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Monday, March 2, 2015

Pastorgraphs: “The Wellspring of Living Waters”

E-Vangel Newsletter
March 2, 2015

Christ United Methodist Ministry Center

“Christ in the Heart of San Diego”
3295 Meade Avenue - San Diego, CA 92116 - (619) 284-9205
 
Pastorgraphs: “The Wellspring of Living Waters”

It is obvious how we meet the needs of hunger, clothing, wellness, befriending strangers and caring for those in prison (Matthew 25:35). But someone asked me last week to clarify how Christ Ministry Center meets the “I was thirsty” needs.

I wrestled with that, too, a couple years ago, until I re-read the story of the woman at the well (John 4). That story clearly contrasts physical and spiritual thirst. She had three strikes against her. First, she was a woman (a second class citizen in her society). Second, she was a sinner, a woman with a reputation we would say today.  And finally, she was a Samaritan, an ethnic group that was bitterly despised. To avoid the gossip, discrimination and hatred of others, she came to the well at high noon to get water to quench her physical thirst. But as she encountered Jesus, he told her how she could find the wellspring of living waters that would quench her spiritual thirst.

“Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.’” (John 4:13-14)

Christ Ministry Center is a federation of a dozen congregations and another dozen charities and weekday ministries that touch over 1,000 lives each and every week, meeting both physical and spiritual needs. The combined average weekly attendance in our churches is about 500. But another 500 people are fed, clothed, or otherwise ministered unto in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ through our churches and charities. And those are just the ones we can identify. Through The Fount of Blessings (MyFount.com), another thousand people a week visit the website seeking help.
  
Pastor Tilli Tilford Moore of Be Encouraged in the Word Ministries brought an exciting idea to me a few weeks ago. Pastor Tilli has experience in business as well as a minister on the front lines of urban street ministry. She envisioned a way to help the general public and businesses cooperate in supporting the most essential charities and ministries helping folks in need.

In short, it would work similarly to a bridal or baby registry or “wish list”, except it would allow charities and ministries to list their needs, and allow businesses and donors to more easily step up to help meet those needs.
 
For example, a charity might need a dozen book backpacks as school starts for children in their shelter. What is needed is a way for charities to list those specific needs so those who want to help will be aware. So, a business or donor could step up and provide resources to meet that particular need.
 
We are exploring how to incorporate this “module” in The Fount of Blessings. The Fount already connects those in need with churches, charities and social agencies providing specific help. What if we added a feature to further connect these Founts of Blessings with individuals, organizations and businesses who want to help? 

After much prayer and discernment, including with our amazingly talented developer, a faithful Christian, we are going to give it our best effort.  This new feature of The Fount will be called “The Well”. It would be a win-win for “Founts of Blessings” (churches, charities, social agencies) as they offer “Streams of Mercy” (food, clothing, shelter) to those in need with the help of donors and sponsors. Please pray for us as we seek a funding grant from a local foundation to make this a reality.
 
So you might think of CMC as having two balanced components: The Ministry Center, where we meet physical needs (food, clothing, wellness, prison and befriending neighbors); and The Worship Center, where we meet spiritual needs (worship, counseling, spiritual guidance and hope). Both work together as a wellspring (The Well) of living waters that shall never run dry.
  
For Christ’s sake,
Bill Jenkins

From The Quote Garden:
“Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.”
~ Marcus Aurelius (Brainyquotes.com)

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