Tag Archives: community service

Allison Hill MLK Day of Service Brings Out the Best In Us

Since it’s true that “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve,” bcmPEACE partnered with many wonderful local organizations to host a Day of Service in Allison Hill in cooperation with a nationwide day dedicated to community improvement. Houses of worship, organizations, teams, and individuals of all ages and ethnicities- in all 50 states – donated time on Monday, January 18, 2016 to provide services in their neighborhoods.

Dennis Saylor of Brethren Housing Association and Daryn Bullock of First Church of the Brethren

Approximately 160 willing servants attended the Allison Hill MLK Day of Service. The program opened at Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, which was one of the partner organizations for the event. Other partner agencies include Hamilton Health Center, Latino Hispanic American Community Center, and Tri County Community Action.  Additionally, students from the Netherlands visiting Messiah College came as part of a cross-cultural experience, and volunteers through the YWCA’s YouthBuild program also joined in.

YWCA YouthBuild Volunteers

YWCA YouthBuild Volunteers

Each year, members of the Allison Hill community who teach and model Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophies and ethics are honored with the Drum Major Award from the Corporation for National Community Service. This year Ronald Johnson, Claude Phipps, and the executive director of bcmPEACE, Rev. Ron Tilley, were presented with Drum Major Awards. Pennsylvania Senator Rob Teplitz of the 15th Senatorial District and Harrisburg City Councilman Jeffrey Baltimore participated in the Day of Service.

Drum Major award to Rev Tilley

Senator Rob Teplitz presenting Ron Tilley with a MLK Drum Major for Service Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service

Why a “Drum Major” Award? In 1968, as Dr. King preached, he stated, “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness; and all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

In the words of Rev. Tilley, “My favorite quote of Dr. King is, ‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a garment of single destiny.’ The reality of our existence is that we are interconnected in the most profound manner. That inter-connectedness means that what happens to one of us affects all of us.”

The Allison Hill Day of Service will occur again next year Monday, January 16, 2017. In the meantime, continue following this blog as we introduce our readers to a collection of significant works by or about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dedicate time in 2016 to study his teachings and how they relate to our current context, and look for other opportunities to serve the community.

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Students and Community Members who worked on their day off to improve the neighborhood

Jesus Is the Reason…

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You’ve probably heard it said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Jesus Christ is the heart of Christmas; His birth is central to our belief that He is Emmanuel, God with us. “God with us” means that we’re not alone on earth, that there is supernatural power, help and love available to us through faith.

Jesus is more than just the reason for Christmas, though. Here at bcmPEACE, Jesus is the reason we do everything we do. The Bible says that we love because He loved us first. When we distribute food to the hungry, or clothes to the cold; when we teach parents how to set good examples and make good choices for their children, or teach someone how to use a computer; when we provide affordable housing or helpful referrals, we are loving people with the same love God has shown us through Jesus Christ.

John 3:16 says, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not decay and die, but live forever.” The next verse is so encouraging. John 3:17 assures us, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” 1 John 3:1 declares, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Not only at Christmas, but all year long, at bcmPEACE Jesus is THE REASON. He is the reason we love our community. He is the reason we serve all year long. You could say that He is the Reason for all Seasons! #bcmPEACE #BeThePeace @bcmPEACE