Connection Christian offering ‘Free Mom Hugs’

Connection Christian Church will celebrate Mother’s Day with “Free Mom Hugs,” an outreach to the community.
From 11 am to 1 p.m. Sunday, church members will offer free flowers and hugs at the intersection of Tanglewood Lane and Penbrook Street.
The church recently opened its new location at 4241 Tanglewood Lane.
“I’ve seen other churches do this, so that’s what gave me the idea, but I haven’t seen them do it so much for Mother’s Day,” said the Rev. Dawn Weaks, who co-pastors the church with her husband, Joe.
“Pastors know Mother’s Day is a bittersweet holiday. It’s a very special time for a lot of people, a happy time for a lot of people, but then it’s a difficult time for folks that lost their mom to death, or a family situation. Of course, it’s difficult sometimes for those who maybe wanted to be moms, or had a child die. There’s just a lot of different emotions tied up in Mother’s Day, so pastors know that’s the case and try to be sensitive to all that,” Weaks said.
So she thought about ways to be more directly sensitive. The church conducts a lot of ministry from the intersection of Tanglewood and Penbrook.
The most common ministry is coffee on the corner where the church distributes free coffee and cocoa on cold Monday mornings. The other is ashes to go for Ash Wednesday.
“Our neighbors, I think, are kind of used to seeing us out there, so this time we’ll be out there handing out free carnations and little Hershey’s hugs. Then, we’ll have moms out there that are ready to give you an actual, physical hug if that’s something that you would be brave enough to let us do for you,” Weaks said.
She doesn’t know how many people will turn out, but every time they offer care at that intersection to passersby, “we’ve been extremely blessed by people’s responses. A lot of people are living pretty disconnected, so just the thought that someone is trying to think of them, or reach out to them really does touch folks.”
Services are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
“It’s Good Shepherd Sunday in the global church, so the fourth Sunday of Easter is always when we talk about Jesus as our shepherd, so that’s perfect for Mother’s Day because mothers give that kind of tender long-term care” like a shepherd to a sheep, Weaks said.
For more information, visit the church’s website or their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @odessaconnect, or call the church office at 432-332-2954.