Loving our neighbors is central to how we live into our faith at Middletown Christian Church. In 2023, we took our outreach ministries to the next level by serving for more than 3,900 hours in the community and investing more than $101,000. More than 525 people in our congregation have participated in at least one outreach opportunity so far this year.
We worked with long time partner Hand in Hand Ministries to repair homes; supplied more than 30,000 meals with Love the Hungry, held food and supply drives for Eastern Area Community Ministries, built beds for JCPS students with Build a Bed, and so much more.
This week we’re sharing the story of Doug and Tina R., a couple who began volunteering with the Hope Buss earlier this year, about their experience with our outreach ministry.
When Doug and Tina R. started attending Middletown in late 2019, they tried to get involved as soon as they could. “The pandemic slowed us down a bit, but once outreach activities started back up we jumped at the chance to help out.”
In early 2023, the church held a Fill the Buss event, inviting people to donate food to fill up the Hope Buss’ mobile food pantry.
“We were amazed by how many people they helped on a regular basis and the variety of ministries they lead,” they said. “Everyone should hear their program leader, Nannie Croney, speak about all they are doing. It’s incredible.”
Learning about the Hope Buss inspired them to volunteer at the Hope Village, where they cooked meals, organized pantries, and delivered food. They are passionate about helping people in our community experiencing houselessness, so working with the Hope Buss meant a lot to them.
“You often feel helpless when faced with such a large issue, however partnering with a local group that has such a direct impact on the community is very rewarding,” they said.
In addition to serving with the Hope Buss, Doug and Tina are heavily involved with the church’s LGBTQ+ ministry. They lead the Rainbow Allies small group, have participated in local pride festivals, and have put together hygiene kits for houseless LGBTQ+ teens.
“One of the things that drew us to the church in the first place was how the staff and members welcome and embrace a community that is so often marginalized,” they said. “We are thrilled to be a part of MCC and think there is a place for everyone to find an outreach [opportunity] where they can make an impact.”
This impact story is part of our annual stewardship series, I Know the Plans. If you’d like to give to support the work that God is doing in and through Middletown Christian Church in 2024, please consider filling out an estimate of giving card here.