Practical Christian Involvement at Bryan College is shifting gears just a little, seeking to be more responsive to the Rhea County community as it seeks to enhance its legacy of practical service.
Ben Norquist, director of faith and mission, said that this week the 16 PCI ministry leaders will kick off the spring semester with a workshop, meeting with several community leaders to better understand the Dayton area.
“In the past, we have generated projects and taken them to the community,” Mr. Norquist said. “Now, our goal is to meet with community leaders first and allow projects to be generated in response to needs we are made aware of. This approach already has paid off this past semester with projects such as providing fruit for kids at the YMCA, and the canned food drive the for Women’s Care Center.”
Students will meet with Dayton Police Chief Chris Sneed, who will talk about crime and its causes in Rhea County; Christine Ralph, director of the Rhea County United Way; and a representative of the Herald-News, Dayton’s newspaper, to discuss recent history of the county. Later in the semester, Mr. Norquist said he hopes to meet with a representative of the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department to introduce students to the Senior Citizens Awareness Network, a sheriff’s department initiative to assist seniors.
“My hope is that as students meet with community leaders relationships will grow and bridges will be built that will help better integrate Bryan into the community,” Mr. Norquist said.