Pray for Bourbon! Do I have your attention? I’m not talking about “spirits” you can bottle, but the Spirit at work among the saints in the small town of Bourbon, Missouri, population 1601. About an hour southwest of St. Louis, I-44 zooms past their quaint community where Concordia Lutheran Church is reaching out as a new Plus One congregation.
Wannette, a teacher at Bourbon Elementary and member at Concordia, saw the need of students and families in their community to have a Christian after-school ministry. Pastor John Roach, who serves the congregation as a part-time retired pastor enthusiastically supported the effort. Quickly other teachers and volunteers began planning their effort late last fall. They talked to the school principal, developed a school-approved questionnaire to assess parent needs and contacted the Missouri District for help with a Plus One coach.
After the Christmas break, the partnership with Concordia and school district launched. There’s now a bus stop at the church and students can participate in the daily Christian program which runs till 6:00 p.m. When kids arrive, they have a snack prepared by the congregation. Next there’s time for personal help with homework and reading for students. They learn Bible stories and participate in crafts and baking. When the weather warms up, they will have outdoor recreation, too.
Less than two months into the program, the congregation already has an average of nine daily students. They are building relationships with new families. They’ve obtained resources from their coach, John Perling. They have ten active volunteers from a congregation with an average worship attendance of 57 and growing.
Pray for Bourbon! Pray for the volunteers of Concordia Lutheran and the Spirit at work within them. Pray for relationships that bring Jesus to these children and families. Pray for Bourbon Elementary where 418 students (pre-K through 4) have a community church in Concordia that is bringing them Good News by taking one new step.