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This group initially started out as the “Community Mission Coalition” in 2011 with six local churches. The idea being we would work together on local mission projects as well as helping each other with our respective global mission projects. 

In January 2012 we changed it to “Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition” to better reflect it was Chippewa Falls churches working together on local and global mission projects.

There are 33 churches listed with a Chippewa Falls address. Currently 20 are members of the Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition. We wanted to keep the number manageable, so that was part of the reasoning behind keeping it a Chippewa Falls mission project. Right now, word is spreading by word of mouth. Our goal is to eventually have all 33 Chippewa Churches participating.

Around 2012 several local non-profit agencies starting joining the CFMC to help coordinate with their efforts in the community through volunteers, supplies and/or donations from the members of the CFMC. 

Current “Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition” Members:

Churches -- Zion United Methodist   -- Trinity United Methodist -- Central Lutheran  -- Our Saviour’s Lutheran -- First Presbyterian -- Landmark Christian  -- English Lutheran Bateman – St. Simeon’s & Christ Episcopal  -- Crossroads Baptist  -- Valley Vineyard -- Notre Dame Catholic  -- Faith Lutheran   -- Chippewa Valley Bible  -- St. Charles Borromeo Catholic -- Chippewa Valley Bible – Jacob’s Well Baptist – Holy Ghost Catholic – Harvestime Church – River City Community Church

Current Non-Profit Agencies: 

Chippewa River Ind. -- -- Carelink -- Salvation Army – Barnabas Ministries -- Thrivent – Romeis Apts. – Lutheran Social Services – LE Phillips CDC Chippewa Outreach – West Cap – Chippewa Co. Housing Authority – Family Support Center – Workforce Resource & Food Share – CVTC – Feed My People – McDonell Area Catholic Schools – United Way – Chippewa Co. Public Health – Chippewa Valley Street Ministry – Marshfield Community Connect – Community Foundation of Chippewa County – The Hub – Mentor Chippewa – Legacy Center – Helping Hands For Children – WOGO/WWIB Radio

The Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition is comprised mostly of lay members from the Social Ministry Teams of those churches, as well as some pastors. There are also reps from the various non-profit agencies that attend meetings and stay in touch to keep the CFMC informed of their needs and how we could help.

Why these churches? What do we hope to accomplish?

As mentioned above, it started with six Chippewa Falls churches that met at a Chippewa Health Improvement Partnership (C.H.I.P.) meeting the summer of 2011 at St. Joe’s Hospital. The meeting was led by Rhonda Brown. 

It was a meeting concerning food issues in the Chippewa Valley. There were food pantries there, as well as some of the churches and organizations that helped sponsor them with donations or volunteers. After the meeting the churches that were represented there got together and talked about their social ministry projects.

At the time of this meeting, we were surprised to find out that two or three of us were working on a project to help Landmark Christian Church collect peanut butter for their mission project to Haiti. It was a mission we read about in the newspaper and decided to help. 

That’s when the light went on. We thought of how much more of a positive impact we could make if we all worked together on mission projects and/or helped each other with our individual mission projects, as we were helping Landmark. 

Too often churches become like “silos” working only on their own internal mission projects and totally ignoring the Holy Spirit at work all around us.

So, we held our first meeting in September 2011 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Chippewa Falls. We decided to ask the local food pantries what they needed.

We had our next meeting in October at Central Lutheran. At that second meeting we decided to work on our first joint project … Diapers and Laundry Detergent for the three Chippewa Falls food pantries. It was a need the local food pantries had identified.

At the end of November the six churches in the CFMC had collected more than 4,000 diapers and 150 containers of Laundry detergent, which we distributed to the three local food pantries. It seemed we were on to something.

In February 2013 we again did a “Diapers and Detergent” drive and more than doubled the amounts with 8,900 diapers and 314 containers of laundry detergents. This mission outreach has become an annual project for CFMC.

We have also helped Central Lutheran collect eye glasses for their eye glasses mission trip to Malawi, and we helped the Methodist Churches collect more than 5,000 pounds of shoes for their Sole4Souls mission project. We also help the Valley Vineyard Church with their annual “School Backpack Giveaway”

In 2012 we also joined together to pack food for the starving children of Haiti through Food For Kidz. This was a mission outreach started by Landmark Christian Church.

We packed 116,000 meals and with the help of Food For Kidz were able to ship a full container of 285,000 meals if we paid the additional shipping costs. All churches joined in a Praise Concert/Silent Auction to raise the additional $8,000 needed for shipping. This has also become an annual CFMC mission event.

We also started the Tiny House/Hope Village mission project to provide shelter for the homeless, as well as the “Lighten Your Load” laundry mission at a local Laundromat where we put quarters in the washers/dryers and visit with people in need of a helping hand with their laundry. 

Why now?

At Central Lutheran we’ve used the phrase … “Don’t Just Go To Church, Be The Church.” We’ve noticed an increasing number of people that want to carry their Faith beyond the doors of the church. 

Being a Christian and living out your mission isn’t just about attending church on Sunday morning. It’s actually about what you do with your gifts from God after you walk out that church door. Whether it’s taking part in a local mission project, a global mission project or just saying a kind word to someone in need of God’s loving touch.

As we’ve said before, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian; any more than sitting in a garage makes you a mechanic.

The other churches in the Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition have also seen similar examples of people wanting to live out their Faith to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus.
It seems the time is right to get out of the “comfort zones” of the four walls of our churches and make a positive difference, together.

What’s Next?

We’ve grown mostly just by word-of-mouth.  It seems to be working with the help of the Holy Spirit.

We’re also encouraging other community churches to start their own “Mission Coalition” in their respective towns to work together on local and global mission projects.

We’re constantly looking for opportunities to help each other with individual church mission projects that reach beyond our community, as well as taking a pro-active approach to the needs within our community by staying in touch with the various non-profits and inviting them to speak at our monthly meetings to let us know how we can help with volunteers, supplies and/or donations.

All churches in the Community Mission Coalition work together, as they are able, to help make these mission projects even more successful. No one is required to take part in any mission; no statistics are kept on individual churches. We just report the final statistics of the overall mission.

We meet the first Monday of the month at various locations. Our meetings start at 5:00 pm and end promptly at or before 6:00 pm. At our meetings we always focus on what we have in common, which is our belief in God and the lives He expects us to live as witnessed by his son Jesus Christ. We never focus on what separates us.

We start each meeting with prayer and end each meeting by standing, holding hands and reciting the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.

How can your church/non-profit agency be part of the Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition?

You can contact me, Tom Drehmel via our contact form  or any of the churches/non-profit agencies listed above that are currently part of the Chippewa Falls Mission Coalition. All are welcome!

“Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.” Proverbs 3:27

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