16,700 Meals on One Sunday Morning:
After sixty years of Sunday worship services, the families who attend Lakewood United Methodist Church were extremely surprised to find themselves instead packing 16,700 meals for hungry Arkansans on "Super Bold Sunday," February 1. Here's TV coverage from THV Channel 11 and our facebook album of pictures.
LUMC partnered with The Pack Shack, a Rogers-based non-profit that has developed an innovative way of addressing the growing number of Arkansans who suffer from hunger, like the homeless and working poor. They host "Feed The Funnel" parties where crowds of people gather to pack thousands of delicious, nutritious meals that go straight to local organizations that feed the hungry.
Everyone who attended received an abbreviated 30-minute church service before being moved en masse to Wesley Hall, where The Pack Shack's tables and equipment were ready to go! The energy was contagious; people were dancing to the music, young and old, all working together to prepare the meals.
The end result: 16,700 meals for Gardner UMC Food Pantry in North Little Rock in less than two hours. Wow! What a way to Expand the Light!
Update: News coverage by KARK Channel 4, KATV Channel 7 and KTHV Channel 11 of the Ozark Mission Project campers staying here at LUMC. You can find more pictures on our facebook wall.
Update 2: Bekah Fritschie, one of our youth, was just awarded the Ozark Mission Project's Allan Bruner Youth in Mission Award for 2013! Bekah, along with Eamonn Mayo of Conway First UMC, "demonstrated a passion for serving others not only through Ozark Mission Project, but also through other outreach ministries and their local congregations. Both youth exemplify a true servant’s heart, showing a love of God and a love of neighbor. They have created in themselves a passion for mission work as a part of their Christian life and discipleship."
Congratulations, Bekah!! You truly are a role model for the rest of us in "expanding the light!"
There is no better way to introduce how we serve others (what we call "missions") than to publish part of the minutes of a monthly Missions team meeting. Lakewood UMC has a servant's heart and all ages in our church are very active in helping others.
"Youth Report: Abby reported the Youth served a meal after Thanksgiving at the Salvation Army and are going to the Methodist Children’s Home today....
"Hank reported on the progress of the Kynnette UMC after school center for at-risk children in Forrest City. Marvella and Rev. Kinneth Keys are thrilled with the help provided by our church members.... The space is now remodeled and freshly painted, with a new floor and a wheelchair ramp. Rachel mentioned the Youth Council may be able to help provide books for the Center.
"Michael introduced Dr. Yeboah from Harding University, who would like to use some of his pharmaceutical students to give flu shots to homeless folks....
"Seventh Street Elementary Backpack Ministry: Andrea reported a group of about four people from our church goes to the 7th Street School at 1 PM every Wednesday to fill up backpacks....
"Andrea reported the offering for Imagine No Malaria brought in approximately $2,300...
"Ingathering: James reported on the following November and December Projects:
Thanksgiving Brunch - 98 meals to families in need
Gardner Food Pantry - 125 sacks of groceries
Salvation Army - 100 Christmas stockings
Hats and Mittens - 146 warm items
The Women’s Bible Study is Furnishing a monthly lunch to Our House
Lasagna Dinner to raise money for Imagine No Malaria raised about $600.
"The Missions team voted to dedicate the Lenton Offering (all four services) to the Methodist Family Health/Children’s Home. We will start promoting it and make announcements in church."
--- By Sue Winkley
Here's more about what we do. If you're looking for a church that serves others, come join in!
Food Ministries: We partner to help staff and stock the food pantry at Gardner Memorial United Methodist Church here in North Little Rock. Last year the pantry helped feed over 3000 hungry families. We prepare and serve warm food to almost 100 of our homeless brothers and sisters under the Broadway bridge with the Broadway Bridge Project, support the Arkansas Rice Depot, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and help almost too many other groups to list.
The Ozark Mission Project. This is a summer camp where teenagers -- instead of hanging by the pool or earning gas money -- get out in the Arkansas heat to help people who are physically or financially unable to maintain their homes. Mark Lasater, an associate pastor here at Lakewood, started a single camp. Now, twenty-two years and over 5000 homes (!) later, it's blossomed into a dozen camps with over 600 campers each summer. They live in churches, eat donated food and borrow homes each evening to take showers.
In one camp alone, the teens completed 46 projects, including painting 18 homes and building 7 wheel chair ramps, 3 porches, and 2 sheds.
Our Prayer Shawl Ministry, Sisters 'n Stitches, knits with loving hands for those in need of comfort and prayer. The shawls are blessed and given for times of illness, loss, recovery or any need requiring special prayer.
United Methodist Women: This active group helps and supports many important local organizations, including Our House, Red Cross Blood Bank, Union Rescue Mission, Youth Home, Camp Aldersgate, UAMS Med Center nursery, Stork Ministry, MIWATCH, Heaven's Loft and other local projects. Learn more about this here.
We help break the cycle of poverty by conducting money management classes for the working homeless at Our House.
Miracle League: We provide buddies for this group that helps children with disabilities play baseball, just like everyone else!
Our annual Expanding the Light golf tournament, which has raised over $7300 to fight hunger in Arkansas. Proceeds were split between Gardner Food Pantry, the Arkansas Rice Depot and the Heifer Project.
Our Friendly Forum Sunday School class serves dinner for Mainstream, a non-profit independent living Resource Center for persons with disabilities in Central Arkansas
Other Missions and Ministries we're involved with include:
Arkansas Food Bank
Arkansas Rice Depot
Catch the Vision
Heaven’s Baby Loft
JoAnn Cyces Charity
Mat Horton Mission
Methodist Family Health
NLR After Prom
Salvation Army Angel Tree
Savutos / Kenya Trip
School for the Deaf
UAMS Medical Nursery