We are excited to celebrate CTC Churches who are reaching out to their communities in a variety of ways. The following examples are witness to the creative energy of The Holy Spirit at work in communities in ways appropriate to their unique needs:
Family 2 Family Food Ministry
Project-44 with Acton UMC/Granbury
Family 2 Family food ministry is the newest attempt at spreading the love of Christ thru food. We have identified 10 families who are in need of some assistance, some unconditional love, and some Jesus. We have been praying for these families for a few months now. Next we found 10 young families with children who were willing to help and be available. These families have entered into a covenant agreement with Project-44 to take a box of produce from the farm once a week for a year to these families in need. The boxes are roughly 30 pounds each.
God has made vast and abundant gifts available to us, the body of Christ. How can we better utilize these gifts? We hand out food through pantries etc. quite often, but is this the best way to utilize those gifts? We are good at mass distribution but we are missing the relationship piece. Relationships are the key to the Family 2 Family distribution. We think that this process will change lives in an amazing way. It is hard to say who will be changed more, those giving, or those receiving. When these children see their parents not just talking about Jesus, but acting like him, it will be with them for life.
I call it evangelism without having to say a word. After a few weeks’ time they will be asking why we are doing this. What compels us? Then the door is wide open to the truth of what really matters. We try diligently to find ways to make these ministries of Project-44 backfire and minister to us, the body of Christ. Imagine if we delivered all of the food in this manner.
Boxes are filled on our regular workday on Saturdays. The boxes are stored in the cooler at the farm. I bring them to the church Sunday morning and the families just grab their box and go after worship. Be in prayer for us as we pursue this new encounter with God! Join us when you can.
Written by Ben Fields
Smithfield UMC grew in their hunger ministry with a focus on hunger in VBS. As children learned about the difference between healthy ad unhealthy food and the scarcity of healthy food often experienced by persons living in poverty, they gave generously (with their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters) and raised $1000. These funds became the seed money for the church’s CTC Serve project: a free farmer’s market for the neighborhood. It didn’t take adults long to follow the lead of the children and Smithfield UMC now offers a free farmer’s market on the first Saturday of each month. The “fruits” of the farmer’s market include not only the healthy foods available for the neighborhood, but increased opportunities for members to meet and serve their neighbors with the love of Christ. New neighborhood friends have joined in the serving by helping carry bags of produce and have joined in worship and other church ministries. Members come away with the joy of serving and new opportunities to share their faith.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest." - Galatians 6:9
Hangin’ Out at Everman UMC! Several years ago, members at Everman UMC began to ask how they could better serve and build relationships with students at the high school literally across the street from the church campus. The dream of a few volunteers is now an after-school ministry that feeds peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to over 300 students each week. In a very casual setting, volunteers build relationships with students, support them in their continuing quest to stay engaged in school, share their faith and answer hard life questions. Hangin Out is a truly connectional ministry as they are supported by donations of peanut butter and jelly from several United Methodist Churches in the area. This ministry is a beautiful example that neighborhood ministry does not have to be complicated . . . under the big umbrella of God’s love, it has to meet real needs and be relational.