Friday, July 23, 2010

Word and deed

July 21, 2010
Philadelphia PA

In Northeast Philadelphia, Second Mennonite Church founded Crossroad Ministries in 1965. Its purpose is to evangelize, disciple and demonstrate the Gospel in word and deed to the people of Fairhill community and beyond.

The day I was there, Miss Laura told me about the grocery bags of produce that help feed the hungry in the Fairhill community. Ron Muse, an MCC service worker serving as a prison chaplain in six local prisons, told me about his work to help transform people. He says he tells the men, "See, God put you there, now what are you going to do?"

Ron says he needs to continually preach the Good News to himself, too. As a juvenile, he was in and out of prison. He says if God can change him, God can change anybody!

Juan Marrero (left above), executive director, says Crossroads Community wants to provide tutoring, meals and other services to anyone who needs them, but these deeds need to be accompanied by words about Jesus or real change in peoples' lives is not possible.

Pastor Darryl Wallace (right above) says MCC's tagline "...in the name of Christ," says it well. Meeting social needs is important, he says, but we also need to declare Christ. Pastor Darryl urges MCC to keep connected to the church.

Because of MCC, says Juan, Crossroads is better connected to resources and to the broader church. That's the stance MCC East Coast has taken in all of its ministries. "We're going to work primarily through the churches," says MCC East Coast program coordinator Fred Kauffman.

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