NORTH CANAAN â?? Its name pretty much says it all: The Community Mission is a product of the people of the community. Its goal is to carry out the word of God through its work, whether it be through worship services, Bible study, providing needs such as food and clothing, offering access to medical care, tutoring and job support or feeding the soul with cultural programs.
The Rev. Bob Alonge moved to North Canaan and has been working to build a nondenominational ministry, including inspiring worship services on Sundays at 6 p.m. in the Geer Village chapel.
At the same time, he has been forging partnerships with various groups, such as the House of Prayer for All Nations in Salisbury and Christian Connection Ministries in Sheffield.
We are hoping to reach people not currently connected with a church, Alonge said, and who have a desire to get to know God and get involved in their community. Everyone has God-given talents that can be used to help and inspire others.
Alonge, a native of Great Barrington, has been a pastor for more than 25 years. For much of that time, he ran a nonprofit arts organization in Massachusetts.
These days, his energy goes toward building a following and finding a building, not for a church, but to house services such as a food pantry and counseling. He recognizes that one of the pitfalls of the area's older churches is the resources needed just to maintain historic buildings.
He likes the description of a storefront ministry and says a downtown storefront would be perfect for their needs.
Alonge is seeking to start a community-wide dialog about the issues.
" I plan to hold community forums and hear what people have to say about pressing issues in North Canaan and surrounding towns, and find ways to address them as a community."
Coming up on July 17 and July 31, both at 6 p.m. at Geer Village, are forums on ...Parents and the Faith Community.
Some of the topics that may be discussed are bullying, self-esteem, drug- and alcohol-use by youth, mentoring and public expressions of faith.
To celebrate the joyous side of the mission, Gospelfest 2012 will be presented at the Lawrence Field Pavilion July 27 and 28, 5 to 9 p.m. Performers will include Alonge, Robin O"Herin, Dianne Steele, Mary Jo Joyce, The Gospel Gang and The Messengers.
Sunday worship is open to all, and available to view at the CATV6-robinhoodradiotv Facebook page.
The community access station is also presenting a new program, Hour of Prophecy, with Pastor Ayodele Awe of the House of Prayer for All Nations. It will address scripture and current world events.
Alonge can be reached at 781-413-7604, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.thecommunitymission.webs.com.