Take A Load Off

Last fall, The Western Reserve District Missions Committee offered churches in the district to apply for a grant to fund existing or new mission projects. The district was closing and merging into the new larger district of Northern Waters. They asked us to “use their money to do ministry! Let’s Be the Church! – YOU ARE THE HANDS AND FEET OF CHRIST!”

Chapel UMC’s response was to fill out the application and start a new ‘Fresh Expression’ ministry called, “Take A Load Off.” We plan to reach 100 people in person, who visit the local laundromat. The grant was awarded last December. The Missions/Evangelism committee has assembled cloth bags with laundry detergent, dryer sheets, quarters, food coupon/gift certificate, and printed scripture with a message and an invitation to worship.

We are asking our congregation to take a bag loaded with laundry and visitation material and go to the local laundromats (the one in Chapeldale Shopping Center across Chapel Road and one in Madison Place across Hubbard Road) and strike up a conversation with someone using the laundromat, give them the gift bag – show them what is in the bag, and invite them to know the LOVE of Christ! We have conversation guides – suggestions and tips for approaching and meeting new people as well as a script for helping people break the ice.

We are encouraging our parishioners go in pairs to help support each other. Many people have already gone to the laundromats and have experienced many positive responses. The gift bags are exactly that – a gift, with no expectations in return. How exciting it is to tell others how Jesus Christ has changed your life! The bags are available Sunday mornings in the narthex or ask Larry in the office for one. Talk with someone on the missions committee or an individual that has stepped out in mission with a gift bag- once you do one, you’ll want to do it again – we are sure of it.