By Ray Balogh
WINONA LAKE — One of the largely unsung combatants in the realm of community service is Intercession Group, a 501(c)(3) based in Winona Lake whose purpose is to answer the question, “What would happen if our county came together to engage in the needs of our community with a shared vision?”
“Our hope is to spark a movement,” said Jeri Purdy, executive director, “a movement of awareness, action and deepened community for all who live, work and play in Kosciusko County.”
The organization published a “State of the County” report last year detailing statistics of the current needs in K-12 education, business landscape, social enterprise and the church. County stats include:
• Poverty has grown 3.6 times faster than the population since 1990.
• One in six children live in poverty and 49% of students are in the free or reduced lunch program.
• Teacher salaries have decreased 3% during the past decade, when adjusted for inflation.
• The workforce comprises 78% of the state’s orthopedic jobs.
• There are only 1,298 spots available for the 3,713 children who need child care.
• The county ranks third in the state in meth labs.
• More than 57% of the county’s 80,000 residents are unchurched.
The nonprofit supports three outreach components to minister to individuals and businesses throughout the county.
Men Following Christ
Men Following Christ is “a monthly meeting for men of all ages, open to anyone looking to grow in their walk with Jesus Christ.”
Meetings are held from 8 to 10 a.m. the last Saturday of each month in the Alpha Dining Hall, Grace College, Winona Lake. The meetings are free and breakfast is provided.
The stated mission of Men Following Christ is “to equip, encourage and empower men to be passionately devoted disciples of Jesus Christ” and is founded on four “cornerstones:” the fatherhood of God, deity of Christ, personality of the Holy Spirit and divine inspiration of the Bible. Theological questions are not discussed at the meetings.
Women In The Workplace
Women in the Workplace is a “monthly lunchtime roundtable. These encounters will enable working women to build relationships with other Christian women in the marketplace, encouraging women to use their influence through their avenues of business, nonprofit and relationships,” according to the website, www.glswarsaw.com.
Meetings are held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Monday of each month at The Hub, 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake.
The cost, which includes lunch, is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
The Nov. 2 meeting will feature guest speaker Shanon Roberts, author of seven books and creator of unique fashioned artwork. She will speak about on the concept, “Beyond: Living Unshakable,” based upon her book of the same title.
According to the meeting’s online promotional material, “She will inspire you to be more intentional with your relationship with God, discover your calling, and radiate Christ to your spouse, children, those you work with and minister to and anyplace you go.”
Roberts worked for two decades in the orthopedic industry, earning nine co-authored U.S. patents. She hosts a podcast and is a content contributor to the YouVersion Bible app. She has created the “Rise Up Commitment” 10-week e-course, including curriculum areas of Scripture, nutrition and fitness.
According to her bio, “Shanon is passionate about meeting women on their faith journey of living whole lives and provides opportunities to educate, encourage and facilitate healing through the content she shares and the works of art she creates.
“She thoroughly enjoys connecting others to the Word of God, his vision and purposes for their life, and then supporting women as they take faith-filled, transformative steps toward his vision.”
Global Leadership Summit
The annual two-day conference, designed to “educate and mentor individuals in practical leadership skills,” is broadcast live from Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., to “hundreds of locations in North America.”
The next conference will be held Thursday and Friday, Aug. 5-6, 2021.
For more information, call (574) 269-4752 or visit www.intercessiongroup.org.