We checked in recently with Rev. Christine Smith, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Wycliffe, Ohio, to see how things were going with the a-borning COTAAN project. You may recall reading previous posts contributed by Rev. Smith. (Use this link to see all of the previously posted COTAAN-related blog entries.) Rev. Smith was thrilled to be able to let us know what was going on! Here is what she had to say….
“We held our community open house on Monday, October 15th. In preparation for the meeting, we painted two of the classrooms and prepared the children’s room (a room designed for children of the program participants should they need child care during their time with us) for the meeting tour. We had about 15 agencies to respond to our invitation; not all showed up, but their responses were very enthusiastic and encouraging. We had presentations and remarks from three of our community partners and received information about several other agencies that may be willing to partner with us. We were also blessed to have a testimony from a young lady who served time in prison years ago. She shared the struggles of returning citizens and how a ministry like COTAAN would have blessed and benefited her in her time of transition and need.
“Since our last discussion, the Lord touched the heart of one of Covenant’s members to donate a van to the church/COTAAN for our transportation ministry! The van will be used to provide transportation to program participants should they need a ride to the meetings. Although the van is older, the family had just replaced the old engine with a new one. Isn’t that a wonderful metaphor for what the COTAAN program is striving to do? While we can’t change the vessel, God can change the heart within the vessel and make it brand new!
“The program agenda is below. Unfortunately, we were so excited to have our first event, our director forgot to take pictures – ugggh! Oh well, can’t get everything right! Keep us in your prayers. We are awaiting an answer from our most recent grant endeavor. We had to push our actual start date back to January 15th, 2013, while we seek additional funds for the program. In the mean time, we have visits planned to the Cleveland area pre-release center, meetings with additional partners scheduled, and letters going out to local pastors and churches, inviting them to refer individuals to COTAAN.”
Meet & Greet Reception
Welcome–Minister Kathryn Johnson, COTAAN Program Director
Opening Prayer–Rev. Christine Smith, Covenant Baptist Church Senior Pastor
Scripture Reading (Luke: 4:18-19)–Sister Rhonda Lawrence, COTAAN Teache
Vision for COTAAN Pastor Christine Smith
Mission Statement Min. Kathryn Johnson (“The mission of COTAAN is to provide a soft landing to those coming from a hard start.”)
Statement of Need Min. Kathryn Johnson
Program Overview Min. Kathryn Johnson
Introduction of Teachers
Reverend Christine A. Smith, Senior Pastor Covenant Baptist Church
Minister Kathryn Johnson, Associate Minister Covenant Baptist Church
Reverend Julia Moses, Associate Minister Covenant Baptist Church
Reverend Monica Morris, Associate Minister Covenant Baptist Church
Sister Denise Bryant, Lay Church School Teacher Covenant Baptist Church
Sister Rhonda Lawrence, Lay Church School Teacher Covenant Baptist Church
Rasheda Mims, Fifth Third Bank
Devon Hickman, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Miriam Grady, COTAAN Volunteer & Testimonial Supporter
Questions and Answers
Solicitation of Support Min. Kathryn Johnson
Words of Appreciation Pastor Christine Smith
COTAAN Classrooms Tour
COTAAN is a grant project of AB Women’s Ministries. For more information about COTAAN , including how you could help support this ministry, click here.