My congregation and Palo Duro

IMG_2135My congregation, Mayfair Heights United Methodist Church, has a long and close relationship with Palo Duro Apartments.  Palo Duro 1 is a permanent, supportive living center for single, homeless adults with a mental illness (quote from their website).  They are a part of Neighborhood Services Organization, also an organization with which my congregation and many other United Methodist Churches, have a close relationship.  They are primarily funded by the United Way of Central Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Housing Authority.  

This past Sunday, my congregation held both a birthday party and a Christmas party for the residents of this complex.  It was my first time there, and I was struck by the incredible camaraderie between my congregation and the residents.  They know each other well.

Three things struck my heart during this party.  The first is that I was told by one of my congregants about two residents from that complex who died recently.  The two were very close friends and there was a picture of the two of them on the wall.  My congregant told me of these two folks and how long they had known them.  They grieved again for these friends who have died.  

The second:  The residents of this complex genuinely care for one another.  They looked out for each other as the gifts were handed out.  My congregation made sure everyone had a gift from the list they had filled out.  When some of the residents were having trouble getting to the party, someone volunteered to take their gifts to them.  My congregants also went to see some of the folks who were not able to come down to the party.  

The third:  When we were leaving, a resident of the adjacent complex, who was kind enough to help us bring all the gifts in, asked me if I would, when I came the next time, to have a blessing over his apartment.  I assured him that I would.  He said, “You gotta love a church who will do all this.”  

The other thing you might want to know about my congregation is that we are about 25 people.  We are older than we think we are, and we are incredibly mission minded.  

I’m very proud of them for being who they are, and I am grateful to serve as their pastor.  Sometime when you wonder who is helping those folks who are in need of a bit of assistance, remember my church. Because they are likely to be there already.  Peace be with you and yours. 

My church’s website is www.mayfairheightsumc.org

If you are interested in helping the residents of Palo Duro, here is a link to their website. http://nsookc.org/services/permanenthousing/

 

~ by revpaulcalkin on December 19, 2019.

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