God’s Abundance For All People thriving thanks to connection

By the Rev. Darlene L. Kelley

NEWBERRY—Connection is a big word for United Methodists, and its message and intention resonant differently depending on the situation.

Recently I learned that a beloved, old friend in New York was recovering from a stroke at Lennox Hill Hospital. Too far away to visit personally, I made one phone call on Thursday afternoon, and a United Methodist pastor was praying with my friend in the hospital on Friday. Connection keeps us linked like toy soldiers, arm in arm and at the ready, when a friend calls looking for pastoral care, a family needs food or a homeless veteran needs shelter.

At O’Neal Street United Methodist Church, connection has made all those and many other weekly miracles possible.

God’s Abundance For All People is an ecumenical food pantry housed at the church. Since its opening two years ago, community connection has been paramount to the mission’s success. Given that it distributes an average of 70 pantry boxes per week, it would not operate at all without the connections the ministry has been blessed to forge.

Although the need for resources is constant, God’s Abundance For All People has benefitted from tremendous community support, and several local churches from various denominations have all given generously with gifts of manpower as well as monetary donations.

Without volunteers, no mission functions. As the apostle Paul wrote to a church consumed with power struggles and ego, “We are God’s servants, working together” (1 Corinthians 3:9).

Paul’s words speak to us now, and we are doing our best to live his message here in Newberry.

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