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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.