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SBC messengers, guests asked to 'Hug' Atlanta with food
By Diane Reasoner
     ATLANTA (BP)--Georgia Baptists in Atlanta have been involved in "hugging" their city for Christ.
     Georgia Baptists are now asking Southern Baptist Convention messengers to participate by bringing canned foods with them.
     Messengers and guests coming to the SBC meeting in June will find barrels placed outside gates C, D, and E at the Georgia Dome for food collection. Arms Around Atlanta is asking all who attend the Woman's Missionary Union annual meeting at Wieuca Road Baptist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention to donate canned food. Volunteers will collect and distribute the food to ministry centers in the metro area.
     Arms Around Atlanta, a Strategic Focus City project between the Georgia Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board, has been underway since April. This joint project has included block parties, sports clinics, health clinics, building a Habitat for Humanity home, door-to-door evangelism during "Crossover Metro Atlanta," free concerts, inner-city evangelism, prayer teams, and other volunteer-led projects. During the summer, the two agencies will provide funding and volunteers to start 24 new churches.
Along with these ministries, a food drive is taking place. Georgia Baptist Medical System, Inc. has not only contributed to the health clinics and fairs, but has taken this food collection seriously. They have collected more than a vanload of canned goods, which was delivered to ministry areas in the city, and they aren't finished yet.
     "This is a great opportunity for all Southern Baptists to minister to metro Atlanta by donating cans of food in Jesus' name," said Liz Pearson, Arms Around Atlanta coordinator. "This is a unique opportunity for us to show metro Atlanta that Southern Baptists care about this great city."
     "In a real sense, this is Baptists demonstrating their desire to 'hug the city' with expressions of love and service," said J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention.
     For information on volunteering for any of the projects, call Liz Pearson at 1-800-RING-GBC or see the website: www.armsaroundatlatna.org for a complete list of opportunities.

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