Food Pantry Update

Celebrating the one year anniversary of our new client choice pantry called Harvest: A Galley of Grace

Moving Forward in Ministry in 2011

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Can the Violence in Our Community Be Stopped?

There have been several significant events in the last few weeks that humbled me personally and challenge us at the ministry center.  One of our core values is to affect change in public systems, to seek to improve community conditions by helping guests know how Christ will enable them to make needed life changes and decisions that will glorify Him. 
During a recent meeting of M&M’s (Moms and Mentors), we had a productive discussion about “triangulation” in relationships.  Triangulation is when one person basically pits two others against each other using ploys such as jealousy and envy.  Often, these “games” are just that – meant for joking or pestering, not taking into account that such words and actions can be so harmful.  Once a person is affronted, emotions flare, anger ignites and escalates, and often violence results.
Such has been the circumstance of so much of our city’s violence.  This week, the city of Montgomery had its 17th homicide of 2013.  One of the guests who visited the center this week was “Francine”.  When we began discussing prayer, Francine’s most pressing concern was not her own need, but that young adults in the Montgomery community would cease using violence as a means of revenge or conflict resolution.  Something beautiful happened.  Francine led out in prayer, and she and I both prayed for our community, for the youth, and for us to be able to mentor and disciple others.
On April 1, Jeff King, a retired MPD officer and active member of Heritage, begins a group for men meeting at the center.  “The Man I Want to Be” will guide men to learn God’s plan for manhood and for their lives in particular.  Will you commit to pray for Jeff, for those helping him, and for the men who have committed to join him in this study?  This may be the first step in a revolution to change the mindset of those mired in a hopeless spiral of unhealthy life patterns.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Leaning (on Jesus) and Learning!

It has been several weeks since I last posted; a lot has happened in the last four weeks.  And as I ponder the events of February, I am both challenged and encouraged even as I grieve the sudden death of a friend and faithful worker at Forest Park Ministry Center.  Mr. Fred had a massive heart attack while working at the center the first week of February, and went to be with Jesus within 24 hours.  His last act on earth was serving in Christ’s name those who are oppressed and impoverished, just as we are commanded to do in God’s Word.  Even in his death, there have been opportunities to share Christ, since he was well known by other volunteers and guests of the center alike.  Many guests have asked about him and have needed to process his death – and it has led to several conversations about God’s timing for each of our lives.  Now is the time to insure that we have a relationship with Christ – we do not need to procrastinate!
Which brings me to this week.  I am currently at a retreat and conference with many others who are in community ministry in communities all over Alabama.  Our topic of study this week is “When Helping Hurts”, and we are evaluating and praying about how to most effectively assist others in the way that Christ would – especially in light of the fact that we are to be His hands and feet to others in this world where we reside!
We have learned that three types of assistance are generally given to those identified as “poor”, living in poverty.  These are relief – meaning emergency assistance; rehabilitation – meaning a restoration of the positive aspects of life that existed before a person found themselves in poverty; and development – which requires relationship and mentoring, walking alongside someone as they seek to make life change.
Seems a no brainer – even though we seek to help people in crisis by giving emergency assistance (and those who are in situational poverty because of job loss, grave illness, natural disaster, or some other temporary state may even be able to rehabilitate after needed emergency assistance) – a large number of those who visit our center need life change.  A relationship with Christ, first and foremost, and an understanding of what it means to be responsible and honor Him through wise decisions and good stewardship – and that takes development.
I pray that through the Layette Ministry, through M&M’s Bible study, through individual and group counseling that we plan to offer, that we will be more diligent and faithful to be relational as we seek to reach out to people who are ready to make life changing decisions to follow Christ and his precepts for life.  And I pray for eyes to see the small steps taken as celebration and the missteps with mercy.  I pray that because I know that Jesus looks at my own missteps with mercy, and I must do no less for those to whom I minister.
I am only halfway through the study, and look forward to learning action steps to take for more effective ministry.  There has been so much food for thought and conviction that I need to take it all in, process it, and pray a lot over it!  I will post later as I learn more.

Leaning and learning,
Donna McCullough, Director
Forest Park Ministry Center

Ways You Can Partner with Forest Park Ministry Center

* Have a food drive in your church
(get list from Donna)There is a dire shortage!
* Hold a Baby Shower for new moms who come to

the center; we need supplies for 12 layettes by October!
* Be a prayer partner and pray for our guests needs
* Need larger sized mens and womens clothing

must be in very good condition
*Hold a Paper supplies shower for the center

*Need a data entry volunteer once a week
*Need a small desk for the receptionist in the waiting area