. Fill a box, or volunteer to help collect, manage, pray for and deliver the boxes each Christmas season.
And more exciting opportunities to come like Samaritan Women and Hope House.
It all makes a difference. It all shows the love of Jesus to a broken world.
Where will you get involved? And when?
Here’s what to do next:
- Pray to see where God is telling you to serve
- Choose a place to volunteer
- Contact the church office or Vicki DeLair ( ) to get involved!
Here’s what not to do:
Don’t ignore this opportunity to share the love of Jesus as you were commanded.
Anthony Lyle is originally from Pittsburgh and moved to Maryland with a company for work. We asked him about his experiences with his connect group. Here's what he had to say...
What is your occupation?
I move furniture and perform sound system installations. I do a lot of sound work for churches. I work on man caves as well. I have setup personal recording studios as well.
What drew you to the Church at Severn Run, and how long have you been a member?
I’ve been a member for about three years. I kept driving by and stopped in one day and stayed.
Do you consider yourself a “joiner”?
I am not usually a joiner, no.
What made you choose to get connected, and how did you decide which Connect Group to join?
Amber Adams, the Connect Group leader, played a big part in my joining a group. She is persistent!
I joined the Gambrills/Crofton Connect Group (GCCG). It is a diverse group of people from all walks of life who love to fellowship together. We believe that our differences make us stronger and our backgrounds enhance our stories. We believe that Christian education is the way to grow in our faith. We love to share the goodness of Jesus through our personal testimonies of loving well, living Jesus and believing big.
Once I met the leader of the group, Terence Lynch, he and the group made me feel very welcome.
Have you noticed any changes in yourself since becoming a member of the group?
I find myself talking to people more. I share more, spread the Word more.
Some folks may not have become Connect Group members due to schedules or other issues. Has it been a challenge to balance work/life commitments and keep up with the group?
Stuff happens, I had a recent experience with the Red Line Metro in D.C. where I was delayed for a while. For the most part I am able to meet with the group when I need to. God will make a way.
Has being in a Connect Group helped you with relationships, work, personal issues or spiritual growth?
I want to go out and minister more to other people. I like to visit other houses of worship and see how they are growing.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a member of a Connect Group?
It opens the doors for relationships. We learn how to become a disciple, and not just exist as Christians. Connect Groups are important because they help us grow in the Word. We start to graduate from milk as new Christ followers and become disciples who are feeding on the meat of God’s word.
At the Church at Severn Run, part of loving well, living Jesus and believing big is connecting with other members and working together to grow the body of Christ.
We invite you find a Connect Group as you continue on your walk.
In the middle of what was supposed to be a restful night’s sleep, Bob Ogle heard from Jesus. It was 3 AM and He had a response for something Bob had been pondering.
Pastor Drew always encourages Severn Runners to serve outside of the walls of our church building. Bob and his Connect Group, Hearts and Minds, had been exploring options for where their group could become involved in Loving Well and Living Jesus in our community. At 3 that morning Bob felt his heart turn toward the men, women and families represented in the Anne Arundel County Western District Police Station.
Hearts and Minds decided they would utilize Valentine’s Day to share “Boxes of Love” that included a donated Chick-Fil-A gift card, a hand-written note, several edible goodies, and a laminated “Policeman’s Prayer” card. They prayed over the boxes and delivered them to the station on February 13th so that the officers coming in at midnight in the wee hours of Valentine’s Day would receive a box at the beginning of their shift.
On Valentine’s Day at 11:30AM, this “unofficial” response came via the Severn Run website:
“I wanted to take a second to thank you all for the Valentine’s Day gifts you brought to us at the Western District. I can’t explain just how much these acts of community service mean to myself and my colleagues, and how appreciative we are when our community reaches out to thank us.
This message is not being sent to you as representative of the police department, but as a fellow citizen and community member who is extremely moved by the gesture your church has made to us as law enforcement officers. I want you all to know that I am thankful to be able to serve you, and that coming in today to the box on my desk helps me to maintain the perspective that despite the troubled times we find ourselves currently facing in our profession, we have the support of our community. Thank you all.”
Signed “Thankful Detective”
Hearts and Minds are continuing to grow their relationship and ministry with the West County department. They performed lawnmower tune-ups for the officers, and recently teamed up with the Moms of Severn Run Group to host a Police Appreciation Breakfast in the Severn Run Atrium.
“You can really form relationships over a heaping pile of bacon!” Bob mused. “The officers got to see that we are not the ‘caricature of religion’ that Andy Stanley talked about in Go Fish and truly had a good time just getting to know us.”
The morning was lively and fun as officers let the kids attending the breakfast sit in their cruisers and blast the siren, and warm conversations abounded.
Next, Bob and the Hearts and Minds Group are planning to host a car wash and cook-out for the officers in the coming months.
“Our goal is to never let them forget that there are so many out there who respect them, admire them, and appreciate the sacrifice that they (and their families) make to keep us safe. AND to pray for them daily.”
Despite how we may feel at times, we all have extraordinary stories to tell. Our lives are all uniquely different, and our stories are not something that we should shy away from. Jesus told stories in order to convey important truths in a way that people would understand. We can all relate to stories. The religious leaders of Jesus' time only wanted people to follow the rules. Rules try to enforce only one interpretation, and attempt to write the ending before the ending has even been written!
Jesus knew that following these so called “rules” would only keep people away from the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus wants us to live our lives together, unbound by rules, sharing in each other’s stories.
Make peace with your story, do not be afraid to tell it!
Your story will always be open ended, only in heaven will you find out the end of your story! Your story will go on to impact those you have loved and cared for and those you have passed it on to!
The weather forecast for the weekend was bleak. You know what they say about Maryland: If you don’t like the weather, wait half an hour and it’ll change. However, the forecast held steady and one thing was for sure—it was going to rain.
At the start of the week people were beginning to question whether or not Spring Into Serving was still going to happen. Some of our partner ministries even indicated that we should reschedule. Amber sent out Contingency Plans A, B, and C.
BUT, we are Severn Runners!
We knew God had great things in store for our partner ministries and we would not be hindered by a raincloud or two (or lots).
"Jesus led broken people on the road so that they would bump into other broken people in order to reveal His kingdom."
Spring Into Serving Projects:
Broken Wall – Fight Club and Going Deep cleared an existing but unusable baseball backstop of brush and vines at North Bend Elementary School in Catonsville, Maryland.
Grace Redeemer Church – Families with Young Children and Odenton Connects hosted a block party for 100-150 folks from the church and surrounding neighborhood in Meade Village. There was food, face painting, moon bounce, and TONS of fun!
Pascal Senior Center – Hearts and Minds and Young Married Professionals (YMP) cleaned and manicured the garden at the Center in Odenton. The director of Center actually emailed Bob Ogle, the project leader, and told him not to worry about bringing a group out, but the team went anyway. The director was pleasantly surprised when she saw all the work that had been done when she arrived at work on Monday morning.
Elevate Church – The Real World went to the pastor’s house in Annapolis and helped him fix the steps leading to his patio. They also picked up trash in the community and cleaned up a playground.
Transformation Center – Seeking Our So That went to Brooklyn Park to sort clothes for the Clothing Closet and did a neighborhood clean up.
The Well – Moms of Severn Run helped clean out/sort/organize their clothing closet (Hope Chest). A combination of clothes from the Severn Run Clothing Swap and Hope Chest allowed them to host a Free Community Clothing Market. Pizza and hot dogs were served to over 125 shoppers. Leftover clothing items were taken to Transformation Center. In addition, the husbands of the “Moms” helped the building manager to lay sand and pavers to create a back patio area.
Amber Adams, the Connect Leader for Severn Run says, “Jesus led broken people on the road so that they would bump into other broken people in order to reveal His kingdom. Our Connect Groups and IMPACT ministry connected with other local ministries to build relationships and serve with our brothers and sisters. We sent 143 Severn Runners to six different locations from Annapolis to Baltimore where they served with over 200 other believers and non-believers. From a Free Clothing Market to Block Parties to Gardening we saw a glimpse of what it means to be the Church.”
Follow this link to view a slideshow of photos taken at all the Spring Into Serving projects!