An interesting story was posted this week by the UMC.org. A UMC church in McMinnville, Oregon, has been active in mission to addicts of all types with more than 2 dozen 12-step program meetings a week, along with worship and other activities. The church offers shelter, coffee and snacks until 10 pm daily. But people started staying after the doors closed – and began pitching tents. The church council determined it was part of their mission to not turn these people away, but instead offer them space if they abide by a few rules (no noise, no substance abuse, help with maintaining the grounds). It has saved some lives.
But now the church is being fined for violating zoning laws – and the community wants the tents to disappear. I encourage you to read the full article here http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/church-threatened-with-fines-for-taking-in-homeless
... what if this happened in our church, people living in tents on our property, and the town wanted to shut our ministry down ... would you stand with the mission or with the town?
In Christ's Peace, Lisa