The Community Outreach Ministry works as a "networker" or "connector" for the churches in the district to help facilitate congregational connections with existing outreach ministries and services. These existing outreach resources are inside local churches, within faith-based ministries and within government sponsored organizations. In every case, we look carefully at the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ alongside the outreach and prioritize this important component of outreach. This way, we can state that we are in full alignment with the global mission statement - making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The Community Outreach Ministry sees itself as a "3 braided cord" composed of Mercy, Justice and Witness operating in unity and equal strength through community outreaches.
Throughout Scripture, God has spoken to us about His heart for the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor. We take seriously these folks who are often disenfranchised and we desire to serve their immediate, long-term and eternal needs.
Mercy in Hebrew is "chesedh" meaning God's unconditional grace and compassion. This is usually serving immediate, urgent and/or emergency needs like food, clothing, lodging, medical and financial assistance.
Justice in Hebrew is "mishpat" meaning giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care. This is usually serving intermediate and long-term needs like addictions, legal matters, abuse, immigration, English as a second language, vocational training and assistance, children education and mentoring, transitional and permanent housing, etc.
Witness in our context is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in obedience to the Great Commission as spoken by our Lord in Matthew 28:18-20. This is addressing the most important need of all which is the eternal need of salvation and having assurance of eternal life. We desire to keep the Great Commission as the highest priority of all we do in community outreach.
On the following pages, you will find Mercy, Justice and Witness opportunities that each congregation can explore and participate in. Simply touch the name of the ministry/organization partner to go to their website.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011