|Church Empowers the Poor|
A congregation near Nashville, Tenn. welcomes those living in poverty and gives people who may have had many obstacles in life some new opportunities.
(Locator: Nashville, TN)
Church members pray: “Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom…”
The Rev. Paul Slentz: “My name is Paul Slentz and I am the pastor here at 61st Avenue United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. This church is in a neighborhood that has been low income pretty much since its founding in the late 1800’s. We’re a small church. We have just 80 members, but we’re a very active church. We are made up of mostly low income, and that is really one great thing about this congregation is that it gives an opportunity for folks who in a lot of ways life has beaten down pretty hard, whether because of poverty or different types of addictions, or perhaps different types of disabilities or mental illness and homelessness. Life has been pretty hard for a lot of people who are members of this congregation. And yet, here they are able to be part of a community of love. But not just to receive love, but to give love to others.”
Irene Carrerra, 61st Avenue United Methodist: “Giving back really does feel a whole lot better than receiving.”
The Rev. Paul Slentz, 61st Avenue United Methodist Church: “And one of the things that I think we take special pride in, and that is perhaps very central to our calling, is giving folks who are Christians and who have in the past been on the receiving end of giving, they are in a position here at this church to be disciples themselves and to give to others.”
(Members sing) “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!”
The Rev. Paul Slentz: “We do have visitors very often from sister churches. And when we gather around the Lord’s table, it’s a chance for people who may be wealthier to gather with people who are poorer and all be one with Christ and know that we are all fed by Christ and we are all equal in God’s eyes.”
(Members sing) “Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary. Pure and holy. Tried and true...”
To learn more about the ministry of 61st Avenue United Methodist Church, call 615-292-7184.
Posted: December 21, 2011
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