This Sunday, November 22, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Methodist Justice Ministry, founded and directed by Rev. Brooks Harrington, who is both an ordained United Methodist elder and a licensed attorney with years of legal experience. As part of the celebration of this vital ministry, I have asked Brooks to preach in the Sanctuary services on Sunday.
The vision to begin our Methodist Justice Ministry a decade ago quickly found solid support in our faith community. This was simply something we knew we must do. With Brooks at its helm, the lasting impact on the lives of those whom this ministry serves has illustrated well its twofold purpose: to protect indigent women and children from domestic violence, neglect, and abuse and to help them establish new lives free of violence, abuse, fear, and self-loathing.
As a church we celebrate and support this work that is guided by this scripture from Proverbs: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” (Proverbs 31: 8-9)
Over the nearly 10 years since the Methodist Justice Ministry began, this very special ministry of our church has represented in court the interests of 1,027 women and children from low-income households. Methodist Justice Ministry has obtained and enforced court orders for protection, for custody, for denial or restriction of visitation by the abusers, and for child support and medical support. The Ministry has not only counseled with these individuals, but with hundreds more — all of whom are desperate for help. To learn more about this life-transforming ministry, I encourage you to watch this video introduction from Brooks and three of the women helped by the Ministry.
The purpose of this Sunday’s celebration is twofold: to raise awareness of this important ministry, and to help raise funds that will enable it to thrive and expand to meet the growing need in our community. While our church provides the space that houses our Methodist Justice Ministry, along with some accounting and fundraising support, the Ministry itself is funded through “second-mile” gifts from church members as well as through gifts from foundations and individuals in our local community. Your giving to the Ministry makes a big difference in the lives of many women and children.
Brooks’ sermon, entitled “True Heroes,” will be based on John 15:12-17. I hope to see you on this Thanksgiving Sunday as we are inspired by Brooks’ sermon and celebrate our Methodist Justice Ministry and its many heroes among us.
Grace and Peace,