Continuing our series highlighting the ministry projects undertaken by our Advanced Financial Academy students, this week we bring you the Beloved Community Table, a mission outreach of Good Hope Union UMC in Silver Spring, Maryland. Pastor Gerald Elston tells us more in the video and story below.
I am Rev. Gerald Elston, Sr., Pastor of Good Hope Union United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, Greater Washington District. Our vision team is establishing a 501(c)(3) called the Beloved Community Table to feed the community. Good Hope Union has a wonderful legacy pre-Covid, feeding the community by sponsoring a monthly community dinner, distributing turkeys to the community at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and operating a food pantry. We traditionally did this food ministry relying on members as volunteers and donors. Our desire to be more impactful birthed the Beloved Community Table. The Table will connect our community partners, the Good Hope Union Recreation Center, the 4H Seed and Harvest Club and Good Hope Union Garden, and the Charles Drew Elementary School with members of Good Hope Union as board members of the Table.
Together, we will assess community need, strategize and implement food feeding projects that best meet the community’s food insecurity needs and connect with private and governmental donations for the Table’s efforts.
Our congregation has been changed as a result of my participation in the Advanced Financial Academy and this Beloved Community Table project. The congregation has found a way to have the community food needs met without the church members shouldering the entire responsibility as volunteers and as donors. Members can continue to use some of their resources to continue to pay off a large church mortgage. The community partners believe that they can have an even greater impact on the community working through the Beloved Community Table.