The Better Place News

The purpose of this page is to report on what God has been doing through The Better Place ministry. “…they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them…” – Acts 14:26-27
For a look at news that is still waiting to be made, take a look at the Coming Events page. And for another perspective on both news of what has happened as well as coming events, you may want to check the Current Prayer Requests page.

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PRAYER WALKS

Mac Pier used to be the director of “Concerts of Prayer of Greater New York City.” He is the person who coined the phrase about prayer-walking as “praying on site with insight.” Truly that is just what happens when people gather to walk the streets of any city while seeking God regarding what to pray for that city and the people of the city as they walk.

We thank God for Kathleen Collver, a member of the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jamestown, for organizing prayer walks of the city this past summer and fall. The photos here are from just such a walk that took place on the 6th of November.

The group of walkers gathered in Baker Park in Jamestown, prayed there, and then walked prayerfully to city hall. At city hall they gathered in a circle as they prayed for the members of government and many other persons and concerns of the city. Then the prayers continued as the walkers made their way to Dow Park and circled up again to pray there.

Finally, the walkers returned to Baker Park; praying all the way.

God truly blesses these occasions as prayers rise to him like fragrant incense.  And, in the process, believers from different congregations of the Church get to know each other better and the unity of the Church is strengthened.

No prayer-walks are planned for the winter months, but it is expected that these special times will resume in the spring.

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Roy L. Miller  Director,
The Better Place, Inc. – Text or call: 716/720-0028

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PASTOR’S SUMMIT
“Being Equipped to be Agents of Racial Reconciliation”

 

The Better Place serves in many ways to help the Church to answer Jesus’ prayer for the unity and oneness of the Church. Some examples are the pastor’s weekly prayer gatherings on Tuesday mornings in Jamestown, regional worship gatherings, concerts of prayer, the National Day of Prayer gatherings, and prayer walks. The on-going effort to equip pastors to equip the members of their congregations to do what only the Church can do to eliminate the spiritual strongholds of racism is another example.

Over a year ago, the “Task force for Racial Reconciliation” was formed. This task force is comprised of a dozen pastors and a couple lay people who all represent different congregations and denominations and who are both “white” and “black.”

This Task Force organized and sponsored a Pastor’s Summit on the 20th of November 2021. This Summit was hosted by the Park United Methodist Church in Sinclairville, NY. This is a central location in Chautauqua County.

Over thirty pastors participated in the day-long event. They were blessed by the presence of the mayors of Jamestown and Dunkirk, our county sheriff, and our county executive. Each of these men shared very meaningful words of greeting as well as insightful information about the realities of racism in the county and also positive things that are being done to overcome it.

Our keynote speaker of the day was, Bishop William Turner Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at SUNY College at Brockport. Dr. Turner also teaches at Northeastern Seminary in North Chili, NY. His expertise centers on race, religion, identity, and leadership. Dr. Turner is also senior pastor at Living Word Temple of Restoration Ministries in Rochester, NY, and oversees ten associated churches.

All those present expressed agreement that this day together was a good start toward continuing to work together to do what only the Church can do to eliminate racism. There will be follow-up gatherings in the new year as pastors look forward to addressing the same topics at the same time on Sunday mornings; all in an effort to equip the Church to live the gospel of Jesus where racism is concerned.

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Roy L. Miller  Director,
The Better Place, Inc. – Text or call: 716/720-0028

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MEN OF INTEGRITY FALL EVENT
“Rise to the Challenge.”

 

On Saturday the 16th of October 2021, our Men of Integrity gathered at Camp Mission Meadows for a day of fun that we called “Rise to the Challenge.”MOI-Fall Event -7

Talk about unity; over twenty different congregations of the church were represented!

The “challenge” was two-fold. One was to engage in various physical challenges as we had a cornhole tournament, climbed a rock wall, threw axes, shot arrows, balanced a tennis ball on a surface as it was carried to a target bucket, walked in sync [or not] on timbers from start to the finish line. What a blast! – The second challenge was from God’s word that invites us and calls us to live a persons of integrity as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

MOI-Fall Event -6All of the above filled our afternoon. Then as evening approached, the men were joined by their wives for a banquet. That was followed by a time of worship and then a panel presentation by some “youlds” [youthful old people] who answered questions from our moderator regarding marriage. – During the evening program, certificates and prizes were awarded to the men who had excelled in the afternoon challenges.

God blessed greatly!

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Roy L. Miller  Director,
The Better Place, Inc. – Text or call: 716/720-0028

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Women of EnCOURAGEment

 

Women of Encouragement
December Gathering

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“Table fellowship” is always a great way to connect with people and to get to know each other better. That is how each Saturday morning gathering of our Women of EnCOURAGEment begins. The women gather around tables of various sizes in the dining room at Christ Church in Greenhurst, NY. After a yummy breakfast meal, the women move into the sanctuary of the church for a program, testimonies, and for prayer ministry.

Renee Timberlake was scheduled to be the speaker at the December 2022 gathering of our Women of EnCOURAGEment, but she was quarantined due to COVID. That required a last-minute change, but no problem. Kayla Crosby was present for the gathering, so she shared the latest news regarding the Jamestown Jackals.

 

Kayla is the owner and a coach of the Jamestown Jackals, a professional basketball team. The Jackals joined “The Basketball League” in 2018. This is a Christ-centered professional league. The players are high-caliber athletes and men of great integrity. Besides playing basketball, part of their mission is to serve in the communities where they are located to encourage youth along a path of wholesome living.

The members of the Jackals speak at group gatherings, and they also minister to individuals. Young people are being encouraged and their lives are being transformed because of the connections the Jackals have been making.

Kayla herself has been experiencing the amazing provision of God and God’s direction as she continues to give leadership to this endeavor by faith.

During every gathering of our Women of EnCOURAGEment, needs – as well as praises and thanksgivings – are shared. Then there is always a time for the women to minister to each other and to pray in agreement regarding the situations and needs that are brought up. This Saturday morning, one of the “right now” needs that was addressed was the suicides of two teens who attended the Warren, PA high school. It was recognized this this is a situation where the members of the Jackals can – and do – make themselves available to help and to heal.

Our Women of EnCOURAGEment will gather again on the 8th of January in 2022. Check out the COMING EVENTS page at this web site for all the details.

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