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Langdale UMC Hospitality Ministries
Langdale United Methodist Church continues to seek to fulfill our Statement of Vision – “Make Jesus Real!” Our ministry of outreach and hospitality in the community and world includes our weekly Soup Kitchen on Thursdays, serving an average of 65 community residents, provide space for the community Interfaith Food Closet serving dozens of families each week, and the monthly Bread Basket where food is provided for over 200 families by the East Alabama Food Bank and distribute from the Family Life Center of the church using church and community volunteers.
Most recently we renewed our covenant with the Lafayette Lanier Elementary School Administration and Faculty to provide support for them and the students throughout the new school year. On August 10 the church hosted a luncheon for all the teachers where they were treated to good food, fun and games, table favors, and door prizes. Each teacher was adopted by someone in the church to provide support and prayer for the year. Each person in the church who has an adopted teacher sends notes, prayers, and special acknowledgments on their birthday and anniversary. There will be special days during the year when members of the church will “man the cafeteria” during lunchtime and treat the teachers to a lunch of their own. Teachers say this support and care carries them through the school year feeling fulfilled in their calling as a teacher.
Another exciting ministry of hospitality is the new relationship between the church and Point University – a college of 600 students that have moved their campus from Atlanta to the Valley area. Recently several groups of students moved into their new condo housing in Valley with the assistance of 38 volunteers from Langdale UMC. These volunteers were on site when the students and their families drove up to their new homes to move in. The volunteers helped move boxes and furniture for the students into their new homes. Bottled water with the church’s personalized label was handed out. New friendships were forged with the commitment to be there for the students whenever a need arises. Mostly the parents of the students were appreciative that their children (students) made instant connections to the community.
Then the new university hosted a school-wide picnic for all the student body and faculty at the community recreation center. Over 700 persons attended. Langdale was asked to provide “southern style” desserts for the gala. Without hesitation, the congregation came together and did just that, treating everyone to homemade cakes, pies, cookies, and cobblers. Several volunteers were on hand not only to serve the desserts, but to pass our more bottled water and invitations to attend the worship services and other activities at the church. Citing the only rule for the church: “When you come to Langdale, you just have to make yourself at home” – the student body and faculty continue to receive a warm welcome to the Valley area and to the church. This new relationship will only grow in the future. The Administration of the University has been overwhelmed with the response the church has offered to their arrival to the community.
Our ministry of hospitality models the ministry of Jesus as he greeted and ministered to those whom he met each day. Showing the love of God through hospitality helps persons to know that Jesus can be a real person with whom they might have a personal relationship. Langdale hopes to always share this love.