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Posted: August 7, 2014 10:00 p.m.

‘Change the world’ and pray this fall

Claudia Minge told the Newton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday that they’re invited to a pair of Christian events this fall – and so are you, of course.

Minge, who led the Pledge of Allegiance before the commissioners’ meeting, explained that the On Your Knees prayer event is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 (that’s a Sunday, naturally), on the Square in Covington. Participants will pray for the county’s schools, school employees, the county commissioners, city officials, the chamber of commerce, the military, civil servants, families and the community, she said.

A total of 14 churches have signed on to participate so far, she said, with several agreeing to move their Sunday night services to the Square for the event. She invited commissioners to ask their churches to participate if they aren’t already.
The second event is bigger – the Change the World “Race Against Hunger” set for noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 25 at Covington First Baptist Church, 1113 Church Street.

Now in its sixth year, the event featured 80 booths of informational material last year, and Munge hopes for more. The party will feature live Christian music, free food (for donations to fight hunger), games, a petting zoo, face-painting, a blood-collection drive, health screenings and flu shots, prayer stations and art exhibits.

Also, the Gifts of Grace Expo will be held at the same time, featuring haircuts and nail polishing, eye screenings by the Lions Club, a “mobile dentist,” health care store foods, coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves, blankets, food and drink, and showers for the needy.

The idea is to give things to those who need it, she said. Items needed for the giveaway include coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, gloves, scarves, socks, blankets, new or used Bibles and devotional books, cases of water, nonperishable foods, health items like soap and deodorant, pet food and financial donations or scholarships.

This year, 16 churches are in, with more expected. Girl and Boy Scouts are also participating, as are several civic groups. Last year, volunteers gave away 200 bags of food, 500 coats and sweaters, and 400 healthcare bags, Minge said.

All proceeds will be distributed to the hungry specifically, she said.

“We hope that day we can help so many people,” she said to mumbled “amens” from the commissioners. “Come on out.”
A “mile fun run” will begin that morning at 8:30, followed by a 5K at 9. Admission, as such, is donations of nonperishable food.

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