- Our Bishop’s Visit. On April 16, Wednesday of Holy Week, our Bishop Minerva Carcaño paid a visit to Christ Ministry Center (CMC). This was a distinct honor. She had heard of the innovative model CMC provides for converting declining urban churches into vibrant urban ministry centers. Plus, she met with Exodus Parish ministers and District Superintendent John Farley to see firsthand how CMC and Exodus Parish work together. Bishop Carcaño wrote in her Easter Message that Christ Ministry Center is a living example of The Resurrection.
- Sojourner’s Summit. As the story of CMC was being told, we were honored to be identified by Sojourners, the Washington DC based faith and justice organization, as one of “50 Greatest Social Justice Leaders We’ve Never Hear Of.” I was invited and attended the inaugural Sojourner’s Summit in June at Georgetown University. It was an honor to meet Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, the preeminent spokesman for social justice in faith communities. Jim Wallis regularly speaks truth to power on network news talk shows, in Congressional hearings and at the White House.
- United Methodist News Story. Linda Bloom of United Methodist News Service (UMNS) in New York wrote a comprehensive article that documented the transition from Christ Church to Christ Ministry Center. UMNS published the story online which brought comments and contacts from across the USA and around the world. (In case you missed it, here is the link: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/officially-closed-but-open-to-new-ministry )
- Exodus Parish. You have heard me speaking about the official formation of Exodus UMC for a year and a half. While it seems to be taking forever, we hope to have some big news regarding Exodus in the coming weeks. Our Bishop and Cabinet want to be absolutely sure we do this in the proper manner. After each Cabinet meeting, I have been tasked with additional chores, such as producing a planned budget and job descriptions for the Pastor in Charge and Lay Ministers. We have a much clearer vision which we will share with you next month. Our patience and persistence will be worth it.
- 40 Days to Integrity. In one of the most intensive undertakings of my life, I was able to share the ABC Model of Integrity in 40 “bite-size” 5-minute videos during Lent 2014. I now have a new respect for movie screenwriters, directors and producers. The 40 daily devotions (over 200 minutes, more than a feature length movie) are available free, online at www.eintegrity.net .
- Non-Profit. After a decade of planning including three years of sailing in unchartered waters we became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit on June 18, 2014. That required literally hundreds of hours working with our attorney, the Secretary of State, our Methodist connectional system, and over a year working with the Internal Revenue Service. While the IRS considered us a non-profit under the class ruling for all Methodist organizations, obtaining our own unique status will allow us greater opportunities for grants and funding.
- Fount of Blessings. We continue to prepare The Fount (MyFount.com)) for its national rollout in 2015. This may be the most significant advance of the year. The Fount provides a revolutionary new way for churches, charities and social agencies (Founts) to work together and more efficiently and effectively share their “Streams of Mercy” (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) through our free website database of help for the homeless, hungry, helpless and hurting.
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.”
~ Martin Luther