Our Wednesday community meals are starting up again in September! I believe that God puts a church in a community in order to be in ministry to that community. This is one of the most exciting ways that we live out that commission!
If you haven’t yet come to a meal, now is the time to start! You will find good food, good conversation and good community around the table. What a great way to connect with new and old friends and build relationships!
If you are interested in making this ministry happen, check with Lyn Evans or Linda Scallon or Linda Starr to find out how you can help. It takes close to 100 volunteers each week to prepare food, serve, clean-up and deliver meals. God may be nudging you to make this ministry your own!
In many ways, the people who come to this meal who do not have a church are our mission field. If you are eating at our church on Wednesday evenings and if you are helping in any way, there are many ways that you can reach out to others in the name of Jesus Christ. Get to know new faces and welcome them warmly. If someone asks if they can help, find them a job. (How discouraging to ask to help and be told there is no need!) It may even mean inviting them to take your place at the sink or wiping tables. Getting others involved moves us from a place of being in ministry to people to being in ministry with people, recognizing that there is much we can learn from each other, no matter what. To share in ministry is to offer dignity to all who are involved. Anyone who has ever worked in the kitchen knows that to get people involved is to share laughter, conversation and grow in relationship. Those relationships are the beginning point of sharing how you have experienced God in our church and inviting another to come and see.
There is another way that our Wednesday mission field can expand. Our bishop has asked that all United Methodists read with children in an effort to combat poverty in our state. How could you read with children who come to our meal? The bishop is encouraging us to give new books to students of all ages. What if children who came to our Wednesday meals received a new book? (Children’s Literacy Resources are on our website.) What new Holy Spirited possibilities and opportunities are beckoning us?
The bishop’s encouragement to read with children has sparked my imagination. One of the unexpected consequences of many hours of reading to my children is that I discovered both the power of stories and the power of using my voice to tell stories. Who would have guessed that reading to my children would lead to preaching! Some of you are already mentoring children through our schools. Thank you. Please keep track of the hours you spend so we can tell our bishop how we are doing.
Others of you might like to get involved in reading through our school system. There is a need for mentoring (which includes reading and more) for both elementary and secondary students. Contact the schools if this is a ministry that God is nudging you toward. If you are interested in having some special training for reading strategies, you can contact Mike Swartzendruber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 648-6420.
Where will the Holy Spirit take us next?
On the exciting journey with you,