LOCATION: 820 Log Cabin Road, Leola, PA 17540
DATE OF FOUNDING: 1956
AVERAGE SUNDAY WORSHIP ATTENDANCE: 150
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE: Sunday School – 9:00 a.m.; Worship Service – 10:00 a.m.
PASTOR: Kerry Martin
While God works through a corporate congregation in various ways, he also works through individual relationships. At Millport, the congregation takes the missional calling very seriously. Many people in the congregation are involved in one-on-one ministry with coworkers, neighbors, and other community relationships. We frequently hear from others that we are friendly and welcoming.
In 2015 a planning team formed, who had interest in pursuing ways to reach into our community. As they talked and prayed together, they realized that while our goal was to introduce people to Jesus, the congregation needed to begin building relationships with those outside the church. So the team investigated the Lifetree Café materials and eventually decided to start a Lifetree Café in Rothsville. Lifetree Café is an hour-long conversational café with topics and stories that participants interact with as they sit around tables.
The team purposefully decided to begin the Café outside the church building. They met with the owner of the White Swan Restaurant, who agreed to allow the use of one section of the restaurant that was typically closed on Wednesday nights. The Café went public on May 4, 2016. Due to staffing reasons, the Café stopped meeting April 26. Out of the relationships formed, a new ministry called LifePath has begun, which has a similar focus as Lifetree. We are glad for the various contacts this ministry has allowed us to begin in the community.
Another part of our outreach group started looking into ways to reach out to families. They were planning to start something in the evenings, but an opportunity opened up to work with other area churches to provide lunches for the community over the summer. Since children have less access to good meals over the summer when school is not in session, this sounded like a great opportunity. As our church participated in the free lunch program every Tuesday and Thursday, we were able to get to know some of the children and families from the community. When the lunch program ended, we began a weekly ministry in the basement of the Lutheran church in Rothsville. We meet to have a meal, play games, do crafts, talk about relevant life issues. In many ways, this has become “church” to several of our friends from the Rothsville community.
We have also hosted an annual “Picnic in the Park” every year since 2011. In 2016, we counted more community folks at the event than Millport folks. We remain pleased with the potential and growth of this event.
Because friendships are strong within the congregation, we are like a family in many ways. We enjoy being together. It is not uncommon to have people still visiting 45 minutes after the service is over.