Not Dead Yet - Just Resurrected
Dr. Bill Jenkins washes the feet of an asylum seeker who was staying at CMC's Safe Harbors Network Shelter. Note the ankle GPS tracking bracelet asylum seekers are required to wear.
(San Diego) When his obituary was accidentally published, Mark Twain sent a cable from London that read, "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated." I understand how the rumors that CMC was closing got started. When we announced that CMC was closing our migrant shelter (primarily because of fire code regulations for overnight shelters that would require a quarter-million dollars to resolve), far too many heard that as both CMC and Safe Harbors Network were shutting down. Neither is accurate. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Yes, we are closing our shelter (our's only), but Safe Harbors Network will continue, and will be stronger than ever. We are increasing our bed capacity for asylum seekers as four new congregations, several homes, and an exciting opportunity of an abandoned camp possibly coming online with Safe Harbors within the next few weeks. Stay tuned. CMC will continue to be the home and intake center for Safe Harbors. We are renovating the old Loft (where Safe Harbors was born and where literally thousands of refugees have stayed) into office spaces for SHN. CMC will continue to host the food ministry (Good Neighbor Center), medical clinics (UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos, and USD), provide clothing, showers, laundry, transportation, legal clinics, ESL classes, art classes, and spiritual support. In fact the ONLY thing we will NOT be doing is offering beds overnight. That will transfer to our growing family of congregations and individual homes. (continued below)
We were honored to have among many guests at CMC/Exodus UMC December 9, 2018: (left to right) Jack Amick, Director, United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR); Thomas Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC; Bishop Felipe Ruiz-Aguilar, episcopal leader of the Northwest of Mexico Conference, The Methodist Church of Mexico, which includes Tijuana; Pastor Bill; and Rev. David Farley, Director of Justice and Compassion Ministries, California-Pacific Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church.
Happy Harry preferred "hanging with his Papa" during the sermon. Actually, Harry WAS the sermon, personifying CMC's open doors, open hearts and open minds that welcomes strangers at our nearby border.
(continued from above) The affirmation that Christ Ministry Center and Safe Harbors Network are not dead or dying, but in fact resurrected, is appropriate so close to Easter. It is a reminder that sometimes change is mistaken for death. In our book, "The NOT FOR SALE Church", Anita and I wrote: "4,000 churches close their doors every year...this (CMC) is the story of one that did not!" And that remains our Resurrection story. For Christ's Sake, Pastor Bill Jenkins
We were honored to have the California-Pacific Conference Cabinet visit CMC/Safe Harbors April 10, 2019. Our Bishop, Grant Hagiya, (pink shirt) and District Superintendent, John Farley, led the site visit. The Cabinet is composed of the Bishop, our five Districts Superintendents from Los Angeles, Gardena, Ontario, Reseda, San Diego and Honolulu, conference staff, and lay leaders. We are grateful for their interest in our Ministry Center and immigrant welcoming shelter.
CMC Major Accomplishments (2018-2019)
CMC added our third free clinic: USD School of Nursing joins UC San Diego and Cal State San Marcos free clinics that operate at CMC. They offer free clinics every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. UC San Diego reported 880 medical encounters at CMC in 2018. Cal State San Marcos estimates their free clinics saved local hospital emergency rooms $750,000 last year. USD School of Nursing comes into our shelter to provide medical care, primarily to women, children and newborn babies (28 births in 2018).
Good Neighbor Center (50-year-old food ministry that feeds 33,000 people a year) officially became a ministry of Christ Ministry Center.
Collective Impact Center (co-working space for entrepreneurs working for environmental, cultural and social justice) officially came under Christ Ministry Center.
CMC provided space for 12 congregations to worship (with an average combined worship attendance of 400 a week), including a new African Methodist Episcopal, Zion Church (Winston Chapel AME Zion).
CMC was the recipient of grants from The United Methodist Church of Vista and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).