“You are the pioneers of the church! You employ the imagination, inspiration and resourcefulness needed to carry out ministry and lead the way for the 21st century church.” That’s the message I shared with a group of gathered leaders, each from a congregation receiving support due to your gifts to Outreach for Hope.
Yes, that creativity is perhaps present in order to survive in communities faced with the challenges of poverty, which include struggling schools, unemployment, racism and high incarceration rates. But it is also the result of a belief that we in the Christian faith have life-giving hope to impart for those who are challenged with economic, health, and spiritual tests; God is at work bringing transformation through the Church.
A variety of pioneering endeavors
Here is just a sampling of how the congregations and ministries receiving Outreach for Hope funding are pioneering ministry for their communities and for the greater church:
Spirit of Peace, Milwaukee is refurbishing the lower level of its building into a 32 bed Urban Retreat Center, designed to welcome confirmation, youth, and adult groups to experience ministry in an urban setting.
Cross, Hephatha, and Reformation Churches in Milwaukee together are exploring the establishment of a new congregation within the prison walls of Felmers O. Chaney Correctional Center.
Reformation, Milwaukee was weighed down with a large building in need of significant repairs and improved accessibility. They bravely sold their church building at 2201 N. 35th to find a smaller building to more effectively be a witness in their neighborhood.
All Peoples, Milwaukee recently stepped into the worship space of Florist Avenue Church to plant ‘Seeds’ for a new worshipping community and style, which includes gospel, hip hop, testimony and spoken word.
ELCA Outreach Center, Kenosha took a leap of faith from a church basement to buying a much larger and more visible former credit union branch building to better serve the community.
Your gifts are investing in the future
Your gifts to Outreach for Hope support that pioneer spirit as an investment for the future of God’s church throughout the Greater Milwaukee Synod. Outreach for Hope congregations are constantly learning how to:
- be more creative in developing support that will sustain the church
- renew buildings from liabilities to assets, in order to enhance ministry to the community
- team up with businesses, residents, and government leaders to allow accomplishments to expand by working together
- grow relationships between people from a wide variety of economic and racial backgrounds, and help discover the gifts that each brings to ministry
- develop leaders for the church through creative youth and inter-generational ministry
Your gifts make you part of that pioneering spirit which is crucial to the future of the church. Your generosity will help the 19 ministries that receive funding from Outreach for Hope to be a blessing to the whole Church, which means you will be blessed as well! Thank you for your generous gifts throughout the year.