A choir member was overheard in the hallway saying, “Is there something special going on today that I don’t know about?” Rev. Jim Reed is proud of the Asbury UMC congregation in Washington, NC. Unbeknowst to them, he submitted an application for the Key Taylor Rural Church Award.
Rev. Jim wrote, “When asked what we thought was in our DNA, what we do as a matter of course, the answer was ‘hospitality.’ We have regular Friday lunch fundraisers to supplement our tithing and help keep ministry going. We have committed a percentage of our gross tithes to be applied to our apportionments in order to be faithful. We do the best we can.
Beaufort County is at high risk for food insecurity, a federal designation. We started a community garden about three years ago with all produce going to the local food pantry (Eagle’s Wings), the homeless shelter lunch program and the Salvation Army.”
He went on to say that they received a grant from Duke Endowment to add a water source and clear more land for expansion. This is their third year with the Summer Food for Children program funded by the USDA with the aim to reach those children at risk while school is out. They go in to the communities where the children live, set up tents and along with other churches in the area, serve the kids a healthy meal five days a week.
Rev. Reed added, “God truly focused us on our strengths and gifts for ministry. I have to credit our participation in Project Bountiful (Academy for Leadership Excellence). Giving ascent to hospitality as our gift, we focused our mission and vision in that area. Our mission is ‘Disciples Making Disciples.’ Our vision is to ‘Feed our community Body and Soul’.” They began a neighborhood Bible study, hosted many meal packing events for Rise Against Hunger (Stop Hunger Now), and continue to explore ways to serve their community in partnership and ministry.
The Mission Team Executive Committee is proud to award Asbury UMC in Washington, NC, the 2017 Key Taylor Rural Church Award.The award, sponsored through the United Methodist Foundation, is to call attention to the mission work of all rural churches by honoring the specific achievements of one rural church. This year’s award included a check for $1476.
Beacon District Superintendent Gil Wise and his wife, Linda were on hand to celebrate, as were Beacon District Lay Leader Jeff Jenkins and his wife Bedie.