“I see the Mission as this church’s feet on the ground in day-to-day outreach, and as God’s hands in the community.”
— Linda Murphy, Director of First Street Methodist Mission
As a part of their commitment to discipleship, First Church’s volunteers cover a lot of ground to help others every day. One of our largest forms of day-to-day outreach can be seen at work through First Street Methodist Mission.
Linda Murphy, Director of the Mission, says there are thousands of people in this community who depend on its services every year.In 2015 alone, Mission volunteers put in more than 12,000 hours of volunteer time to help countless clients in a variety of ways — from grocery and homeless services to financial assistance and much more. Even though there’s only one Mission, its programs and volunteers help thousands of people in our community every year. And when you put it all together, it adds up to services people can count on in many times of need. As Linda sees it, the Mission is FUMCFW’s feet on the ground in day-to-day outreach, and God’s hands in the community.
After many years of serving others, the Mission has been remodeled with fresh paint and new carpet. “Much of the paint and carpet was original to the Mission,” Linda points out. “It’s going to brighten the mission from an aesthetic standpoint, but I think it also shows our guests and our volunteers that the church has a continued commitment to the Mission.” Now that the renovations are complete, we also want to take this time to update you on what goes on inside its walls.Did you know the Mission’s roots trace back more than 60 years? Or that it has a laundry list of services it provides through its programs, including laundry itself? (Volunteers do 10 loads each week to be exact.)
Here is some history (and math) behind the First Street Methodist Mission:When we do the math, the numbers do the talking. “It’s positively impacting thousands of people, and I’m proud to be part of the church and the Mission offering those services to the community,” Linda declares. Although we’ve made a big impact, we face an even bigger challenge. Linda says the Mission’s goal is to feed people and show God’s love. “The challenge is so global, and we do what we can with what we have,” she explains. “We don’t preach, we don’t judge — we just try to give people what they need.”
However, the personal challenge for Linda is not to be overwhelmed by the need and continue to do what whatever we can to help. After her first career, she remembers feeling like God was really tugging at her heart to do something that was meaningful and purposeful. “I personally don’t have the resources to be able to impact very many people, but when I toured the Mission for the first time I knew that was a place I wanted to spend some time,” Linda recalls. She says she started as a Mission volunteer and, through a variety of circumstances, found herself as its director. “I really truly feel like that was me finally slowing down and listening to what I should have been doing all along, and I’m just really grateful to have been given the opportunity to be there now,” she adds.
In time, Linda would like to develop a way to offer transitional housing for clients while we work with them on life skills so they can become self-sustaining. “There are lots of longtime friends of the Mission who need individual coaching,” she suggests. “If there are people we could identify, and if there was some educational assistance or counseling we could offer, that would really help people move forward.”
For now, Linda invites you to come take a tour of the Mission to see what we are doing and offer ways to improve our services. She can also come to Sunday School classes and answer specific questions. “I would love to collaborate on people’s ideas about services we could offer that we aren’t right now,” she says. “Be thoughtful of what life is really like for somebody who is living on the street. If people could really understand what it’s like to live in poverty . . . I’m still blown away every day.”
On the third Tuesday of every month, the Mission has volunteer orientation for anyone who would like to get the basics and find out ways to help. For more information, contact Linda Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 817/339-2404.