Children’s Chapel



“Is this your first time at Children’s Chapel?” a little girl in a blue sweat suit questioned, scooting closer to me on the tile floor. I nodded, smiling as she reached for my notebook and pencil. “We have lots of fun here. Sometimes we get to color or go outside,” she continued, doodling on my pad. A few more children began to file into the room, plopping down on carpet squares scattered across the floor. One little boy lifted the edges of his carpet seat imagining it was a magic carpet as he slid across the room.


“Hello everyone!” said Ruth Voorhees, that evening’s Children Chapel volunteer. She held a small Bible in her hands as she greeted a few of the children by name, sitting down in a chair amongst the group. Eager faces looked up at her, rattling off questions.


 “Can we color today?” called out one little boy as he hopped up and down excitedly. “I lost a tooth today!” another girl announced, sitting close to one of her friends, displaying the new gap in her front teeth.   Mrs. Voorhees smiled and opened up the children’s Bible and began to read the lesson. “Yes,we can color right after our Bible story, Xavier. Today we’re going to learn about Nehemiah.”
 Whether you’re just looking for something to do in your spare time, or you have a passion for  a particular subject or hobby, there are always ways to volunteer at the Rescue Mission’s Women and Children’s Center. For Ruth Voorhees it started off as a combination of both. Six years ago, she called the Mission looking for something to do in her spare time. As the Rescue Mission worked with her to find out what volunteer project would work best, they discovered that she had a long history working with children. She soon began coming to the mission once a week to volunteer for their Children’s Chapel.

Children’s Chapel is a hands-on volunteering activity held every Monday-Thrusday for children at the shelter. People from the community volunteer each night to teach Bible stories to the children as well as create crafts and games for them throughout the evening. Ruth Vorhees has been coming to the Rescue Mission every Monday night for the past 6 years to invest in the lives of the many children that pass through the mission. When asked what motivates her to continue her work, Voorhees replied, “It’s nice to do something to help someone out who’s just down on their luck.” She has been a faithful volunteer with the ministry, rarely missing a week. “I get more from the children than I could ever give to them,” she smiled.


 Recently, the mission has had to divide Children’s Church’s attendants into two groups for the lesson due to the increasing number of residents staying at the shelter. Voorhees explained that there had been up to 28 children each night and that it was becoming too large. This month they began holding separate lessons for children ages 3-12. Voorhees teaches the children 7 and under, while Lynne Pope, the Rescue Mission’s Children Chaplain, taught the older group that evening.


 Monday night, Mrs. Pope’s lesson was 1 Peter 1:24-25. As the children colored worksheets and crossword puzzles, Pope discussed the strength of the Lord. “Everything else withers away, pansies, irises, and grass. But the word of the Lord stands for how long?” she asked.  “Forever!” the children cried in unison.  “Yes,” Pope, smiled, “forever.”

           —Hope Ammen


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Serving Family Style

Buck and Evelyn and Sonny and Charlotte and Pam volunteer in the linen department at the Thrift Store every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  They are known around the Mission as the, ‘Linen Ladies,’ including Mr. Buck and Mr. Sonny.  “It has a nice ring to it,” laughed Buck. The linen ladies have been volunteering in the thrift store for eight consecutive years. Here is how it began…

            The thrift store opened its present location on Dec 5, 2000.  Volunteer Charlotte helped set the store up.  She organized, sorted, and prepared merchandise in the back of the store.  She arranged displays and stocked clothes, shoes, books, linens, art, bric-a-bracs, and electronics in the front of the store.  After the store opened, Charlotte started volunteering in the linen department, along with her brother’s sister-in-law Pam.  Then, Charlotte recruited her husband Sonny as well as her brother Buck. Well, Buck brought along his wife Evelyn and his sister-in-law Betty.  They’re all in Buck’s family. They serve family style by coming together every Tuesdays and Thursdays to process the linens.  Buck, Evelyn, Charlotte, Sonny, and Pam come in shifts, some in the mornings and some in the evenings.

            These volunteers inspect all of the linens—tablecloths, pillowcases, sheets, curtains, placemats, and all.  First, they inspect the materials to ensure there are no stains or tears. Then they sort them into the appropriated piles: nice or ragged.  They set apart any vintage items that would be retailed at Art on a Mission.  Those items go onto Virginia Bowyer, a Rescue Mission volunteer at Art on a Mission. She washes, irons, and repairs the delicate materials and has a miracle touch for stain removal.  Buck, Evelyn, Sonny, Pam, and Charlotte fold, label, and hang the fine linens, ready to retail at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store.

            “It helps the Mission. We can give back to the community because we’ve been blessed,” Charlotte concludes. Sonny leans over and adds, “Keeps me out of trouble.” Then Charlotte says, “Working is enjoyable because of the people.”  Volunteering side by side, the ‘Linen Ladies’ serve at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke family style.  

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Back to School Blast Shows….

Take a Look:

and, Local teenage photographer Hope Ammen captured the event:

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The Hard Hat Open Gallery

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke is celebrating the renovations of our historic church on Tazewell Avenue.  When we look at our chapel we see the high ceilings, arched windows, and open space for some 200 chairs.  We now can see the difference between the front and the back of our “saw dusty” sanctuary.  We’re celebrating. We’re celebrating because our TNT campaign has raised 80%  of our goal!  We’re celebrating because John Reed and Judi Anderson (a father duaghter artist duo) are doing a woodcut of the Prodigal Son which will fill one of the arched windows.  We’re bringing back the large dusty room to full life again, restored as it used be a church.  Our vision for a new worship center is happening!


The Rescue Mission of Roanoke is participating in the 40 days and 40 nights Arts Festival, leading up to the opening of the new TaubmanArt Museum.  On October 2, 2008 everyone is invited to a Mission Wide Open House welcoming visitors from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Meet the artists and see their work.  Our Permanent Art Collection is displayed all over the Rescue Mission and will end in our NEW chapel where we will unveil the ‘Prodigal Son’ woodcut mural.


Plan now to come.


What:    Permanent Art COllection and Hard Hat Tour


Where:  4th and Tazewell Avenue


When:    6-7PM


Why:      Meet the Artist

               See the Permanent Art Collection

               Celebrate “Welcome Home” the new Woodcut Mural

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Back to School Blast!

The kids are going back to school.  That means a new grade level, a new teacher, and a new start!  Last year’s notebooks are filled with numbers, cursive handwriting, and interesting facts. Last year’s folders are stuffed with worksheets and art projects.  The kids need new school supplies for this new year. 

On Monday, August 18, the Rescue Mission of Roanoke hosted a Back to School Blast! With support and hundreds of donations  of school supplies from the community, we were able to provide new bookbags and school supplies formore than 550 kids.  (Last year, we served  300 boys and girls.) Elementary, Middle, and High school students picked out new notebooks, binders, pencil pouches, and book bags.  Inside, more than 30 professional cosmetologists also came to the Blast to give new haircuts to all the kids!  The Rescue Mission clinic provided dental screenings. The Presbyterian Community Center, Boys and Girls Club, and Family Service of the Roanoke Valley all were on hand to provide program information for families about cool stuff happening in 2008-9. 

In addition to all the school supplies and the haircuts, the kids enjoyed the entertainment.  Music from the Freedom Center worship band provided a steady beat as the families visited each booth.  The kids made a dash for Straight Street’s racecar and the Roanoke City K-9 Unit.  They petted and kissed the Mounted Police horses. They rolled their fingers in ink for fingerprints at the Police ID booth.  Kids bopped around and up and down in a blow-up moon bounce and later sat very still for some fun face painting.

Thanks to everyone who made the Blast such a success this year!

Roanoke Times Story Below

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Summer Sausage Sizzlers

Teenage help for the summer serves breakfast beginning at 5:45am.

Skip and Joe Carpenter started serving breakfast as soon as school let out.  On June 14, 2008 they came for a tour of the Rescue Mission. Skip, Joe, and father Al learned about our clinic, men’s shelter, recovery program, women and children’s center, thrift store, and women’s shelter.  They saw our pottery studio, hair salon, work-out rooms, and donated art.  With encouragement from dad, Skip and Joe volunteered for a summer job serving breakfast.  All summer they worked Monday and Wednesday mornings from 5:45am to 8:00am.  These 17 and 15 year old brothers have impressive hours to add to their resumes.  We’re all impressed by their dedication and service. This summer job worked out well.

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The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke offers a place where participants in the Recovery Program can create and discover their talents.

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