Local Church 'Fostering Hope' in Community

The dedication Maryland Community Church has to the community is evident in the church's name alone. One area of community need that MCC has devoted itself to is the foster care system. 

Leaders at MCC have seen the state of the current system firsthand, and acknowledge its need for improvement.

"It's a huge mess, and that's not just me saying that, that's our state officials saying that we are actually in a crisis," said Senior Pastor Scot Longyear. 

Longyear says that there are more than 600 children without homes in the area, and only about 150 foster homes available for them, which he finds unacceptable.

"It should not be that there are kids without a home in our community," said Longyear, "And so we want to do something to take care of that."

That something is a new ministry within the church called Fostering Hope, which allows people to be involved in two ways; either as a foster parent, or as a member of a care community, which provides foster parents with additional help.

Tim Arnold is a member of MCC and a foster parent, and says the care communities are a great way to make a difference.

"Everyone really can be helpful, you just kinda gotta give up your time, and be willing to help somebody a little bit," said Arnold.

While Arnold and his wife already have a care community made up of their friends and family, he says they are excited to help out other foster parents throughout the church. 

Care communities can help with a multitude of things, from household chores to babysitting. They are physical and emotional support for foster parents who feel overwhelmed, which isn't uncommon.

"The foster care gig is not an easy gig to do," said Longyear. "And so we realize that we don't want people doing this on their own, and we want to come beside and help them."

Arnold believes that that help will bring more people around to fostering.

"Just to know that there are people who are going to drop what they're doing to come and help you out, is gonna be phenomenal," said Arnold. "It's going to make a lot of people say yes to this system."

A system MCC recognizes as suffering, and hopes to heal and expand, one home at a time.

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