Recently, we mentioned the donation of Christmas gifts for families of peers at Perry Wellness Center by Saint John’s Anglican Church of Americus. As the relationship between the center and church continues to grow, both organizations envision a better community with opportunities for partnership.
Their current project: building raised garden beds on a portion of the 10 acres the church occupies on Southland Road. These beds will be used to provide additional gardening space and learning experience for peers. Not only is space being donated, but materials and hands-on building assistance. It can only be a positive sign that the beds are located near the massive cross on the church grounds.
The creation of gardening space is just one part of a major effort underway at the growing young church. Plans are to cover the acreage surrounding the church building with walking trails, football and soccer fields, and playground areas. These features will provide recreation for church members and also encourage others in the community to visit. Work has already begun on both the beds and the overall development project. On an initial visit, several peers helped plant many shrubs on the grounds.
In a recent meeting with Father Jim Parker, church rector, and church members Reggie Daniels and George Peagler, enthusiasm for the project was evident. Peagler explained, “We are into becoming a supportive partner for good in Americus, Sumter County, and our area. We want to be sure to provide information and love to help make every individual aware of God’s goodness. Our three-mile walking trail begins at the Cross. We hope that all who visit our grounds feels the love of God and this church.”
Added Daniels, who is project leader, “We are really into the mission and ministry of Perry Wellness Center for those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. We want to partner to build raised beds with peers. This is exciting and a learning experience for all who are involved.” He described the efforts of other church members in the project: “Phil Hardy designed prototypes for these beds, and Johnny Shiver shared his faith with a donation of all needed wood and materials to complete this project.”
Father Parker noted, “We are excited about our partnership of giving time, space, and planting and harvesting of vegetables with Perry Wellness Center. We hope that we can share the message of this unity and partnership by the Grace of God.”
Finally, PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry expressed his own enthusiasm about the project, saying, “I was excited to find the caring and goodness of this church. I enjoy attending this church, and the other missions of the church are exactly what we want to share with our peers at Perry Wellness Center. Father Parker has invited our peers to attend services at the church. There are activities throughout the week, and we will work to see that we become involved with their mission of sharing the word of God and helping others.”
One organization works to save mental and physical health, while another works to save souls. Together, they can only have a profound impact on the lives of individuals in the community.
In the photo above, peer Henry Stephens, church volunteer Hunter Trollinger, and Father Jim Parker begin the wood cutting for the future raised beds at Saint John’s Anglican Church.