Trinity United Methodist Church has embarked on a new ministry in their community. “We pull people together to help out the residents of Hazleton,” writes Ronda McAllister, and “our enthusiasm is contagious.”
The outreach was an idea that emerged during a Healthy Church Initiative workshop that leaders attended last year. As they considered various ways to connect more intentionally with people outside the church, United Neighbors was born.
They attended a city council meeting to introduce themselves and heard numerous complaints about two vacant lots at the edge of town. So they made the two lots a clean up project! “Now a new home stands where the eyesore once was.” They were even featured in an article in the Oelwein Daily Register.
The group has hosted potluck dinners, provided food and games in the park for kids of all ages, assisted with a community garden, sung at area care centers, and much more. “People walking by ask who we are and often pitch in to lend a helping hand.”
A Matthew 25 grant from the Northeast District, which is made possible through apportionment gifts from United Methodist churches all over Iowa, provided financial support for the United Neighbors ministry.