Ministry reaches out to community through 'Second Saturday' events
DECATUR, Mar 17, 2012 (Menafn - Herald & Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Unique Hayes didn't know anyone in Decatur when she moved to town to accept an engineering job with Caterpillar Inc. less than a year ago, but it wasn't long before she was searching for a way to make her community a better place. Now, as the executive director of "Sow Good Sow Sweet Ministries," Hayes is reaching out to members of all local Christian denominations to bring people together.
"I've moved around a lot for my career, but when I came to Decatur, I knew it wasn't just for the job," said Hayes, the daughter of a Toledo, Ohio, pastor and a minister since 2001. "God spoke to me and gave me that name, 'Sow Good Sow Sweet,' and I knew that I was supposed to start this organization."
The name, which is pronounced "So good, so sweet," is a reference to biblical verse and also to the organization's goal of bringing local Christians together in fellowship.
"The Bible says 'the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few,' " Hayes said. "We need to commit to be those laborers. God wants us to sow the Earth with fellowship and plant these seeds of good faith."
The primary route of the organization in reaching its audience has been a series of "Second Saturday Sows," which began being hosted last month at downtown Decatur's Wildflour Artisan Bakery and Cafe, 256 W. Main St., and will continue each month on the evening of the second Saturday. Each event is dedicated to spoken word and poetry readings, along with guest speakers and interactive networking activities for all ages. Hayes is quick to point out that non-Christians also are welcome.
"The purpose is really to give local people an avenue of escape from their cluttered lives and give them fellowship with Christ," she said. "I knew when we started that it was important to give people something to do outside the church. At the events, people sing, they read poetry and just have a good time."
In only a few months, the Saturday Sows have found enthusiastic participants. It helps that the speakers and activities tackle universal, nondenominational themes, and the organization is not tied to any specific local church.
"People can have a snack, network and relax," Hayes said. "Last time, we had a speaker from Michigan talk about the mission trip he's going to be doing in Uganda. It's not connected to any church. We just want people to feel comfortable and connect as like-minded people. I have to thank the Wildflour owners, as it's been a great blessing to be able to use their space."
In addition to the monthly meetings, Sow Good Sow Sweet also operates a truly digital-age concept -- text message ministry. Daily "inspirational texts" are sent to those who choose to participate. Hayes also dreams of a physical headquarters for the organization some time in the near future where more programming could take place.
"We would like to be offering different classes and courses to help people live more productive lives," she said. "Anything from managing finances to biblical living."
For now, however, the "Second Saturday Sows" will be the focus of the ministry, with the next occurring April 14. Before that date, additional information on the organization can be obtained from Hayes, who can be reached at Sowgoodsowsweet@gmail.com.
"The meetings are great because they give people a sense of what God has done for others and not just for themselves," the minister said. "People leave feeling motivated and positive and thankful. That's why we're doing this."
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