Three Rivers District to host seminar on helping people in poverty

| March 22, 2019

COSHOCTON – Most people desire to help those who are less fortunate than themselves. Whether it is donating to a local food pantry or serving at a community dinner, most people want to make a positive impact in other people’s lives by volunteering their time or finances to a cause bigger than themselves. Although these are great ways to help others in times of need, there are forms of toxic charity that are either ineffective or at times may be harmful.

The Three Rivers District of the United Methodist Church will be hosting a seminar on Saturday, April 6 at Grace United Methodist Church, 422 Walnut St., Coshocton, to address this issue. The seminar, entitled, “Reimagine Charity and Changing the Charity Paradigm” will be an all-day seminar, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will be led by a leader from the Lupton Center. Cost is $20 per person which includes light refreshments and lunch. Participants are encouraged to prepare for the seminar by reading either “Toxic Charity” or “Charity Detox”, both by author Robert D. Lupton. This is for church groups or individuals who want to learn how to practice responsible charity and healthy community development.

Terrie Baker is a member of the District Mission and Ministry Strategy Team, which features members from 70 churches. She is also certified to train the “Bridges out of Poverty” workshop and has been involved in “When Helping Hurts”.

“There’s always this question of are we creating a ministry that helps people or are we creating a ministry that makes people dependent,” said Baker. “Can we better serve the people of our community? Are there steps we can take to help people live a better life?”
The idea for bringing the seminar to Coshocton came about during a District Mission and Ministry Strategy Team meeting and members discussed the idea of wanting to educate local people about charitable responsibility.

“We want to create a hospitable aspect, not just doing something for people,” said Baker. “We want to get to know them on a personal level, and get to know their stories. Part of the reason we wanted to bring the seminar to Coshocton is a year ago, the ministerial association took on ‘Charity Detox’ as a study. In 2016, we attended a seminar at the Muskingum Valley Presbytery through the Lupton Center. We’re going to go over the same material, but build on it.”

Baker said she hopes the seminar will leave people with a new sense of giving hospitality to others.

“It’s also a way of interacting between the people who have means and the people who don’t,” said Baker. “Sometimes, those with means can be judgmental of others and I hope this will help them not to be so judgmental.”

The District Mission and Ministry Strategy Team also hope to do a follow-up to the seminar in about a month in Mount Vernon. Lupton’s books are available on any online bookstore and participants are highly encouraged to read at least one before the seminar.

To register for the “Reimagine Charity and Changing the Charity Paradigm” seminar, contact Joy Snyder at 740-622-8880 or email [email protected]. Registration deadline is March 29.

“I’m hoping people will approach the mission ministry more compassionately,” said Baker. “The big thing is, people get so frustrated with mission ministry. My hope is to give people the understanding and confidence to be able to develop a relationship with people.”

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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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