November 30, 2016
This Week’s Storyteller is…
Debra Thompson, Ebenezer, Jacksonville
Ebenezer UMC Jacksonville Florida had “Church without Walls” on Sunday October 30, 2016. We went into our community and downtown Jacksonville to be the hands and feet of Jesus and share God’s love. In downtown Jacksonville we distributed over ninety homeless kits to people who are homeless.
This herculean effort began with Pastor Debra Thompson envisioning a Sunday when the members of the church intersected with the community outside the church. Jim Young, community outreach director for the North East District, demonstrated homeless kits to us a few months prior to the event. All it took were a few donated homeless kits, members contributing and making up nearly one hundred additional kits, our passion for the poor and marginalized, church members ready to be hands and feet of Jesus and the power of God moving us outside the church walls.
Church members walked the neighborhood around Ebenezer UMC picking up trash and sharing God’s love to our neighbors in the community. On one encounter, a FEMA representative, who was assessing damages in the neighborhood from recent Hurricane Matthew, inquired into who the church members were. When told we were with Ebenezer UMC, the FEMA representative thought it was great that people were helping to clean the neighborhood!
When out in the community the members of Ebenezer UMC repaired a broken mailbox at one home. We now know to travel with a toolbox next time!
All ages became involved in our first “Church without Walls" Sunday. The elderly remained at the church to pass out refreshments, the youth washed windows at the church (showering each other with water for a time of fun in the process) and the children engaged in writing prayers on pumpkins cut out of cardboard paper. We were glad that we could do what Jesus commanded his disciples; “Go ye therefore.”
Every fifth Sunday Ebenezer UMC Jacksonville, Fla., will have Church without Walls--“CWW.” Look out community, Ebenezer UMC Jacksonville is coming to you!!
Sharon Surrency, First UMC Hawthorne
The disciple shares her belief that there have been no coincidences in her journey and that she has seen God open doors and clear pathways for ways in which to serve Him.
This testimony was originally posted in November 2013.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011