As the church grew, so did the children! The burgeoning toddler nurseries and early elementary Sunday School classes of the church’s earliest years were now becoming middle- and high-school classes, so with this need in mind, Joel and Erin Spencer organized the church youth ministry. A carwash was held at Willie’s Ice Cream Stand to raise money for a dairy cow for the Josephine House orphanage in Peru. A different, yet memorable cow was seen beckoning in customers to the carwash.
While the youth were actively engaged in weekly Bible studies and activites, the lower floor of the original building was identified as eventual youth room space and plans were put in motion to raise the money needed to repaint and redecorate with the youth helping provide much of the labor. Over $3500 was raised by the end of the year. Completing the transition depended on relocating the elementary age Sunday School classes with renovation of the old sanctuary space that would be done later.
In April, several fundraisers were held for 2-year-old Andrew Gilmartin, son of Jessie and Rick, Tabernacle’s associate pastor organizing the Staunton church. Andrew had been diagnosed in December with a chest tumor and expected to fully recover after treatment, but this would leave massive medical bills beyond what insurance could cover. A giant yardsale with bake sale, bluegrass band and silent auction was held at the local Millers Storage Buildings and later in the month, a benefit concert was held by Pilgrim Road. All this had been preceeded by many in the church (the “Gilmartin Assistance Army”) volunteering time and effort to provide food and whatever was needed to enable Rick and Jessie to get Andrew to the many appointments and visits he needed for treatment.
The Spring of 2010 also saw the men of Tabernacle and Holy Cross put together a softball team for the second year in a row, the Tabernacle Tornadoes to compete in a local rec league against other community teams. Many a family evening was enjoyed watching dads and friends playing. There were both wins and losses, somes aches, pains, and sprains, but their final record for the season remains undisclosed.
For the summer months, a Summer of Compassion was planned to minister to those in need both local and overseas. There were folks on trips to the New Day Foster Home in Beijing, China and to the Ceracaif Orphanage in Xela, Guatemala. A great number of backpacks full of school supplies were provided to local area foster children and the “Thanksgiving in July” food drive collected many pounds of food for the Verona Food Pantry.
In the fall, the Tabu-laters (anyone 55+ who wanted to join in) planned game nights, trips including one to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford and general fellowship activities and dinners. The WIC ladies had a sleepover and movie night and the men held a fall retreat in Harrisonburg. The youth provided babysitting for a parent’s date night and a separate shopping night as well. The Tabernacle Chorale was also formed to add to the worship celebration of the first coming of Christ and look forward to His coming again.
Continuing the Summer of Compassion theme into the fall and holidays, another food drive was held around the Thanksgiving and with the summer food drive, resulted in several thousand pounds of food being provided to the food pantry. A number of children and adults from Tabernacle and Holy Cross worked on making Felt books for children at the New Directions Women’s Shelter. The church also supported the annual Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and the local prison ministry’s Angel Tree campaigns.