“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

Every month, Park View Community Mission provides food for over 700 families. But God is clearly moving Park View to be involved in helping the community more, not less. We can do more to help families break the cycle of poverty. We need to offer more than a hand out. We need to offer a hand up.

Now there is so much more to offer.

• United Methodist Family Services offering Adoption help and family counseling.

• Lynchburg District of the United Methodist Church representing 89 churches.

• Centra Health provides a weekly free clinic.

• AA and NA addiction support groups meet regularly.

• Digital One Technology offers free or reduced Wi-Fi for the neighborhood.

• Soon: A study area with free Wi-Fi for children and youth.

• A nutritionist to teach how to cook food provided in a way that promotes better health.

• Soon: A local bank to provide classes on managing limited financial resources.

• Soon: A community college and job training agency to provide classes.

• Soon: A licensed therapist for counseling.

• Soon: The sanctuary for community meetings and events.

• A new church meets on Saturday night for worship and a fellowship meal.

• Soon: A prayer chapel for spiritual counseling and prayer support.

While all these ministries are helpful, a critical ingredient is missing. When people come to Park View who is going answer questions, guide them to the right ministry, listen to concerns and pray with them?

The critical ingredient of Park View Community Mission will be the Pastoral Care Welcome Center.

Imagine… calling or entering Park View to seek help. There will be a volunteer there to greet you. He or she will listen to your story and provide possible resources whether the need is counseling, job training or to learn new skills. The volunteer will provide resources and offer to pray with you before you leave.

The Pastoral Care Welcome Center will provide more than a hand-out but rather a hand up to enable someone to break the cycle of poverty and offer the most important help of all, a connection with God.

Another benefit of the Pastoral Care Welcome Center will be training for pastors and church leaders who have little experience talking to people in need. Pastoral Care volunteers will receive classes to help them relate without become either judgmental or enabling. There will be role-playing situations set up by counselors who work regularly with people trapped in poverty.

“If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

Ray Buchanan, founder of ‘Stop Hunger Now’ wrote: “It is a well-known fact that congregations actively involved in mission outreach are more viable than those that are not so engaged. If a congregation is not reaching out to others in the Name of Christ, it becomes anemic and suffers a significant and noticeable loss of spiritual vitality. And who in the community will be attracted to a sickly and spiritually anemic congregation?” – From “Getting Off Our Buts” by Ray Buchanan

The conditions surrounding Park View are not perfect but we have an opportunity to do something vital for the Lynchburg community and for the Kingdom of God. Over the next few months and years, I hope to share stories of the lives changed as a result of the ongoing ministry at Park View Community Mission.

Here are ways you can be involved with Park View Community Mission:

• Pray for the mission. We value and depend upon your prayers.

• Visit either in person or through our website www.ParkViewCommunityMission.org

• Consider volunteering – volunteers are needed, individually and in groups.

• Become one of our many financial donors.

• Encourage your church to become more involved.

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