Church and Society
The Church & Society Ministry is dedicated to the work of living out our faith in our community by touching the lives of our neighbors in need and seeking justice for the marginalized among us. We are a ministry committed to the pursuit of social justice through action and engagement. The work of the ministry is ever evolving to meet social needs that are urgent and to fight injustice where we find it. C&S is about having an impact for good. Our actions are guided by the Gospel of Matthew 25: 35-40, which we regard as Christ’s call to social action.
Social Justice Action and Engagement Areas
Refugee Resettlement: We have been actively engaged in resettling refugees over the past 6 years. We began our support of refugees by sponsoring a pair of Syrian refugee families and our sponsorship of those families is continuing. More recently, we have been engaged in resettling Afghanistan refugees. Our work for the Afghans involves furnishing their first homes in America from top to bottom. We fully expect to have the opportunity to serve Ukraine refugees in the coming months.
Juvenile Lifers: Juvenile Lifers (JLs) are prisoners who were originally sentenced to life without parole when they were 17 years old or younger. For the past 10 years Supreme Court rulings have enabled some of these inmates to appeal for resentencing that provides the opportunity for parole. We serve JLs in partnership with Michigan Appellate Defender Office. When an inmate is to be released from prison, we shop for clothing; footwear; toiletries; towels and food gift cards. These items are presented to the JL as each one begins their new life on the day they are released. We also correspond monthly with still imprisoned JLs. Each month a letter is sent from a volunteer as well as book we think the inmate will enjoy and share with other inmates. We also send an occasional cash gift for use in the prison store. For all of us on C&S this is life affirming work.
Multicultural Family Center in Pontiac: The Center supports the basic life needs of the local Hispanic population along with other Pontiac residents. C&S provides life essentials to the Center’s clients including clothing, bedding, children’s clothing; multi-lingual books; cash to offset the cost of transportation; and food deliveries. As the Covid pandemic eases the Center will offer many more opportunities for volunteers to support its mission.
LGBTQ Community: Church and Society has a long-standing partnership with the Ruth Ellis Center which serves LGBTQ youth with services including health care; skills training; shelter; social programming and counseling; food service; etc. With the pandemic easing, the Ministry hopes to return to serving meals to the Centers guests each month. We also provide financial support for the Center’s programming. C&S is also a member and supporter of the Reconciling Ministries Network which promotes full inclusion for LGBTQ persons in the life of the United Methodist Church.
Food Distribution: Church and Society members deliver food to homes of the food insecure under a program offered by the Pontiac Lighthouse. Members commit to a weekly food distribution route that serves the same families each week.