By Thom Pentz
Members of the Stewartstown United Methodist Church, York District, are challenged to collectively accomplish 10,000 hours of active service in outreach ministry during 2015. To be actively and purposefully engaged in outreach ministry fulfills the mission of the church: to first reach up to God, to then reach in to grow in discipleship and fellowship, and ultimately to reach out to the world with acts of loving service.
In Matthew 25, Jesus calls his disciples to serve Him by serving others, to reach out to those in need with acts of loving service. We have been called as a church to be a missional people, empowered by the Holy Spirit to exercise a healing and transformational force in the world and in the lives of the world’s people. Let us therefore devote ourselves during the coming year to be committed to active and purposeful outreach ministry.
Here is how the challenge works: Church members have a mission brochure to learn about more than two dozen current mission partnerships within the church and the opportunities for outreach ministry they present. Members have been asked to consider adopting a new mission partnership, either as an individual or as a group, within the church. Mission partners develop a relationship with the ministry they are supporting, maintain correspondence, provide financial support, and wherever possible arrange for face-to-face, hands-on opportunities for outreach.
Other opportunities for outreach ministry will also be presented throughout the course of the year, such as mission trips, work camps, seasonal outreach activities, trips to York Rescue Mission, Helping Hands, Mission Central, etc.
Members are encouraged to be on the lookout for other opportunities of outreach ministry presented outside of our church and share them with the church.
As members engage in activities of outreach ministry, they are asked to record their hours served and submit them to the church for tracking.
Opportunities to share about their outreach ministry and mission experiences will be given during the time of testimony in Sunday morning worship.
If members want to go the extra mile, they have been invited to consider pledging a dollar amount for each hour they serve in outreach ministry during the coming year as a donation to the Bishop’s Partners in Mission fund.
If every member of Stewartstown UMC volunteers and serves one hour or more each week, they will far surpass the 10,000 Hour Challenge in 2015.
Thom Pentz is Chair of Outreach Ministries and Missions Team at Stewartstown UMC.