Prospects here, prospects abroad

Prospect UMC gives mem­bers im­por­tant op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Covington News - - RELIGION LOCAL - SA­MAN­THA REAR­DON news@cov­

Vi­brant life is rooted in car­ing love at Prospect Church, a parish that has cel­e­brated the United Methodist faith in Cov­ing­ton since 1830. Af­ter al­most 200 years and mul­ti­ple moves to dif­fer­ent sites in the area, Prospect has main­tained its growth by adapt­ing to the needs of its parish. The church added its Fam­ily Life Cen­ter in 2004.

Pas­tor Ronny Bran­nen was orig­i­nally hired more than 30 years ago as a min­is­ter of mu­sic and youth. He now leads the con­gre­ga­tion as se­nior pas­tor.

“We re­ally want to share the good news of Je­sus with the world by be­ing in­volved with the com­mu­nity,” Bran­nen said of Prospect’s mis­sion. That means giv­ing church mem­bers the op­por­tu­ni­ties they feel led to, both in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and abroad.

Bran­nen him­self is a global ser­vice board mem­ber. He has been on sev­eral mis­sion trips to coun­tries all over the world. At the end of De­cem­ber each year, Bran­nen takes a group of church mem­bers to House of Grace, a home that houses about 100 girls ages 4-23.

This year a den­tist will pro­vide den­tal care for the girls. Though Christ­mas will be over back home, the group will cel­e­brate Christ­mas with them while there. They will help girls with their school­work, play with them and — most im­por­tantly — build last­ing re­la­tion­ships.

The up­com­ing trip in De­cem­ber will mark Bran­nen’s eleventh trip to House of Grace. He’s known many of the girls for more than a decade.

“They had gone to col­lege and came back to see me,” Bran­nen said of one of his re­cent trips. “I lit­er­ally got to watch these girls grow up.”

Prospect cur­rently has three global mis­sions: House of Grace in Chi­ang Rai, Thai­land; Prospect Church in Ghana, West Africa; and Prospect Dis­ci­ple Methodist Church in Togo, Africa.

Even for those who can’t make it abroad or pre­fer to work on mis­sions at home, Prospect hosts a 10K at Denny Dobbs Park each year to raise funds for global mis­sions. Par­tic­i­pants gains spon­sors and can walk, run or bike as much as they want. The first hun­dred raised by each par­tic­i­pant goes to a spe­cific global mis­sion, and any over­flow that person raises goes to a min­istry of their choos­ing.

Whether it’s abroad or lo­cal, Prospect’s con­gre­ga­tion very much wants to be in­volved in the lives of peo­ple around them.

The pop­u­lar Up­ward Sports min­istry of­fers chil­dren’s bas­ket­ball, cheer­lead­ing and soc­cer. These pro­grams al­low kids from all around the com­mu­nity to learn lead­er­ship and team­work, as well as the chance to just get out and play. Bran­nen said about 70 per­cent or more of those in­volved in the boom­ing min­istry are mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who don’t at­tend church at Prospect.

With a di­verse con­gre­ga­tion com­prised of many ages, Prospect is al­ways look­ing for what Bran­nen said are the next steps in help­ing the com­mu­nity.

Sub­mit­ted photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

Prospect Church’s Walk 4 Mis­sions 10K is a yearly event with the goal of rais­ing funds for global mis­sions.

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