Urban Ministries Initiative

was established in 2009 as a subcommittee of the ANE District Witness Commission as the Urban Initiatives Task Team (UITT). This team initially consisted of pastors and leaders of the four ANE District “Mission” churches (Alpha & Omega, Brooklyn First, Germantown, Harrisburg First). The originating purpose of the committee was to gather around the same table to share the joys, challenges and opportunities of ministering in urban settings. The hope was that through these connections, the work of the four mission churches would be strengthened and could also include others who are “seeking the welfare of the city”. The name was changed to Urban Ministries Initiative in 2017.

Family Ministry Stories: Faith & Finances Event June 12, 2021



There is a Saturday lunch program and food pantry that operates in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

They feed over 100 people in need in the community and they do it on a volunteer basis through donations.  I called them to see if there was a particular need that I could help with.  I was informed that although they had the meal covered, they were in need of refreshments. With the Seed Money, I was able to provide iced tea for the group, and included enough so that they had enough to cover the following Saturday as well.  While I was there to deliver the drinks, I learned that they were shorthanded because of the holiday 4th of July weekend.  As a result, I stayed to help with setting up, preparing the meal, serving the people, and cleaning up afterwards.  This was a great blessing for me to be able to help, serve, and bless others.  It reminds me a verse form 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  I have helped this group in the past, donating various things at various times, and I will consider making this group part of my family ministry account and part of my budget.  – Jazmin Quijano


During the quarantine they opened donation center down my block,

and I went the other day carrying some can food to donate and I noticed that a lady went with her baby asking for some pampers but they didn’t have, I was able to accompany to the lady to the Rite Aid store and get some pampers for her. She was in tears.  Me, myself, used this pantry as a supplier system for various months and I have developed a good neighbor relationship with the volunteers that run it.   Thank you!!  Sara.


Two of my grandchildren were visiting with me and my husband last month

and came to church with us outside in the parking lot at Harrisburg First COB. I asked them to put the seed money in our church offering, as we support many community ministries in Allison Hill.  The act of participating in offering and demonstrating this in front of the congregation is an important concept to teach the younger generations of my family. Thank you for sending the seed money.  – Donna K. Sunderland Benson


I have a neighbor by the name of Chiu W. Lo  who lives two houses over from us.

Throughout the years we became friends and could not see each other in passing without stopping to chat and share stories.  His wife, Kitt, passed away nearly four years ago, leaving Mr. Lo to live alone.  Because we were so close at the time, Mr. Lo and his family invited us to Mrs. Lo’s wake.  That was very special to us because from our experience and what we have seen and heard of the Asian community, it is honor to be invited to the wake for a loved one because that is strictly reserved for only family and very close friends.

Within the past several months, we learned that Mr. Lo is now battling a serious illness of his own.  Although his condition is stable, he appears to be getting weaker as time goes on, and that he had become unable to care for the lawn and garden in front of his house.  It is a garden that his wife took very special care of and took a great deal of pride in.  I waited for our gardener to come around at the scheduled time, and we asked him to go over to Mr. Lo’s house and “spruce up” the front lawn and garden.  Well, on this date, the gardener came by and gladly accepted the opportunity to take care of Mr. Li’s property.  He accepted the $10.00 Family Ministry Seed Money and did a wonderful job on the front of the house.  (I will send an after picture to sister Mary Etta’s phone)

We do not know if or when Mr. Lo will notice that the front of his house was done, as that may be the last thing on his mind because of health concerns.  But maybe he will notice it and receive it as a blessing from an anonymous source.  Thank you for thinking about this important ministry.  – Edwin Quijano


Today, I picked up some chicken dinners supporting a ministry that provides healthcare,

dental, and counseling services free to those who do not have insurance.  They rely on the doctor, nurses and most of the staff to volunteer.  A few of my dear friends are those volunteers.  They have been hit hard with the lack of support due to the cancellation of fundraisers.  So, in addition to purchasing the dinners, I was able to donate the $10 (and an additional $10 that was returned).  As a family, we decided we were going to match that money.  So I all in all was able to donate an additional $40 to the clinic.  – Kelly Bernstein


Few days ago I received a text message from Venezuela asking me for help.

A dear pastor was very sick in the hospital because of Covid-19 and the family didn’t have resources to buy medicines. At this time, the exchange rate from the Venezuelan currency to the dollar is 3,215,000 bolivares for 1 dollar. Not finding another cause to help the community around me these days, we decided to send an offering that included this $10 seed to Venezuela in order to help with the costs of medicines necessary to take care of this pastor in his critical condition. We thank God to hear that the pastor is recovering his health little by little.  We thank God for this ANE initiative based on the Faith and Finance workshop provided by BBT

Hace unos días recibí un texto por Messenger desde Venezuela donde se me solicitaba ayuda para ayudar a un pastor que estaba en el Hospital grave por causa del Covid-19. En este momento el cambio de la moneda venezolana al dólar es de 3,215,000 bolívares por 1 dólar.  No encontrando otra causa de ayuda a la comunidad cercana a mi en estos días, decidimos enviar una ofrenda que incluyo esta ofrenda semilla a Venezuela para ayudar con los costos de medicinas necesarios para atender a este pastor en su crítica condición. Damos gracias a Dios de escuchar que el pastor está recuperando su salud poco a poco.  Gracias damos a Dios por esta iniciativa de ANE basado en el taller de Fe y Finanzas provisto por BBT.

Joel Pena


I have a friend who I know lives on a very tight budget.

She told me she would like to participate in a ladies Bible study group but the book they were using cost $10.  I used my $10 to buy her book for her so she could be a part of this study group. – Mary Etta Reinhart


Like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.  Isaiah 6:13

Both the terebinth and oak trees are hardy and their essence serve multiple purposes. The $10.00 family seed money brought happiness to a young woman receptionist who is a college student. Hopefully it will also serve multiple purposes in her life. I was blessed in giving the $10.00 to a student.  The question: What would you do with $10.00 in seed money? I asked the question not knowing that she was an immigrant college student. The response came after she gave me a serious look. She said: “I would use it towards my tuition. Every ounce of money I have goes towards my tuition and $10.00 would be helpful.”  I tried not to show my surprise for I thought of the $10.00 as such a small amount. I thought she would say something like, I will buy my lunch today. All too often we make my mistake of not asking the seeds of those to whom we give. We decide first how we can meet their need without asking what the need is.

I had planned to ask several people the question, of what would they do with the $10.00. I would give it to the one that I though most deserved it. That is I would make the choice and not the needy person.  I discovered that the terebinth tree derivative contains a medically and pharmacological cancer usages among it multiple purposes. Maybe this student will be among those who make the next medical discover cure for a yet unknown disease or help reversed climate change. Wherever her education pursuits take her the $10.00 holy seed have been planted.   –  Doris Theresa Abdullah


We were made aware of a need that Align Life Ministries (formerly Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services) has, which is baby wipes for their clients.

We put the seed money towards purchasing over 3,000 wipes.  While I didn’t attend the event, I do appreciate the idea that was presented about a family ministry fund.  We have talked about it as a family, and have included our children in the conversations about giving, and what we give to.  Though we haven’t experienced it yet, I welcome the day when one of our children has an idea of how to meet a need with our family ministry fund. 😊 – Krista Dickson


Due to Covid 19 and the church building being “locked down”,

our Christian Ed Team suspended the regular Vacation Bible School (VBS) and instead held a children’s once-monthly time of faith-building (Bible Study), fun (crafts and games), and fellowship on our back parking lot on a Saturday, mid-morning through noon with a prepackaged lunch. This required parents to make an extra trip to church and stay with their children to help supervise and chaperone. Since most of our mothers with young children are employed outside of the home, we felt this “seed money” would be a blessing to help offset the cost of transporting their children to participate with their peers in the faith family.

The money was gifted to them by mail with a note that said we were simply passing on a blessing that we prayed would be a blessing to them. I spoke with the pastor to inform him of our plans and named the individuals whom we planned to bless. It was a good experience for us to make this intentional financial blessing. We have maintained a similar practice throughout our time at Harrisburg First Church, focusing on those who are among the least financially secure. We have not previously named this as a family ministry account, nevertheless, it has functioned in the same manner.

Please contact Mary Etta Reinhart, Director of Witness and Outreach for more information about the Urban Ministries Initiative.

the ANE Director of Witness and Outreach