Good Neighbor Center
Debby Raysin (standing) has served for many years as the manager of Good Neighbor Center. Shirley Ferrill (seated) is one of GNC's longest serving volunteers.
(San Diego) Rev. John Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of METRO Community Ministries (METRO) and Dr. Bill Jenkins, Executive Director of Christ United Methodist Ministry Center (CMC) announce that effective June 30, 2018, Good Neighbor Centers (GNC) management and operations will be transferred from METRO to CMC. Good Neighbor Centers provide food and clothing and create opportunities of hope for underserved populations in San Diego. GNC serves over 40,000 people annually from its two locations at Nestor United Methodist Church and CMC. “Good Neighbor Center has been METRO’s longest running program,” said Rev. John Hughes. Founded in 1968, GNC celebrates 50 years of continued service to the community this year. “We deeply appreciate METRO’s support of Good Neighbor Center for over a half century”, said Dr. Jenkins. “We are excited about leading and expanding Good Neighbor Centers outreach for the future.” “This transfer better fits the current scope of missions for both METRO and Christ Ministry Center,” Rev. Hughes said. METRO Community Ministries, 6310 Alvarado Court San Diego, CA 92120, began fifty years ago by providing community-based supportive services, emergency food banks, and clothing closets. Today, METRO has expanded its reach by addressing three main areas of need to eradicate the cycle of poverty. These three areas are: education, and employment assistance, and leadership development. Christ United Methodist Ministry Center, 3295 Meade Avenue, San Diego CA 92116, became an ecumenical urban ministry in 2011 at the closure of the former Christ United Methodist Church. In addition to GNC, CMC operates two free medical clinics, clothes closet, migrant shelter, school, nursery, home for a dozen congregations, recovery ministries, and coworking impact hub for social entrepreneurs.
NBC7 of San Diego ran a story on CMC's anticipated role in housing women and children in "The Caravan" arriving from Central America.
FROM COURT TO CHURCH Christ United Methodist Ministry Center of San Diego is preparing once again to be a safe harbor for refugees. This time, we are welcoming refugees from Central America into our GateWAY Loft who are seeking asylum in the United States. It is possible and most likely that members of "The Caravan" who are released from detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will come to CMC for shelter and basic needs while awaiting their asylum hearing. We helped in a similar way in the 2016 Haitian exodus from Brazil. Thank you, all, who have already stepped up to help us "welcome strangers" as our Lord taught us to do. Watch this video NBC7 San Diego aired on their news. (Click here to view the NBC7 news story.)
In addition, United Methodist News Service released a similar story. The image is an abandoned sandal that lies just across the border from Mexico near Friendship Park in San Diego. (Click here to read the UMNS story by Kathy Gilbert).
NEW CMC WEBSITE We invite you to visit our new website, www.cummc.org. Our hope is that this site will be more intuitive in explaining who we are and what we do. It also is "mobile friendly" meaning you may view the website on mobile devices. We will soon merge our old and new websites.
NEW SAFE HARBORS WEBSITE Also, visit www.safeharbors.net to see the newly expanded Safe Harbors Network website. Our GateWAY Loft was the first Safe Harbors site, and we want to expand the capacity (beds) for arriving migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
On Fifth Sundays, I am invited to preach at Exodus United Methodist Church. On April 29, just before I was to begin the sermon, little Harry ran down the aisle and jumped in my lap. So rather than stand, I preached the entire sermon seated. But the truth is, the sermon was in my lap. He was so good, and told the congregation "I love you". That was a first for my 50 years of ministry.
Grateful for another opportunity to meet with a delegation sponsored by the U. S. State Department, Alliance San Diego and San Diego Diplomacy Council. Diplomats, journalists, human rights and immigration officials from a dozen countries were in this group. I am especially glad to befriend Monseigneur Mirostaw Wachowski from the Vatican. "Brothers of the cloth."
CMC's GateWAY Loft is one of only nine (9) Immigrant Welcome Shelters along the Southern Border, according to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees.