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Outreach ministry is now
our congregation's lifeblood.
Pastor Hope Vickers
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  CHURCH (click link for church website)  
  Cumberland United Methodist Church  
  LOCATION (click link for demographic summary)  
  Fayetteville, NC 28306  
  CONGREGATION SIZE  
  51-150  
  REGIONAL BODY (click link for website)  
  North Carolina Conference UMC  
  FEATURED RESOURCE (click link to learn more)  
  Ministry Area Profile  
  FULL STORY (click link to read more)  
  Miles and Miles of Hope  
  MINISTRY SUMMARY
 
Focused pastoral leadership
 
Demographics inform planning and confront with community needs
 
5-year Ministry Plan with outreach priority
 
Members are helped to discover their place in ministry
 
Congregation challenged to do more than "able"
 
Work with other churches at times to address needs
 
     
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l Miles and Miles of Hope
Click here to read the Full Story
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When Hope Vickers took the pastorate at Cumberland United Methodist Church in 1996, the term "outreach ministries" was little more than a nice-sounding concept.
"Our church was focused inward," says Hope. "The only ministry they did was serve a breakfast for homeless people. It was a small group—about 8 or 10 people—and even at that it was only done once a month at another church."
All that began to change because of two significant factors: 1) focused   pastoral leadership and 2) obtaining demographic information about the community that showed where the greatest needs for ministry lay.
The effect was "surprising" to Hope who saw her congregation of 60 (average attendance) mature and then almost double in size in just a few years. "Outreach ministry is now our congregation's lifeblood, says Hope. "It's their way of sharing God's love and grace, giving them a purpose and direction they didn't have before. . . they were driven to respond to the needs they saw."
Take Miss Annie, a 70-something widow, whose home, already in a state of disrepair, was vandalized. Early one morning, a crew of energetic "tool-time" church members showed up at the elderly woman's door, not leaving until the team of men, women and children had repaired not only the broken windows, but had rehabbed the entire house.
Then there were the hundreds of county foster children, many of whom
 were facing a joyless and toyless Christmas—one without either a mom or dad to hug them, or presents awaiting them under the tree. Although it was a daunting task, Hope committed her little church to supplying all 350 kids with toys and clothes. God answered their prayers--moving the families of Cumberland to give like they had never given before. And it didn't stop there. . . THERE'S MORE!

Read the full story of Cumberland UMC's outreach ministry and see how they used the Ministry Area Profile to help turn the church inside-out. . . -Jenni Keast

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