St. Paul continues to operate its various ministries and outreach programs with the help of numerous volunteers who provide countless hours of valuable service; nevertheless, like so many other churches that provide services to their congregations and their neighborhood communities, we are dependent on the additional generosity of financial donors to enable us to accomplish our mission.
In our case, located in one of the most challenging neighborhoods in the city of Dayton—in terms of the extent of poverty, hunger and insufficient affordable housing that surrounds us—we are especially pressed in our efforts to provide needed support to our community. In addition, we are located in the heart of an area with a multi-ethnic, multi-national-origin population. This gives us the excitement that comes from having vibrant diverse backgrounds and talents making up our neighbors, but it also adds to the need to address the unique issues that evolve from a community where, in many cases, there are many newly-located families that are living in unfamiliar surroundings and have yet to become fully capable of self-support.
We are blessed to have an army of willing and talented volunteers—both locally and from other churches and organizations—who supplement our small staff and help keep the building and its functions operating. This continues a tradition of support that has lasted for over a century at St. Paul; however, it is only with the generosity of donors that we can afford to maintain the church building and to continue supporting the variety of activities that encompass the mission that God has entrusted to us. We truly have open hearts and open minds, but keeping the doors open in today's economic environment inevitably requires financial help; consequently, we solicit your support and request that you consider donating to our church in whatever way is possible.
In 2013, the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church established a program known as the West Ohio Conference Advance Special (WOCAS). The purpose of it is to designate select ministries as Advance Specials in order to open opportunities for financial sustainability to those ministries that effectively serve the marginalized in the region. With this Advanced Special designation, select ministries are able to request support from West Ohio congregations. Selection of a ministry is determined in part by its missions, visions and core values. Each one selected is called to be in ministry with the poor and marginalized within its service area. Each Advance Special ministry commits to collaborating with one another in efforts to market and promote their programs and ministries within the West Ohio Conference.
St. Paul UMC was approved as an Advance Special in 2014, recognizing that it provides services and a broad variety of support programs to a unique and important demographic. In part, the approval was based on St. Paul's ministries description of its role in the community it serves:
"At St. Paul each year with the help of over 30 partner churches in our district we serve approximately 20,000 nutritious meals, groceries to over 11,000 individuals, 9,000 pieces of good used clothing and household goods, English as a Second Language classes, free tax preparation to over 450 individuals, Christ-centered after-school program/meals four days per week to 45 children, summer camp experiences at Camp Wesley for children (with scholarships and transportation provided), back-to-school supplies, plus many other ministries and worship opportunities that improve the quality of life of the homeless and impoverished is our community."
In undertaking our mission, we are blessed to have as our physical center the lovely historic building that is our home; however, we also face the myriad problems that arise with a structure that is well into its second century in age. To help us cope with continuing maintenance-related issues that are beyond the scope of our day-to-day efforts to fix, we occasionally ask for additional support.
We identify specific major problems that could be addressed if a willing individual, group or organization would in effect "adopt" one of them. If this were to happen—either by the provision of required financial resources or by other means—it would allow us to focus our core resources on the basic needs of our church family. If you would be willing to help in this regard, please contact us to check the latest information.