Several RezWest members recently returned from a Serve Trip to Columbus Ohio, hosted by a fascinating inner-city United Methodist ministry called Church for All People. The Church for All People congregation averages only about 300 on an average Sunday, but operates a variety of successful ministries that have powerful outreaches and are completely changing the face of their emerging community. They take New Testament Christianity seriously, feeding the hungry, clothing those in need and providing the most basic of needs for their neighbors.
“We worship a God of abundance,” Church for All People’s Katelin says. Katelin and her family live in the community they serve. “We see all the problems we face as opportunities. The needs are actually assets.”
“This is wonderful,” one shopper at the Church’s free Fresh Market ministry comments to a sacker who is helping him load lettuce and tomatoes into sacks. “I have been searching for this. I heard about it, but it took me awhile to track it down. Its part of a Church isn’t it?” After being shown the Church storefront sanctuary across the street he said quietly, “that’s a Church I want to go to.”
Serve Team members worked in a clothing Free Store, serving Sunday breakfast, a summer school program called Freedom School, a Fresh Market that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to the community at no cost. They got to see the world through the eyes of a servant to that urban community. While the RezWest group was there the ministry announced its nonprofit arm Community Development for All People would be managing a $25-million effort to rehab 97 homes and build 30 others for low-income families in the community. All this will be financed by a government fund.