As you know every communion Sunday, the offering that is left at the chancel rail is donated to a missional agency that has been chosen by the Mission Team for that Sunday. Usually the money goes to an agency of the United Methodist Church. As a connectional church, we join with other United Methodist Churches and are able to do much more than just one church or one individual. However, this month we have selected two local helping agencies instead of an agency of the whole United Methodist Church.
The two agencies we have chosen are the Salvation Army and the Union Mission. Both of these agencies serve the needy in our community and are supported by churches, local clubs, and individuals. We chose these two because they have the distinction of serving meals. Between the two, breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Friday and food bags are sent home for the weekend.
The Salvation Army is actually a worldwide Christian Church. Interestingly, it grew out of the Methodist Church in the mid - 19 th century in London when William Booth felt like the church was not reaching the needy who really needed Christ just as John Wesley took to the streets and coal mines a century before because he believed that the Church of England was not reaching those who are so close to the heart of Christ. The official mission statement of the Salvation Army is:
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
On the other hand the Union Mission is a home grown establishment. It was founded in 1961 as a result of a group of volunteers becoming concerned with meeting the needs of those less fortunate. Its mission statement is: “Our mission is to seek to assist and rescue the poor and needy of the Dyersburg - Dyer County and Lauderdale County area by providing assistance in Jesus’ name. We want to meet people where they are and help them to get where God wants them to be.”
Both organizations have thrift stores. The Union Mission has expanded its outreach to the children of our community through its summer camp and after school program. It also has satellite thrift stores in Lauderdale county serving the people of Halls - Gates and Ripley - Henning.
As you prayerfully consider your offering for this Sunday, you can learn more about both at their web sites.
Yours in Christ, The Mission Team