This word represents one of the major lessons that we have been learning in Serving & Outreach at Christ Church.
Not only should we not attempt living faithfully to Jesus in his mission for this world by ourselves, but we cannot live faithfully to Jesus and engage in his mission as individuals.
And that’s true for us as individual people, individual families, and individual churches.
Jacob’s Well is unique in that it is another Christian congregation–even a fellow United Methodist congregation in our district. It is also shepherded by a pastor formerly on staff at Christ Church.
Through collaborating with Jacob’s Well, Christ Church is able to support and participate in its life as a “place where people come together from different racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds to grow in the gospel and work together to overcome racism, addiction, and poverty.”
Such a collaboration focused on people inevitably begins and develops through relationship, or perhaps even better, friendship.
As their website attests, “many enfranchised families desire to alleviate poverty in Memphis yet don’t know anyone personally who is poor.”
To serve all people, including those who are poor without relationship and friendship is a contradiction in terms. It also denies the character of Jesus and ignores the mission of the church.
Christopher L. Heurtz and Christine D. Pohl in their book Friendship at the Margins pose the question for us in this way:
“What difference does it make for mission, discipleship and the church when friendship with people who are poor is a central dimension of our lives?” (10)
Jacob’s Well is a place and a group of people of all classes, of multiple races, and of various backgrounds who are all traveling together on the way to fulfilling this church’s values of reconciliation, rehabilitation, and reciprocation.
After all, the friendship you’ll find at Jacob’s Well and the collaboration that Christ Church seeks in our city and in our world are based in our mutual need for Jesus and for each other. As Heurtz and Pohl write,
“Mission or ministry with people who are poor or vulnerable often assumes that ‘our’ task is to meet ‘their’ needs. Whether their need is for the good news of Christ or for bread and a place to sleep, we tend to think that we have the resources and they have the needs. A focus on friendship rearranges our assumptions. What if the resources they have also meet our needs? What if Jesus is already present in ways that will ministry to us? What if in sharing life together as friends we all move closer to Jesus’ heart?” (19)
- Saturday Night Worship: Probably the best place to start is to attend Saturday night worship, beginning at 6:00 at 602 Looney Ave. Usually wraps up around 7:30. This is an energetic,
friendly, and often very moving worship service. (And you can still make it to Sunday morning worship at Christ Church!)
- Rehabilitation Transportation: Men and women in rehabs, in poverty and on the streets are eager to come to Jacob’s Well but have no transportation. They need a driver and co-pilot to drive either their van, a church van, or a large personal vehicle to transport people to and from the worship service at Jacob’s Well once a month. A staff member from Jacob’s Well will be there to help navigate the first couple of times. The early shift begins at either 3:30 or 4:30 p.m. and goes until 6 p.m., and late shift is from 7:30-8:15 p.m.
Read this testimony from a Jacob’s Well member to discover what it means for people that could never make it to Jacob’s Well on their own get to worship and be a part of the community through getting a ride from a volunteer.
Attend an information session about helping with transportation on Tuesday, January 27 at 6:00 at Jacob’s Well.
- Worship Service Meal & Refreshments: During worship on Saturday nights Jacob’s Well offers free food and refreshments for all who are hungry. They are in need of three to four folks
to arrive at 4 p.m. for prep, three to four to serve from 5:30- 7 p.m. and another group of three to four to stay and clean up afterwards. This is a great activity for the whole family.
- Kids Community: Many of the children at Jacob’s Well need loving influences in their life to show them their worth in God’s eyes. They need three to four volunteers once a month to work alongside our trained volunteers with a group of diverse children, primarily from the inner city, whose parents are in worship. You would typically serve from 5:45-7:45 p.m. on a Saturday, and the first time you serve would need to arrive earlier for orientation. For protection of the children, those who serve need to be Safe Sanctuary approved (with background check).
- C.P.R. Compassion Party on the Road: Each Wednesday evening Jacob’s Well goes out to where their homeless neighbors are (under bridges, in parks, etc.) to provide meals, help connect them to resources and pray for their needs. One group meets at 4 p.m. to prepare the meals to go out. The early team goes out at 5:30 p.m. and later teams at 6:30 p.m. It is a great hands-on serving activity for kids as well. Because of long-term relationships and credibility that Jacob’s Well has with their homeless neighbors, they have never had any incidents occur during CPR.
Visit cumcmemphis.org/jacobswell for more.
Contact Jennifer Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in these serving needs at Jacob’s Well.
We also partner with Jacob’s Well in Bridging the Gap, an experiential journey among the urban poor that is coming up again in April.
Check out cumcmemphis.org/bridgingthegap to find out more about participating in this potentially life-changing weekend.
Contact Nathan Brasfield at email@example.com or 261-4386.