Madisonville Education and Assistance Center

MEAC provides vital assistance to people who reside in Madisonville (45227 zip code) and surrounding communities (45226, 45208, 45209 zip codes). Through the support of our sponsors, donors and volunteers, MEAC offers a variety of programs focused on families and individuals within our service area.

MEAC has numerous programming set up to meet the needs of its clients. MEAC’s Programs are:
Basic Material Needs: Choice Food Pantry, Household Items, Clothing, Community Meals
Financial Assistance: Rent, Utilities, Birth Certificates, Bus Tickets
Education: Money Talk$ Financial Program, Early and Adult Literacy Programs, Getting Ahead self-sufficiency Program
Connections: Application Assistance for Public Benefits (through Ohio Benefit Bank), Referrals
Holiday Programs: Thanksgiving Baskets, Happy Holiday Shop, Santa’s Secret Workshop, Holiday Parties

MEAC’s Mission is to offer help and hope to our neighbors in crisis by meeting their basic needs and providing education that enables them to navigate their way out of poverty.

Through the generosity of our donors and volunteers in 2013, MEAC was able to provide:
3,495 families (almost 7,200 people) with food from our Choice Food Pantry
3,263 people (1,222 children) warm, home-cooked dinners through our Monday Night Community Dinner meal program
2,863 people with clothing and household items from our MEAC Boutique
328 families with a Thanksgiving meal
190 individual with financial assistance
85 children with early literacy education

Every year, MEAC has been able to reach more families through new and growing programs. In 2014, MEAC, in partnership with The Literacy Network, launched a new Basic Reading Program for adults. These specialized classes teach basic reading skills free of charge to people with profound reading difficulties.

MEAC would love for you to be a part of the work that they are doing! You may get involved by donating, volunteering and staying connected. If you are interested in helping or would like more information, please contact Sarah Putman at sputman@hpcumc.org or 871-1345.

Carolyn Moseley

Moveable Welcome Center

A couple months ago, one of the greeters from the Hospitality ministry joyfully stopped me as I was walking toward the sanctuary. Then she asked me, pointing toward the crowd in the Welcome Center, “Look, what do you see?” I replied, “Well, I see the people talking to one another gladly.” Then she said, “That’s my point!” Her eyes were almost in tears as she expressed her joy in seeing a “warm atmosphere” as people were laughing, welcoming, greeting, introducing each other, and sharing brief life stories with one another before or after worship services. Surely it was good to sense the welcoming spirit as we enjoyed friendship and fellowship.

At the same time, the Welcome Center can be one of the most intimidating places for some people, including visitors. When we, insiders, do not intentionally invite others into our circles of conversation or look for unfamiliar faces, it’s common to miss the opportunity. In addition, it is not easy for visitors to find the Welcome Center if they want to have a cup of coffee; however, we can extend the spirit of welcome if we continue to think creatively.

A study has shown that when people do not find friends in the church, they will likely go elsewhere; but, when they find a group of caring friends, they will stay and grow in maturity in Christ Jesus. I pray that we, Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, will continue to pursue hospitality to all people, so that we can become mature Christians together in the coming year. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrew 13:2). In order to become more hospitable, let’s take the Welcome Center and “make it move”!

As we catch the spirit of radical hospitality, we become a “mobile Welcome Center” by taking action and inviting others to sit with us in our pews. We become Sanctuary Ambassadors for Christ as we relate to people.

Are you new to the church and looking for a place to belong and grow together for the coming year? Would you like to meet new people and welcome all people by joining our hospitality team?

Please contact me, SueLee Jin at sljin@hpcumc.org or Donna Dautermann at steve.dauterman@gmail.com or call the church office.

Have a blessed New Year!

SueLee Jin

2020: A Ministry to Young People in Trouble

“2020” is short for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center, located at 2020 Auburn Avenue across from Christ Hospital. Young people are brought to this secure facility by police, after arrest, or by agencies of the Court. About 90 youth between the ages of 9 and 17 are incarcerated there for an average of 10 days as they await their Court appearance. Each year, more than 3,000 young people are held there.

Who are these youth? Those on the 2020 ministry team have found them to be like most kids, like our own kids, with one big exception. These young people have fallen through the usual safety nets of family, school, church and community, and landed on the wrong side of the Law and in 2020. This forced “time out” has a sobering and humbling effect on the vast majority of these kids. Those of us who have visited at 2020 have witnessed first-hand the special sensitivity and openness these young people have to receive God’s love. That’s why we keep coming back year-after-year. I’ve been blessed to visit 2020 monthly for 10 years.

Thirty years ago, George Keil, one of our members, answered God’s call to start this ministry at HPCUMC (thanks and blessings on you, George!). One evening each week, we send a rotating team to meet with a small group of youth for an hour. Through this ministry of presence, we convey that someone, including God and us, still cares for them. We meet in a safe place, smile, listen, share, pray, read Scripture, and give each young person a new Bible they can put their name in and keep (Bibles caringly given to 400-500 kids in trouble per year!). For New Year’s Eve, we treat the whole facility to a pizza party which kids and staff greatly appreciate.

We presently have vacancies on our team due to moves and health issues. So, we’re looking for several caring adults age 21 and older to join this vital caring ministry, either as a regular once/month visitor, or as an occasional fill-in.

If God has given you a love for young people and if you sense a “divine nudge” to invest an hour a month giving hope to kids with open minds and hearts who find themselves in trouble, we’re looking for you. If you sense God may be calling you to this ministry, or even if you’re not quite sure, we invite you to join us as a guest visitor. As a guest, you’ll be free to just observe, or join-in as you feel led and comfortable. Once you confirm God’s calling, we’ll get you on the team. Blessings on you, my friend!

Please contact Sarah Putman at 979-8162, sputman@hpcumc.org, or Dana Connolly at 827-0815, dana.connolly1@gmail.com for more information or to schedule a guest visit.

God Bearer

I am a collector of Icons (stop in my office and you’ll see a portion of them). A number of the icons I possess are of Mary holding Jesus (depicted as an older child/youth). The early church titled this icon, Theotokos (“God bearer”).

Mary, at the age of 13/14 was visited by the angel Gabriel, and told that she was going to have a child, “Conceived by the Holy Spirit”. She would raise the Messianic King of the Jews, who would be the Savior of all people. Mary was the “God bearer”! This was no ordinary calling, but one that I’m sure left Mary with conflicting emotions. None the less, Mary’s answer has reverberated through the ages, and continues to be a model for you and me, when God calls: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”(Luke 1:38)

Adam Hamilton in his devotional, The Journey, writes, “Gabriel, on behalf of
God, was asking a great deal of this frightened young girl. William Barclay captures the message of this scene for all of us when he says, ‘The piercing truth is that God does not chose a person for ease and comfort and selfish joy but for a task that will take all that head and heart and hand can bring to it.’” (P.36)

God is calling you and me in different and unique ways. Adam Hamilton questions: “When was the last time you took a risk to pursue what you believed God was calling you to do? We can learn from Mary – Theotokos! “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Thank you for joining us this Fourth Sunday of Advent, as we embrace the faithfulness of Mary, and as we seek to be faithful!

Christmas blessings,
Pastor Doug

Wesley Chapel Mission Center

Wesley Chapel Mission Center (WCMC), one of HPCUMC’s inner city ministry partners, is located in the eastside of Over-the-Rhine (OTR). This area is not yet part of the new development taking place in OTR. In fact, since the OTR development began, many of the existing old buildings on the eastside have been converted into subsidized low-income apartments and many low-income families are moving into the eastside. Because of this influx of families, it is becoming more and more important for WCMC to be ministering in this area to the “marginal” residents of OTR.

In 2003, Becky Costello became the Executive Director of WCMC and it was established that the goal of the center would be to provide a safe, off the streets place to go for Christian education. This would be accomplished through enacting the mission statement of serving the OTR community by witnessing to Christ’s constant healing presence through spiritual nourishment, children’s educational programs (including enrichment programs) and collaboration with the community.

The heart of our ministry is the Monday-Thursday after school program (2:30-5:00pm) where the OTR children come to a safe haven as outlined in the mission statement. Not only do we have a daily Bible lesson, but we also emphasize education by having separate rooms set aside for help with the children’s school homework. The homework comes first, and then there is time for play, games, crafts, and enrichment activities as well as a generous and nutritional snack. During the summer, we have a summer camp program on Monday-Friday from Noon-3:00 pm.

Since WCMC was established, each year we see more and more children. The average attendance has grown from about 10-12 children in 2003 to 75-80 children this year. We have grown from one facility for all ages to now four separate facilities, two of which are divided by grade levels.

Currently, HPCUMC has a handful of faithful volunteers who work with the children on a daily or weekly basis. We also partner with WCMC’s Saturday STARClub a few times a year via our Ignite program. Our Children’s Ministry and Youth Program collaborated to provide a Super Saturday of fun and learning during the St. Patrick’s Day season this year. Summer Impact volunteers and participants work daily alongside WCMC to run the Summer Camp.

All of WCMC programs plus other community activities are run by a staff of 6 – 8 (mostly part time) faithful servants and a relatively small number of volunteers. With so many young children attending the programming each day we desperately need more help! Please contact Sarah Putman at 871-1345 or sputman@hpcumc.org for more information.

Lon Kaylor

Joseph and God’s Master Plan

Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, played a significant role in the first Christmas. The gospel writers do not share many details about the life of Joseph, but we do know that he was faithful to God’s call upon his life. As a carpenter, he would have taught Jesus how to make a living, working with wood. As a father, along with Mary, he would have helped build a loving family.

This Sunday’s text, Matthew 1:18-24, reminds us of the importance of being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit among us. Like Joseph, we may have all of our plans laid out, perfectly organized to move forward. God many times has a “Plan B” for us, a plan that aligns with God’s ultimate Will for our lives. Joseph found himself at a crossroads. Trusting God and believing Mary as she came to tell him of her visit from the angel would have required deep faith. Joseph’s visit from the angel of the Lord helped Joseph decide how to move forward: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

As a congregation we are beginning to execute a Master Plan for our building. Architects from MSA have started to have conversations with staff and some of our lay people in leadership roles. We are seeking input on the needs – both current and future – for our congregation. Gathering this data from the congregation will be critical as a Master Plan develops for our facilities. A study of the use of our current buildings and hopes and dreams for the future for the resources of our physical space will help us to maximize our effectiveness as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Your input is requested. Please mark your calendars and join in the conversation!

Dates for Congregational Gatherings for Master Plan:

January 18, Sunday, 10:30 am : at Nast Community UMC
January 18, Sunday, 12:30 pm: at Hyde Park Community UMC
January 24, Saturday, 10:00 am: at Hyde Park Community UMC
February 2, Monday, 6:30 pm: at Hyde Park Community UMC

Moving forward to address current and future needs for effective ministry through our facilities may seem like a daunting, scary task. But the good news is: God is with us! May we all learn from Joseph and Mary that the words the angel spoke that first Christmas season are true: “With God, all things are possible!”

Peace,

Pastor Cathy Johns

The Center for Respite Care

The Center for Respite Care, one of HPCUMC’s ministry partners, is a home for those who need it more than anyone else – those who are homeless and sick. The purpose of the Center for Respite Care is to provide those suffering from homelessness a place to recuperate after a hospital stay instead of returning to the streets and ending up sick again. It is at Respite that people suffering from homelessness find identity and love that has been missing from their lives for so long. My experience with Respite has been one filled with laughter, stories, and new understanding.

Volunteering at Respite gave me a new perspective on the lives of those suffering from homelessness and it provided new insights to those who participated in Summer Impact. At the end of each week, we would recount the ups and downs of Summer Impact, and the most impactful experience. Countless times, the Center for Respite Care was named because of their unique mission and the new understanding it provided to the volunteers. It was in this safe environment we talked about the prejudice we began the day with, and the openness and love we felt at the end of the day. It was also through these talks that we saw the way God worked through our hearts and worked through the lives of these people.

The Center for Respite Care is unique in the services they offer. They help care for these clients who need medical help but have been discharged from the hospital. The center allows their clients to get back on their feet at their own pace. Additionally, Respite provides services to help get their clients into permanent homes and apartments as well as finding employment. Their goal is for holistic well-being of those who stay with them, and they do an excellent job of focusing on the entire individual.

One of my fondest memories while at The Center for Respite Care was playing cornhole. Since Respite is relatively small, the clients interact quite often with each other and enjoy the company of new friends. New friends also means new competition for cornhole! We played every single visit; the clients would get so competitive, and it was contagious! It was also a time to talk about what they do in their free time, and associate a face, a personality, and a person with the far-too-often-large concept of homelessness. To me, homelessness is no longer anonymous, thanks to the Center, with Respite Care. Please keep their clients and those people who suffer from homelessness in your prayers this Christmas season!

If you have a heart for those who are seeking to get back on their feet, or the desire to sit with those who are healing physically, emotionally, and often times spiritually, contact Sarah Putman at sputman@hpcumc.org.

Global Outreach Christmas Giving

As the Christmas season approaches you are invited to participate in the ministries of transformation in which Hyde Park Community is involved across the globe. We have a strong history of faithfully providing for our Global partners. We invite you to prayerfully consider giving a gift this Christmas season to the Global Ministry Partners at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.

In giving to our Christmas offering for Global Ministry Partners you will be supporting:

The Samara United Methodist Church and the Volga District of Eruasia Central Conference, Russia.

The United Methodist Churches in Chemnitz, Freiberg, Plauen, and Augustusburg, Germany.

Ganta Hospital and Missionaries Dr. Albert Willicor and Victor Taryor in Ganta, Liberia.

Faith Academy, Haiti.

The Henrys in Asia Minor.

The Henderson Settlement and Red Bird Mission, Kentucky

Our specific goal for providing for the needs of all of our Global Ministry Partners is $60,000. With your generous support we will provide leadership training, education for those in poverty, supplies and staffing resources for health needs, as well as training and care for those who need support.

You can make your donation to the Global Ministry Partners by writing your check to Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. Please use the envelope you will find in the bulletin throughout Advent/Christmas Eve. Place the envelope in the offering plate or drop it off in the Church Office If you write a check, and do not use an envelope, in the memo line write: Christmas Global Offering.

Your faithfulness in giving above and beyond this Christmas season may save the life of a person in Africa, enhance the livelihood of children in Haiti, provide a Christ-centered place of worship amidst predominantly atheistic surroundings in Russia and Germany, or help to maintain the health and wellness of Americans who have followed God into full-time mission service in Asia Minor. Join others at Hyde Park Community and be a part of making a difference!

In Christ,
Pastor Doug