Multiplication of chicken

Photo courtesy of Delphi UMC.

Delphi UMC serves a picnic lunch in the park as community outreach.

As part of our outreach efforts at Delphi United Methodist Church in northwest Indiana, we implemented a Picnic in the Park ministry in the summer of 2010 and have continued it this summer. Each Wednesday, we take a picnic to two different parks on opposite ends of town. We realized that there are areas of poverty in our community, where children and families are unable to get to the parks yet could benefit from the meal.

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said to “Go into all the world” so this summer we added a mobile unit to the Picnics in the Park. Each Wednesday, volunteers come in to pack sack lunches and we take the church bus to three different neighborhoods in the area surrounding Delphi and deliver free lunches to anyone who needs one. We also give out Bibles to anyone who would like one.

Relationships are being built and the love of God is growing in disciples and in the community. We’ve had children receive Bibles for the first time in their life, adults who have “never heard of anyone giving out free food before,” who now say, “I think I want to check out your church” to a young mom in poverty making a connection to some of our disciples who are empowering her and mentoring her in her parenting.

The church has served anywhere between 40 and 120 people between the two parks and the mobile unit. Since there is really no way to know how many people we’ll serve in a given day, one of my prayers has been, “Lord bless the food like you did the fishes and the loaves. We’ll be your hands, you feed your people.” God has always provided what was needed.

One Wednesday, while packing for our mobile picnics, one volunteer thought we were short one sack lunch for our goal of 60, so we packed one more just in case. We wrapped the chicken fingers for that meal separately in order to keep them warm in a cooler but forgot to mention to those packing the meat to throw in an extra chicken packet.

Toward the end of the route, those delivering the lunches that day each noticed independently of the other, carefully and deliberately counting what was left, that there were three sack lunches and two chicken packs left. When the bus got to the last stop, a mom had come out needing exactly three lunches. The volunteers went to pull the lunches and were ready to explain that perhaps they could share the chicken. She pulled out the first chicken packet and placed it in the lunch bag, pulled out the second and there it was, a third packet of chicken! If God can multiply fish and bread, God can certainly multiply chicken!

I truly believe that when God’s people are committed and passionate about serving others in the name of Christ, God takes care of the rest! I praise the Lord for His work, power and presence, and the disciples God works through at Delphi UMC!! God is good all the time!

Sheri Rohrer
Pastor of Outreach and Connections
Delphi United Methodist Church


I would like to respond to Petition 4, resolution from the Indiana Conference Social Justice Advocacy Team, which the Leadership Table approved by a vote of 11 to 4.

I do not consider myself a xenophobic and do not consider “illegal” racial language. One point in the article is correct. NO child of God is illegal. But people who come into this country illegally are illegal. This has nothing to do with race, religion or politics. This has to do with obeying the laws of the USA. There are correct ways to enter this country and, when those ways are followed, the USA becomes better because of the diversity. When those ways are not followed, the civil structure is weakened.

At what point are civil laws enforced and at what point are civil laws ignored? I have a feeling that, if I am stopped for speeding, the officer will not let me go when I tell him, “Speed limits are just suggestions. I don’t have to obey them.” Breaking the law is breaking the law and changing illegal to undocumented does not alter that fact.

I support the four that voted against this resolution.

Mary Earle

Connected in mission

Six years ago on Monday, August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina roared upon us, devastating 70,000 homes.

As our leaders entered the gathering of disaster response leaders from the Mississippi community of faith leaders, there was an audible sigh of relief. A voice spoke for the gathering, “We are relieved you are here. We cannot do this without the Methodists.”

United Methodists now comprise the only faith group continuing in recovery ministries on the coast of Mississippi. Through your generosity, in partnership with the generosity of the United Methodist connection:

  • More than 13,000 Mississippi families are back home;
  • 120 new homes have been constructed, making the UMC one of the top 10 MS homebuilders;
  • More than 172,000 volunteers have worked in our midst;
  • More than $124 million has been saved through volunteer labor;
  • Staffing, volunteers and recovery ministries will continue to be funded through mid-2012.

The United Methodist Church is unique in connection for mission. Recently, The Advance Committee, with global membership, met via the web (saving $15,000 in meeting expense) for continued attention to our life together in mission. Forty new Advance projects were approved for your support, including the Seth Mokitimi Theological Seminary in South Africa led by Ross Olivier, who served among us here in Mississippi. It was a joy to lead the meeting from the Episcopal Office here in Jackson. The Advance is the channel of giving to mission supported through your mission shares. Every gift goes 100 percent to the mission designated.

Gifts to Mississippi recovery – for Katrina and more recent tornadoes and floods – have come to us through the faithful, persistent participation of United Methodist people in The Advance. Our gifts for others continue to flow as you participate in mission through The Advance. Thank you for continuing to educate our churches about this most advantageous way of being in mission together in the world as we respond to those impacted by Hurricane Irene along the Atlantic seaboard.

I write my thanksgiving to you with an overflowing heart. Thank you for your prayers and your expressions of concern as Hurricane Irene threatened North Carolina and the Atlantic coast northward. While there was extensive damage in eastern North Carolina, my family is all safe and well and our property is not damaged beyond falling trees. United Methodists are responding once again, and we will continue to let you know of ways to assist the recovery.

With gratitude for your generosity,
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Mississippi Area UMC