The conference Mission Awareness Committee recently interviewed representatives from four conference Advanced Special Mission sites across the southern tier of our conference. Here is what we learned and pass along to you: Vital ministry with the poor is making a huge impact on the lives of men and women who are learning more about the good news of Jesus Christ in our southern districts.
The four projects include:
Journey’s End, Newcomerstown
Advance Special # EOC 9931
Journey’s End served 20,000 families last year. Journey’s End is a clothing ministry and food pantry that reaches across community and county lines to serve the people of Coshocton and Guernsey counties. Last year they distributed 1,300,000 lbs. of food with the help of the Canton/Akron food bank and a local wholesale grocer, Caito Foods. They are able to stock 45 racks of clothing from donations received. They are open 3 days a week. They have a chapel available, which houses regular Bible studies. The ministry is supported by 40 different churches with a strong base coming from the local United Methodist Churches.
One Way Youth Ministry, Carrollton
Advance Special # EOC 9145
Located near the High school in Carrollton, One Way’s direction includes three key emphases: Worship, Mission, and Outreach. There is an after school program with homework tutors, food, and recreation available. One Way vies with the local library as an internet hot spot for students to connect on line. There is a growing facebook community as well as a growing interest among the teens in developing self-led worship services. 90% of the youth ministered to through One Way are unchurched so a primary focus is introducing students to Jesus Christ, preparing them for life and responsibility as community leaders. Twelve different churches support One Way with the primary support coming from the Carrollton United Methodist Church.
Epworth Center/Sower Project, Bethesda
Advance Special # EOC 9140:
Sower is the largest single project at the Epworth Center, although it is used also by the Ohio Valley Emmaus Community for Emmaus Walks. Sower is a rehab/building mission site to serve the southern counties in the East Ohio Conference. The theme for Sower for this year is Rebuild, Restore, Renew, taken from Isaiah 61:1-4. Each group who visits Sower pick their projects for the week with material costs of $1500 per group and varying costs for each participant depending on how many days the work team will be at Epworth Center. Last year teams logged 7500 repair hours for projects for Sower. Epworth Center is also a site for Bridges out of Poverty. Through the support of the East Ohio conference as well as businesses and other coalitions Epworth Center continues to provide an amazing place of hope for people in Appalachia.
Steubenville Urban Mission
Advance Special # EOC 9107
The ministries of the Urban Mission include a weekday meal available three days a week at the Mission. The warehouse houses a food ministry that is transitioning to a selection food closet where individuals will be able to choose the food that will work best for their family. Through the ministry of Hutton House, displaced and homeless families can find shelter for a period of time and transition to stable housing through materials and supplies, including furniture and appliances available at the Urban Mission. Each Saturday, worship services are held through “Mission Rejoice” and a meal is served following the worship which is led by area churches. At Christmas, Urban Mission becomes a Santa’s Workshop as thousands of toys and other needed items are distributed to local families. The Urban Mission also serves the Steubenville community through the Neighborhood Development Center and the Joshua work Mission project. It provides the love of Christ to a community where people have come to know and love the Lord through the vast array of ministries available.