Family Life Center
Mission Statement
It is the mission of The Family Life Center to address the needs and challenges of our greater community by providing a variety of recreational, social, educational and practical programs that enhance the quality of life in the Shenango Valley and give tangible evidence of the love and concern of the Cedar Avenue Church of God as a dedicated people of faith.  Following the Gospel of Christ, we endeavor to empower and enrich each life we touch by meeting the temporal needs, guiding the moral development and promoting the welfare of all those who seek involvement with our efforts regardless of their status in life.  It is our hope and prayer to transform our community into a vibrant place where youth and adults can flourish to the Glory of God.

The Need
For over 100 years Cedar Avenue Church of God has provided religious guidance to the community, meeting the spiritual needs of its members and neighbors. As times have changed, greater attention has been drawn to the many basic and developmental needs often experienced by children and families living in the cities of Farrell and Sharon in the depths of poverty. In this region, 30% of residents are ethnic minorities. 33% of individuals, 31% of families, and 56% of children live below poverty. The annual per capita income in this area is $9,127, representing nearly 230% of the poverty threshold. Families are hungry. Due to the widespread poverty, local school districts provide a free lunch to 100% of their students

The local school districts are in emergency status, and only 12.8% of adults in this region have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree level of education. Juvenile delinquency is on the rise and the city’s streets are overflowing with violence, gangs, and drug activity. In 2006, 30% of crimes committed in this region were drug and alcohol related, 13% were violent and weapon related crimes, and 15% were committed by juveniles. In 2007, drug and alcohol related crimes performed by juveniles have also increased. Families are collapsing, evidenced by the large number of single-parent households (66%). In this region, 48% of married men are separated from their wives and 40% of married women are separated from their husbands. It is a critical time in ministry for the church.

Cedar Avenue Church of God is being called to a higher level of service that will not only nourish the soul, but one that will meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of a weary community. Through the building and operation of a Family Life Center, Cedar Avenue Church of God will make a positive impact in the community. The Family Life Center will birth new life and opportunities in our community, Inspiring Hope for a Brighter Future.

Restoring Our Community
Studies show the impact of poverty and difficult living conditions on children can be detrimental to their physical, social and emotional health and development. These effects can last a lifetime. The Cedar Avenue Church of God Family Life Center is a real answer to real problems and the entire community will reap the following benefits of its operation, to name a few: 

  • We aim to reach this generation of youth and young adults with programming that will foster healthy lifestyles in a safe environment.
  • We will provide a daycare academy, performing arts and sports programs to the community.
  • We will also develop leaders for today and tomorrow through mentoring programs, entrepreneurial preparation, educational instruction and leadership training.
  • Youth will be engaged in structured activities during the most critical time for delinquent behaviors to occur.
  • Through assistance, families will be strengthened and marriages will be reconciled to overcome broken and single parent adversity.
  • Those battling addiction will be delivered.
  • Community members will be encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles. 

How can I help?
There are several capacities in which you can serve.  The building of our new edifice will require the work of the people.  Whether you have experience in masonry or carpentry, hospitality or cooking, your gift is valuable.  We are asking in this campaign for a pledge of your time to see the building to completion.  With all of us working together, the vision of the Family Life Center will come to pass and we will be able to, Inspire Hope for a Brighter Future.