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Mt. Bethel UMC Aids Homeless With 'Opening Our Doors' Ministry

The East Cobb church is collecting coats, clothing and other items to have on hand for the rest of the winter.

Photo: Mt. Bethel UMC
Photo: Mt. Bethel UMC
For the last three years, Mt. Bethel UMC has had an Opening Our Doors ministry that opens the East Cobb church's gym and fellowship hall to homeless people on very cold nights. They've done this on Monday and Tuesday, with more than 200 people taken in each night. Here's more that was posted Tuesday on the church's Facebook page: 

Last night, we were able to house 215 people who would have otherwise been out in the extreme cold weather. Mt. Bethel staff, members, and non-members alike volunteered or made donations to make the evening and morning welcoming and comfortable for our guests.

With the help of other local churches, Mt. Bethel was able to gather people from downtown Atlanta and Cobb County and to bring them back to the church campus to have a warm meal, shower, and a place to sleep (and to watch the National Championship game!).

This morning, we were able to serve them breakfast, coffee, juice, and snacks before heading back to their routines. All of our guests are invited and encouraged to come back and to bring anyone else who needs a warm place to stay tonight.

Buses from Canton UMC, Mt. Zion, UMC, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Seven Bridges to Recovery, and Stockbridge UMC, along with our own, will head out again this afternoon!

THIS is being the Body of Christ! Matthew 25:40

We desperately need volunteers Wednesday morning to clean up!

Here's a bit more on the ministry: 

When temperatures reach what are called “Emergency Temperatures,” Mt. Bethel staff, members and volunteers from other churches ban together to get people without a place to go into a safe and warm environment. The ministry is driven by the scripture found in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” 

Here's an updated post from around 7 p.m. Tuesday: 

The Mt. Bethel staff is overwhelmed by your responses to items we needed to help our homeless guests coming in tonight. In less than eight hours, the gym was cleaned, beds were stripped, sheets washed and returned, hundreds of donations dropped off and sorted, and beds prepared again! Our Church family and this community is amazing! Thank you for allowing your blessings to bless others!

Here's what the Opening Our Doors ministry needs the most on a standing basis to have on hand in case of future nights like the last two: 

  • Coats (especially men's large and extra-large)
  • large trash bags
  • deodorant
  • knit hats
  • gloves
  • scarves
  • thermal underwear
  • rain ponchos
  • blue jeans
  • socks

These items may be dropped off at Mt. Bethel's Christian Activities Center in the large yellow barrels provided.

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