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By Barbara Perez
Sidney SunTelegraph 

The Ark in Sidney still a Driving Force in Children's Ministry


March 30, 2023

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Holiday Happiness! Over the 2022 Christmas Holiday, Kiersten Richards, owner of Beans & Steams Coffee House, located at 610 Glover Rd. in Sidney, offered customers a special holiday menu from which 100% of the proceeds went to The Ark Ministry. Points West Bank in Sidney generously matched her donation. Pictured L-R: Kiersten Richards owner of Beans & Steams Coffee House, Courtney Heesacker and Tabitha Adden with The Ark Ministry, and Rick Heckenlively of Points West Bank.

In 1977, George Benson recorded the song, "The Greatest Love of All", and it was made even more popular when Whitney Houston released her version of the song in 1985. Its opening line, "I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way" is one well represented by the Evangelical Free Church in Sidney.

More than 15 years ago, the E-Free Church started its youth program, The Ark Ministry. Known as "Tuesday Church" to those involved, it originally consisted of the church bus collecting and transporting kids from the north side of town to its building located at 2763 11th Ave. The bus was well known and recognized and both children and adults could be seen waving down the bus as it approached, loading it with even more children.

Program organizer Brent Jeffers recently retired due to health concerns. He stated that the program was developed out of necessity; church leaders recognized that the north side of Sidney was vastly being underserved.

Established in 2005, The Ark Ministry sought to bring God's light to children in the area and began holding Tuesday evening services. Each week from 6:30-8pm, the program is supported by the Sidney Evangelical Free Church and fully operated by volunteers from both the church and the community. This weekly program is divided into age groups: -4th grade, and grades 5 and 6. It offers children a meal that is then followed by songs, a Bible lesson, and ending with craft time. Each child is sent home with a snack bag.

One special Tuesday each month The Ark celebrates "Birthday Night" and the local children are taken to various locations just to have fun. The entire town has been involved, and past outings have included welcoming the children at the movie theater, local restaurants for ice cream, and to the park.

If you would like to volunteer for the program, sign up a child, or just want more information, please call the Evangelical Free Church in Sidney at 254-6162.


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