“I thank you for the meal I’m about to receive for the nourishment of my body.” This is what a woman says to me as she comes through the dining room to receive lunch every day. She’s been eating with us for quite some time, and she has never failed to bless me.
Her words remind me of my childhood. If we ate, our neighbors ate, because my mother always cooked enough to share. There was always enough for our family and for others to join us as needed.
It is a blessing to prepare and serve meals to our neighbors. Being able to work with so many wonderful volunteers who join our efforts every day makes it even better. We are so blessed to have so many regular volunteers, and we always welcome new ones to join us.
As 2013 comes to a close, we are thankful for each of you. Your prayers, financial contributions, and volunteer assistance help us take care of our community so that all of God’s children receive nourishment for our bodies and our spirits.
Ms. Belle Carlisle
Compassion Programs Director
Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Let me tell you about one person who has found himself through service at Urban Ministry.
We’ll call him Steve. He’s a member of a large suburban United Methodist church in the Birmingham area. When he became chair of the missions committee a couple of years ago, he decided to find out more about our work.
“Until I visited, I had no idea of the breadth and depth and scope of your ministry,” he says. “I met you all and learned what you do, and it blew me away.”
Steve became not only committed to continuing the financial support of Urban Ministry, he became committed to working with us.
“Until you put on their shoes and walk a mile in them, you can’t appreciate what they are facing,” he says.
His children began working in WE Community Gardens, which not only helped feed the neighborhood, but also allowed quality time for his family as well.
“Working together at Urban Ministry has been truly transformative,” he says. “It’s one thing to just write a check, although that’s needed too. But it’s another thing to get blisters together…
That’s what changes you. It’s what changed me.
In the United Methodist Communion liturgy, we confess that we have not heard the cry of the needy,” he continues. “We say that by rote every month. It’s time for us to walk among it, embrace it, and go help change it.”
Won’t you embrace that confession as well by helping us reach our year-end financial goal?
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” -Rabindranath Tagore
You can discover that joy by supporting Urban Ministry today. When you support our work, you help people through Homelessness Prevention with utility aid and food assistance. You help seniors receive transportation assistance, health and wellness support and home visits through Beeson Senior Services.
You help change people’s lives through WE Community Gardens, Urban Kids, and the Community Kitchen (which continues to experience record crowds this season).
Our compassion ministries, funded by the support of people like you, help all we serve to find wholeness across the full spectrum of their lives.
We need funds to keep the lights on, to keep our building in good repair, to buy supplies and pay our staff. Every dollar you donate is matched by far more in donated supplies and volunteers. But we still need the cash to keep going.
I hope you will make your donation and couple it with a pledge to visit us at Urban Ministry in the coming year, so you can become one of the people whose life is changed by our ministry of compassion and wholeness.
We need your help to continue serving those who walk through our door. We need your donations in order to meet our budget for 2013.
Join our community by giving generously of your money and time.
As Dorothy Day said, “We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
Please give prayerful consideration to this request, and send your contribution today.
With deep gratitude,
Rev. Melissa Self Patrick