Earlier this month people living along the Albert Mines Road and several surrounding communities found a newsletter in their mailbox called 'The Encourager'. The four page newsletter was produced by the Albert Mines Baptist Church and was sent to over 130 households. The church congregation has been small for several years and struggled with how it could make a meaningful contribution to the community around them.
The Encourager itself is a mix of life advice, church news, editorials, household tips, and scripture. There is even a bit of cheeky humour in the 'No Excuse Sunday' article. The aim is to publish the newsletter on a quarterly basis. "but who knows", Pastor Jim Rae notes.
This is not the first 'church project' that the congregation has undertaken in recent months. Back in February the church started helping to produce signage for Boutique Encore (a division of The House of Nazareth emergency shelter) as they were moving to a new location and were relying on word of mouth to let people know. The success with helping Boutique Encore eventually led to the publication of The Encourager.
Producing and distributing the newsletter cost about $130 and was worked on and edited by the entire congregation. Pastor Jim Rae says that feedback to the newsletter has been positive. He had feared that it would not be received well as churches don't usually produce newsletters but the response has been more than expected. A second volume is set to be published sometime in the Spring.