• Rev. Carrie Cesar

A New Way To Do Church

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

The Guest House is a new ministry in the process of being developed at Victorville United Methodist Church. Our Guest House ministry is funded and supported by a grant from our California Pacific Annual Conference and a grant from the General Board of Global Ministry. The Guest House is revitalizing the way we do church. We are updating and re-purposing a whole wing of church rooms that have not been used in a decade. At the same time, we are renovating the meaning of discipleship, bringing it alive and creating exciting new opportunities to be active disciples right here at our church. What a concept: Church as Guest House! This is a dynamic and growing ministry we can be thankful for on many levels. The Guest House ministry is preparing to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and work with them, their families and our partner agencies as a circle of resources to help alleviate the harm that comes with any personal immigration crisis. And every immigration situation is personal because it involves the future of the lives of individuals and families who have been forced to move here. I know this because I have lived it. Immigration is a personal issue, not an abstract concept to complain about for anyone not familiar with all that is involved in this kind of move. Everyone facing this situation needs to be embraced with a ministry like the Guest House. The Guest House is an opportunity for our church leaders and members, allowing us to engage with our local community in a way that serves the needs of others. It is allowing us all to give spiritual, emotional, physical and mental space to being disciples in our neighborhood. Because of the Guest House ministry we are getting to know new people and finding ways to be in service with them and others. The Guest House is also an opportunity for the sustainability of our church, bringing much- needed income through the use of our rooms that allows us to upgrade and renovate our buildings. The circle of resources from our church and partners includes short term housing, a food and clothing bank, laundry service, and several other program activities that our church members are already providing. Our community outreach and witness ministries include music classes, play time, Bible studies, a coffee house, sports activities, sewing and crafts, workshops on a variety of relevant topics, youth ministry, camping ministry, Messy Church, and even the simple conversation corners we’ve set up around our hallways for fellowship and building healthy relationships. We accomplish far more than any one church can do alone by forming partnerships with like-minded agencies, cooperating and organizing together so we can address the complicated immigration situation we all face as a community. This is a much more integrated way to be in ministry. We are living out our faith by loving our neighbors as ourselves. We see needs and issues, then work on ways to solve them as a “Good Samaritan” way of living our faith. We bring our church into the community by being a vital and active part of it. How? By opening our doors to the ministry around immigration. We use our facility, our expertise and our love to be a safe place on the journey to a more sustainable and permanent living situation for struggling families. We’re in the struggle together with them, and that is where we find God at work, too. In God’s Grace, Pastor Carrie Cesar

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