Our Town church expands its mission

Local News

ARTHUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Giving back is part of the ministry at many churches, but one in Our Town goes above and beyond to serve the community.

The Arthur United Methodist Church has a food pantry and donation closet.

“You want to know why we do these things? Because Jesus asked us to.”

Bruce Weiman is the pastor. Each Sunday, he shares a message with the congregation.

“It feels like we are fulfilling the requirements that Jesus asked us to do to feed people, to cloth people, to welcome people who are strangers.”

That message eventually led to the start of a food pantry.

“In the mid 90’s, our 3rd – 4th grade Sunday school class had read a story about people being hungry and the kids thought about that and they worried about that so they got their dads together and built shelves in the room I’m in now.”

Jill Strawn has run it the last 13-years. She helps about 20 people each month.

“I realized there was a real need.”

From there, Iris Ramsey got the idea to start collecting clothing donations.

“I’ve been upstairs on the third floor in a tiny, little area for 15-years.”

God’s Closet was born and helps clothe dozens of people year-after-year.

“Our clothing is donated and it comes from the community and a lot of it is from our church members.”

Then, they added community meals to the list. Weiman says, because of all their efforts, they need more space and soon, they’ll be able to widen their reach and continue serving anyone who needs it.

All their services are open to anyone, no questions asked. They just offer up what they can. The building is almost ready to open to the public.

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