We begin the New Year with another miracle. Last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asked if we would take an older man who is blind into our GateWAY Loft. Of course, we said “Yes”. But when he arrived, we learned that he is both blind and deaf! Communicating with him was nearly impossible.
Jimmy Marcelin, who works with the immigrants in the Loft, looked at his phone and saw a contact in Los Angeles. He called and learned the contact was the man’s son who had been desperately trying to locate his father for a long time. The next day, the son came to CMC and was reunited with his Dad, whom he took back to LA with him.
That is just one of many stories that occur nearly every day as Christ Ministry Center follows the Holy Spirit to bring healing in both body and soul.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Dress for Success as one of our partner agencies. At the end of 2017, Sylvia McKinney retired, and closed her charter of this amazing nation-wide organization that provided career services and clothing for women entering the workforce. Dress for Success is one of the first organizations that came to call Christ United Methodist home.
Sylvia shared, “We are grateful to friends such as you who have embraced and facilitated our mission over the past 19 years - via your generous donations of clothing, resources, funds and time. We could not have accomplished so much without you. Together we have helped empower nearly 12,000 women in San Diego County with the confidence to take control of their lives, define their futures and achieve personal success. Your support has had a positive impact on individuals and entire families - and created momentum that will benefit future generations.
Dress for Success graciously donated the remaining inventory of clothes and furnishings to CMC. We will continue our clothing ministry through Good Neighbor Center and the CMC Pantry in Room 204.
Sylvia added, “As I ease into retirement, I will continue to advocate for local charitable causes; and I look forward to spending more time with my children and grandchildren!”
Dress for Success (Sylvia McKinney) join Welcome Home (Chaplain Carmen Warner-Robbins) and Waters of Jordan (Pastor Dee Korokous) who have either retired or downsized their ministries here at CMC. In their place, new organizations and ministries are emerging. We salute these visionary women who have helped countless thousands of San Diego area women for many years, and wish them the very best in the years to come. Rest assured we will continue working in the areas of ministry they began.
A DYNAMIC MODEL
There are at least 30 entities now based at CMC. Trying to explain to someone how all these fit together is challenging. However, over the Holidays, The Ministry Center Model took on new clarity for me. I hope this helps you as well.
Christ Ministry Center is three “Centers” in one:
Ministry Center – built around Matthew 25 (food, thirst, clothing, wellness, prison and welcoming strangers)
Worship Center – home and incubator for a dozen worshipping congregations
Impact Center – our newest section with the opening of Collective Impact Center.
When we organized CMC, our stated primary purpose was threefold:
To provide a nurturing environment for worship, religious education and fellowship for religious congregations in the advancement of religion and ministry (Worship Center);
To provide a base of operations for charitable and community non-profit organizations engaged in public benefit ministries, especially relief of the poor, distressed and underprivileged; (Impact Center); and
To create and maintain a mechanism to harness the resources of existing non-profit charities and churches in the San Diego area which enables them more efficiency and effectiveness in helping the helpless. (Ministry Center)
We did not know at the beginning how those three purposes would form the framework of CMC as it exists today. But our “Center of Centers” (Centergy) is continuing to mature as we touch the lives of over a thousand people each week.
One of the hallmarks of a relevant, vital organization is its ability to continually adapt and change to meet the constantly changing needs of their environment.
I invite you to take a look at the Annual Report of our GateWAY Loft Ministry online at http://bit.ly/2AZExOR .
Thank you, one and all, for your kind words, prayers and thoughts at the passing of my Mother, Martha Roberts Jenkins, on December 27. She was 96 years old. Although the last year and a half were difficult, she was active and had a sharp mind. She still had her sense of humor right up to the end, despite her declining condition.
She told me many years ago “When I die, I don’t want sackcloth and ashes. I made my peace with God a long time ago!” That strong faith inspired her large family and everyone who knew her.
The author of Proverbs 31 must have had Momma Jenks in mind:
“If you can find a truly good woman, she is worth more than precious gems! Her husband can trust her…She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day’s work … with her own hands she plants a vineyard. She is energetic, a hard worker, and watches for bargains. She works far into the night! She sews for the poor and generously helps those in need. She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them. She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy. Her children stand and bless her. Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.”
At her memorial, her four surviving children arose, and called her “Blessed!” “There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!”