Rector's Blog: From For to With
Passion for Mission is in Redeemer’s DNA. Yes, our relationship with outreach is always developing, never perfect. And sure, it’s easy enough for people to assume since we’re an Episcopal Church in Hyde Park we are content to exist in a little bubble. But those of us who are a part of this community know how much the people of this church want to have an impact on the world around us. Every Redeemerite with whom I converse wants to be a part of making real, practical differences in the lives of people in our neighborhood. We want to participate with God in the true work of redemption and reconciliation in our world.
Church of the Redeemer’s relationship with MEAC - the Madisonville Education and Assistance Center – is a significant embodiment of our dedication to Mission work. Redeemer was one of MEAC’s founding churches all the way back in 1986, and has been instrumental in the life of this powerful organization that offers help and hope to our neighbors in crisis by meeting their basic needs and providing education that enables them to navigate their way out of poverty.
Few Cincinnati neighborhoods are changing and developing as quickly as Madisonville is right now. As we bear witness to this, it’s imperative for us to recognize and articulate that we plan not only to continue our relationship with MEAC, but to deepen it. And I want to be clear: Madisonville is our neighborhood. People of Madisonville are part of our worshiping community. We belong to each other. Real Mission work does not serve its purpose when it’s all about us serving them. Real Mission work comes when our mutuality becomes obvious, when the barriers between us and them disintegrate and we see that we belong to each other.
Last week we held our first ever MeAC & Cheese event, celebrating and highlighting our work with MEAC. Over 100 people attended, raising funds for MEAC’s life-changing work in the Queen City. Also, we ate delicious food. It was totally worth it.
That event kicked off what I like to think of as the Season of MEAC at Redeemer. Because, as we continue to finetune our Mission ministry at Church of the Redeemer, we have a desire to strengthen our relationships with our neighbors. This desire also asks us to think of our association with Madisonville as work with and alongside MEAC to offer help and hope to our neighbors in crisis.
To that end, if you are looking to get involved with Mission at Redeemer, I hope you recognize our partnership with MEAC as an opportunity to work with our neighbors to change lives in positive, practical, transformative ways in Jesus’ name. Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Thanksgiving Boxed Dinners are distributed each year through MEAC and you can participate by filling the boxes in advance. Boxes are available in the narthex beginning this Sunday, November 3. They should be returned by Sunday, November 17.
- Visit MEAC’s first ever Holiday Pop-Up Shop & Craft Fair, on Monday, December 2, from 5:00-7:00 pm at Eastminster Church, Madisonville. Use this as an opportunity to purchase some unique, handcrafted items from local artists.
- On Monday, December 9, share a meal and Christmas cheer with our MEAC neighbors at our annual MEAC Christmas Dinner. Watch for upcoming details on how you can be involved on our Latest News page.
- There are many other ways to be a part of this ongoing work. Check out the MEAC Programs webpage here and see where you feel called.
I am so proud of the work Redeemer is doing and I have pride in our relationship with MEAC. As we continue the work of increasing our presence and impact on the world around us, I pray that God might strengthen and uphold each of us as we seek to serve our neighbors and to see Jesus in the face of every person we meet.