As Kingdom people, Jesus specifically calls us to care for the poor and homeless in our midst. As a church, we have a history of serving those around us: we’ve run a food shelf, served at the local homeless shelter for families, have opened our building to be used as a temporary shelter through Project Home, and partner with a number of organizations who are showing the love of Christ to our neighbors who are less fortunate.
In December of 2011 we asked our congregation to consider spending a little less on gifts for family and friends. Using those extra resources, we wanted to “make space” in our lives to expand how our church is able to serve low-income and homeless families in our area.
Our goal was to raise $26,000; we were amazed when over $109,000 was donated! Here’s the latest update about what we’re doing with the funds to serve low-income and homeless families in our area:
Latest Update – February 2013
We are truly Making Space at Woodland! Here are some updates on our efforts to better serve our community:
On Monday, January 28, the Maplewood City Council unanimously approved our Conditional Use Permit to begin operating a food shelf in our building in partnership with Merrick Community Services. Not only did our proposal receive unanimous approval, but the council had some nice things to say about the church and the contribution we have been making to our community since we moved to our current location in 2001. We are grateful for such a positive working relationship with our city officials.
The food shelf will begin operating as soon as possible – hopefully by March 1 – and will be open for food distribution on Mondays from 3-7 and Wednesdays from 10-2. Since the North St. Paul food shelf stopped serving families in our area, we anticipate that this space will be well-used.
We will also be opening our doors to Project Home to house homeless families for the month of March. Up to 20 adults and children will be spending evenings and nights in our building, along with a host of volunteers.
This means that both of our original goals for Making Space have been accomplished! Because we were able to raise additional funds, we’ve also partnered with a job skills training program and a day care center:
Minnesota Ready offers two-week courses to assist under-employed and unemployed job seekers become employed. These sessions have been held in our building since October of last year.
Close to My Heart is a local daycare center that serves low-income families and children with special needs. We are excited to announce that they are opening their doors at Woodland Hills on April 8.
We want to do more than just make space in our building for these new ministries; we want to make space in our hearts. Many of these ministries rely on volunteers to do the good work they are doing, and we invite you to explore ways that you can be part of serving those in our midst who do not have their basic needs met by volunteering:
Food Shelf: Angela at Merrick Community Services [651-771-9339 or email@example.com]
Project Home: Lesley, Woodland’s Project Home volunteer coordinator [612-638-8971 or firstname.lastname@example.org]
Job Skills Training Program: Minnesota Ready [651-748-2566]
Day Care: Anne at Close to My Heart [651-307-1492 or email@example.com]
Let’s continue to show the love of Christ to our community!