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New name for local church

Brandon Community Church of the Nazarene to host fun day

August 27, 2014 - Brandon Twp.- A lack of knowledge about the location of Lake Louise has led to a name change on one of the area's long-standing churches.

What was once known as Lake Louise Church of the Nazarene is now the Brandon Community Church of the Nazarene, and the church has a new vision. To celebrate the name and vision, the church invites the public to a community fun day Sept. 7 at the church located at 2300 S. Ortonville Road. An inflatable, various outside games including volleyball and horseshoes, and food including pizza, salad and breadsticks will all be free. Each family will also receive a "guest bag" and opportunities for door prizes. Worship begins at 10:45 a.m., with the games and cook-out immediately following.

"Come and enjoy fun for the family and meet some of your neighbors," said Brandon Community Church Pastor Matt Bailey.

The name change for the church came after a year-and-a-half of discussions by Bailey and church boardmembers about a vision for the church. Because many people, particularly those from outside of the township, were unaware of where the lake is located, they weren't making connections.

"In order for a church to function, you have to connect with the people in a community," he said.

Bailey and the church board also wanted a statement of why the Brandon Community Church exists and what they want to accomplish in order to make sure they don't become obsolete. With that in mind, they established three priorities: 1. To connect to God and others; 2. To grow in their relationship with God; and 3. To serve based on gifts and abilities they have as a congregation and as individuals.

"We live in a messed up, fallen, broken world," said Bailey. "Our purpose is to give broken families healing and restoration. We partner to give food to those who are hungry. The church should be the primary vehicle for the way lives are changed... It's our job to change the suffering here."

The Brandon Community Church of the Nazarene has about 70 members, with 40-50 in attendance on any given Sunday. Bailey believes that number will grow as they do what they believe is necessary.

"If enough people felt connected, we would have to build more churches," he said. "People in churches across the world don't see the difference in their lives. If they walk out the door on Sunday and their lives aren't changed, we need to be doing more... If church is seen only as an organization, it's not doing its job. I tell our folks we are a walking, living, breathing representation of God on Earth. If we do what Scripture calls us to do— feed the hungry, clothe the poor and offer hope— those actions speak for themselves."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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