Omega Ranch

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One of the things I love about the 9 AM worship hour at Northland is the diversity of those who attend. That’s the hour when you’ll find a (what is an appropriate word for “group” in this context?) whole bunch of wheelchairs on the right side of the auditorium from a local care facility — and the Signed Language interpreters are on the left side — and a rather large group of young men from a transitional facility (I’ve seen the vans). That’s just the beginning.

It is also the hour when Northland has a team at the county jail who provide the live web-stream of the service for a group of inmates who gather there each week. It is one of our distributed sites — like Oviedo and Mt. Dora and West Oaks.Being together helps provide opportunities for relationship that go far beyond the “turn to the people around you and greet them” that happens most weeks. I like that.

Northland’s Stan Smith is giving inmates leaving the prison system a second chance and a place to call home as they transition back into society. Smith, an Orlando-area developer who has attended Northland Church since 2005, opened Omega Ranch earlier this month in a remote area in New Smyrna Beach. Most of the men now living at the ranch participated in Northland’s jail and prison worship services during their incarceration.

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