A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Methodists Serving in the Trenches

Today, I was with our confirmands visiting two of our district's United Methodist mission sites, St. Paul's Outreach and Oasis, both located in Dayton, Ohio.

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.

Check out the brief video interview to hear from our confirmands and adult mentors on what they thought of our mission site visit today.

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