The Homebound Ministry | Helping both our homebound church family and our Wetumpka community
In John 21:15-17, Jesus said to Peter three times, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” Our church family stands together to show we love the Lord and we are feeding His sheep. Because your giving matters, we are doers of the Word and not hearers only.
While many of our church ministries demonstrate ways in which we are feeding His sheep, our Homebound Ministry is literally feeding His sheep – those in our church family and those in our community. Even during the extraordinary challenges and safety risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, a team of 35 devoted, dependable volunteers masked up and assured that 3,416 meals were delivered in 2020 . . . and, 440 meals have already been delivered this year. Some of our members have also done grocery shopping, picked up medications, and delivered food boxes to folks. It takes diligent planning and exceptional organizational efforts to carry out this outreach: to purchase food, prepare the meals, package them for delivery, and deploy teams to deliver meals to the homebound. Last year, our congregation supported this ministry with $14,130 through our church budget, as well as donations given directly by individuals.
In 2004, long-time volunteers, Mariella Easterling and Karen Reneau started this outreach as part of the kitchen ministry, with three homebound meals, and it has grown significantly through the years. When the tornado hit Wetumpka in January 2019, we provided 132 meals a week for 4 ½ months to those affected by the tornado. Mariella says, “This ministry blesses us just as much as the food recipients themselves. We all love this ministry. It gives us the opportunity to help our homebound church family, as well as our community. 2020 was a different year for everyone; but with a dedicated group of volunteers, it was a rewarding year, too. For many of those served, our volunteers are the only people they see during the week. We thank our church family for your prayers and donations to help accomplish this.”
Our congregation also responds to the on-going issue of food insecurity in our community through support for the Elmore County Food Pantry. Last year, in addition to an abundance of food items donated directly to the pantry, Sisters in Service and our year-end giving efforts gave $2,145 to help the pantry feed our neighbors.
We celebrate and give thanks for all the ways our First United Methodist Church Family shows love for God by feeding His sheep – through prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Yes, friends, your giving matters.