Living, Learning, and Witnessing through Service
The Hospitality Apartments provide rent-free housing to families in need who come to Houston for treatment at the Medical Center. This ministry is an all-volunteer program that was begun by Joe Hightower and a group of Bering members in 1968. While a number of Bering Members still serve at the apartments, it also draws on financial support and volunteers from a variety of denominations and congregations.
The volunteers work in the office to respond to inquiries, accept applications from families seeking assistance and assign apartments as they become available. There are also opportunities to do yard work and other maintenance tasks around the apartments.
For information concerning volunteer opportunities please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Rocky Forshey, at 713.790.9120 or [email protected].
The Lifeline Chaplaincy uses chaplains and trained volunteers to provide spiritual care for patients and their families who are in the Texas Medical Center. An extension of that work provides funding for special patient needs such as short-term housing, parking, etc.
Volunteer opportunities include serving in administrative roles as well as visiting patients and their families. Individuals who wish to visit patients go through special preparation and training and receive guidance from the chaplains on staff.
Paul Riddle at Bering Drive conducts the volunteer training and can provide additional information on those programs. You can reach Paul at 713.524.1055.
Christian Community Service Center
CCSC is an ecumenical organization that cares for the needs of the poor. It operates a food pantry and resale shop in Bellaire and offers employment counseling, vocational training, and other services for families in need.
Bering volunteers staff a food pantry in West Houston on one Saturday per month.
Tim Hughes serves as Bering’s liaison with CCSC. However, to explore volunteer opportunities please contact the CCSC Resource Development Coordinator at [email protected]. She will answer your questions and describe current opportunities. Most volunteers find it helpful to schedule a 30-45 minute tour/orientation.
The Missions Ministry provides spiritual support and oversight for our foreign missionaries. These include Chester and Angela Woodhall in South Africa and Ruperta Davila in south Texas. Members of this ministry visit the missionaries in the field, coordinate visits to the U.S., and provide input for the Bering budget.
Cynthia Ownby is the chair of this ministry and is happy to describe its activities and opportunities. For more information, contact the Church Office.
Children need special teaching and activities to challenge their young minds as they learn about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, family, and friends. This ministry draws upon Bering members who have a special heart for teaching children.
The ministry does not require a long term commitment and flexibly adapts to the availability of volunteer teachers. It provides teaching kits or lesson plans that reduce the time required for preparation. There are also opportunities to help with the annual VBS and Halloween Trunk or Treat.
Cynthia Ownby leads this ministry. She can be contacted through the Church Office, and will happy to describe how varying roles and teaching opportunities might fit your schedule and talents.
This ministry taps the talents of Bering members who are interested in leading adult classes on Sunday morning. The teaching roles rotate on a regular basis and the format varies based on the class location (auditorium, Parlor and West Wing) and interests of the group.
Jeff Christian coordinates the teaching assignments. In some cases there is a common theme or focus for the class year. However, teachers always have a great deal of freedom in developing the topic.
Jeff is always eager to hear from individuals who are open to leading a class for part of the year.
Jackie Lyles coordinates these important assignments. If you are willing to serve in this area Jackie can arrange for orientation training to introduce you to the Bering systems and procedures.
The Encouragement Ministry offers affirmation and support to Bering members and friends who are experiencing sickness, personal loss or other trials. It also provides an opportunity to share with those who are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other joyous events.
During Sunday morning worship Bering members have the opportunity to write encouragement cards. The members of the ministry then sort and mail the cards to the intended recipients. Samira Fitts is the leader for this initiative and can help align your schedule with the ministry needs. For more information, contact the Church Office.
The Bering library has a wide selection of books for helping Christians in their spiritual journey and in their personal and family life. There are Bibles of various translations, tools for scripture learning, church histories, devotionals, and thoughtful books for many life issues Christians face.
An online catalog of our inventory is coming soon.
Under the leadership of Anna Huber, ministry members receive, classify and place incoming volumes, and maintain the correct placement of existing materials. If you are interested in helping with this ministry, contact the Church Office.
Ginny and Nedra Smith lead this effort and can integrate your availability with the overall schedule.
Building and Grounds
Building and Grounds attends to the needs of our physical facility. Our Operations Manager oversees the day-to-day activities, including the work of Antero Gutierrez, our custodian. However, periodically special projects and work days require action by one or more volunteers. Alec Schrader serves as the leader of this ministry. Please let him know if you have skills you can share in the areas of plumbing, electrical work, woodworking, carpentry or landscaping.
Food and Fellowship (Meet and Eat)
This ministry provides an excellent opportunity for members to get to know a wide variety of other members through shared meals and fellowship. The coordinators set up groups of six to eight individuals drawing upon both couples and singles. The individuals within the groups then take turns hosting a meal in their homes or at a restaurant. New groups are assigned every three months.
The current coordinators are Mary Logan and Lisa Porterfield. You can let Mary or Lisa know if you would like to assist in coordination or simply be assigned to a group as they are formed.
The Benevolence Ministry responds to the needs of Bering members who have special financial needs. To the extent possible, the ministry helps meet short term needs while also providing financial counseling and identifying relevant community resources.
The Administrative Team oversees this ministry. Please contact the Church Office if you have a heart to assist members with financial problems and are willing to help others work through what are sometimes sensitive and difficult issues.
The Administration team (A Team) works to creatively administer tasks supporting the mission and values of the church as enunciated by the Pastoral Team. It recommends new or improved structures and processes for meeting the needs of the Bering family, as well as the broader community.
Each Administration Team member serves as a liaison with a number of Bering ministries. The role of the A Team member is to understand the ministry objectives, provide support and understand financial requirements. The A Team nurtures communications between themselves and all of the ministry teams, the staff and the community.
The work of the A Team tends to fall into the following major categories:
The work of the A Team tends to fall into the following major categories:
- Budget preparation and administration
- Building and Grounds
- Support of new ministries and assistance to existing ministries when requested
- Church communications
- Special tasks and requests that do not fall cleanly into another ministry.
The six members of the A Team serve four year terms, with the role of the chair rotating every eight months. While members are selected by the congregation, we encourage you to let current A Team members know that you are willing to serve.