The Jesse Lee Outreach Commission is a group of church members who seek to make a positive impact in the world around us through efforts of social justice and responsibility. We meet on the first Sunday of every month at 12:15 in the Parlor room of Wesley Hall. Our meetings are fully open to the church family and public and we welcome you to stop by, both to learn about our efforts and to share with us areas of mission and social justice that you’re passionate about.
The Outreach Commission has a funded budget used to further the nurturing presence of Christ out in the world. If you have a mission project or ongoing caring or social justice need that you’d like to see funded, please print the funding request form and fill out the form with your funding request. Completed forms can be sent to Rob Mayette or to the chuch office attention Rob Mayette for discussion at the next Outreach meeting.
The Outreach Commission is continuing to identify and allocate funds against local and global needs. The Commission’s work is funded by our congregation’s Christmas offering of last year. One organization we chose to support with a $2,000 gift is the Shepherd Society. Leah Mae Carlisle, who joined our congregation as a member with her husband Tom earlier this year, told us about this organization. Tom and Leah Mae are passionate about issues of justice and equality in Israel and Palestine.
The Shepherd Society runs food assistance and medical assistance programs. Their medical program covers all aspects of medicine, as simple as prescriptions and hearing aids all the way to surgery expenses. Most Palestinians do not have health insurance. Their food distribution program distributes “parcels” of food that can cover a family for one month, with a focus on Christmas and Easter distributions to ensure that families can celebrate our holiest days of the year together with a few moments of some relief from the effects of poverty. And this is an area that knows the effects of poverty all too well: Gaza has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, at 27%.
We agreed to fund this organization not only because it clearly meets the need for expressing our collective Christian care to those less advantaged, but we also saw a strong resonance with our focus areas of women’s health, orphans and vulnerable children, improving mental health, and the UMC’s Abundant Health initiative.
Per their website, “The goal of the Shepherd Society is to provide a means for the global community and Christians worldwide to encourage and financially assist the struggling Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza along with the Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Jordan.” They have an Advance number set up, through which we made our congregation’s gift, with a request that it be used for food and medical supplies.
There's more that the Shepherd Society does - you can learn more about their work on their website, here.