The Community Hub - Issue #213 (December 5, 2014)
This is an excerpt from a PDF download. To download the full text of this document click: The Community Hub
“A church should not be closed in. It should always create more contact points with non-believers,” the Calvary Korean United Methodist Church in East Brunswick, NJ, believes. The congregation has a passion to become a hub of the community, especially for the surrounding immigrants who have limitations due to the language and cultural barriers. They live out their passion by welcoming the community and sharing God’s love through various educational and cultural programs. Their vision is to equip the next generation with quality education and spiritual guidance.
The Calvary Korean UMC strongly believes that the immigrant church and its buildings are assets not only for church members, but also for the local community. Almost 38 years ago, the church started a Korean school to meet their needs. Now they are expanding to serve a wider population, to include other ethnic communities, and to provide a place of lifelong learning. Through the Calvary Cultural Center, they are able to reach people through teaching languages, art, music, cooking, quilting, and CPA qualification classes. They also provide transportation to the classes for preschool children to senior adults.
The Calvary Korean UMC has become a cultural and educational flagship in the community. All people are welcomed as friends. Half of the children’s program participants are not Korean, and half of the participants in all programs are non-church members. Several Muslim and Hindu parents send their children to the Calvary Cultural Center where they are served with Christian love.
Through this ministry, some people have chosen to join the church. Disengaged church members are now participating in church activities. New leaders emerge as they are equipped to lead some of the programs within the Calvary Cultural Center. But most importantly, the church is realizing its passion. Through opening to the wider community, the congregation has transcended the church/community boundary and created more chances to build relationships with people they would not have known.
Questions for Discussion
- What is the vision of your congregation? How does your congregation align the ministries for that vision?
- How is your congregation connected to your community?
- What resources do you have to expand your ministry for the unchurched?