Some headed east from Kansas by car and plane, others drove northeast from their small hometown in Ohio, and another headed northwest from Alabama. Everyone was bound for Columbus, Ohio with a common purpose in mind—to serve as God’s hands and feet in ministry with the United Methodist Church for all People.

Our team arrived on a beautiful sunny evening, happily greeting each other.  Some of the team knew each other from their home church at Resurrection and the others had met through FaceTime and Skype at a team meeting.   When we all arrived, we greeted each other warmly, happy to be able to finally meet in person.

The first to arrive were welcomed into the church by Donald and Tony, the awesome building custodians, whose pride in their work was obvious.  The church is in a building located on a busy street in the south side of Columbus, and is an inclusive community that seeks to improve the economic, social and spiritual quality of life for residents of this area of town.

Our Church for All People contact, Katelin Hansen, came shortly after we arrived to give us a tour of our home for the next four days.  The church is in a sprawling old building that used to contain apartments.  The renovation of the space and the multipurpose use of the building is amazing!  There are offices, kitchens, dining areas, classrooms, a worship area and our favorite—a beautiful meditation room complete with a soothing waterfall flowing down a wall. Some of us joked that were afraid we might get lost in the two-story maze of hallways and rooms!

Katelin reviewed our proposed itinerary with us, which was packed full of great opportunities to meet, interact with and serve the community she is so passionate about belonging to.  She shared how she and her husband found a home in this church because she felt that Church for All People did the work a church is supposed to do.  Our team member, Mark, was particularly struck by Katelin’s passion to change her life’s path and surrender to the call she heard to become a part of this community as well as her husband’s support of her decision, which radically changed his life, too.

We received a surprise blessing of a dinner prepared by our gracious host Kay, which we hadn’t expected.  The dinner was eagerly consumed and appreciated by all of us.

We are all looking forward to the activities and opportunities planned for us and are excited to meet members of the community in the morning!