We first visited St. Paul's and had breakfast with people, many of whom, probably slept in abandoned city buildings last night without heat or water but at least out of the elements. We took a tour of the facility which provides Saturday breakfasts, Tuesday lunches, a food pantry, and ministries to impoverished families who live in the surrounding neighborhood.
The picture is Pastor Beth from St. Paul's Outreach Center and she is showing us their food pantry.
From there, we visited Oasis, a ministry that reaches out to women who are involved in the sex industry. United Methodists are providing home cooked meals and taking them into the clubs to give to the women as a way of showing God's unconditional love for them. As relationships are formed and trust levels increase through these acts of radical hospitality, the women are more open to receive support and help from the Oasis ministry which is located not far from several of these sex industry clubs.
I always encourage our confirmands to spread the word that a portion of the money we place in the offering each Sunday goes to support these risk-taking ministries among many others as well.