Homeless Day of Care, FUMC Victoria
submitted by Kathy Frels, RN
Wesley Nurse Health Ministries™,
Wesley Nurse, First United Methodist Church,
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, wrote of a significant shift in his ministry in England with the phrase, “My heart was strangely warmed.” Though not a doctor, he wrote the Primitive Physick, which included many cures for diseases. He started clinics for the poor and organized outreach excursion to minister to orphans and prisoners.
He had a social conscience and a powerful connection to addressing injustice through his ministry. The greatest success of Methodism was not among the rich in England, but the poor and impoverished.
This, too, is the vision the First United Methodist Church in Victoria adopted. We see ministry beyond the local congregation as normative and necessary. Our impact earlier this month, on February 8, 2013, was to 90 individuals that were homeless or at high risk in Victoria. This event was made possible by many local organizations along with the Homeless Coalition.
Volunteers from Prescription Assistance graciously assisted individuals with registration and provided referreals to local resources and care facilities. A delicious hot casserole breakfast, prepared under the direction of members of the First UMC, was served in Wesley Hall.
Individuals were able to sit down and visit with Pastor Jarrell and Marilyn as well as lay people from our congregation. They were able to take a shower and put on fresh clean clothes provided by FUMC Victoria and other local groups. Many received haircuts, assistance with a variety of health and human services, assistance with prescription medications, free screenings of blood glucose and blood pressure (with some referred that day to the ER for abnormal readings), transportation assistance, access to free pneumonia vaccine and mental health services.
This was the first event of this type in Victoria, and will hopefully mark the beginning of many more to come. Our vision, much like that of John Wesley, is to develop ministries which will awaken and cultivate faith in similar innovative ways.
May the Lord give us His grace and the heart of John Wesley.