Life and Religion
|Church’s outreach earns following and national recognition|
|The Fellowship Place builds relationships on Westside|
|Published Wednesday, February 10, 2016 1:41 pm|
|PHOTO/THE FELLOWSHIP PLACE|
|The Fellowship Place’s community outreach earned a $35,000 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award in 2015.|
Love is simple. Meet people where they are.
At The Fellowship Place on Freedom Drive, church does not constitute a building but building relationships within the community. That means meeting people where they are, not where society says they should be.
“We’re very different,” said the Reverend Michael Robinson, TFP’s pastor. “We’re a very diverse congregation. What we preach and what we live is that God loves all people.”
After receiving a $35,000 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award last year for their service to the West Mecklenburg community, The Fellowship Place has not altered its mission. For instance, it provides backpacks filled with food for homeless children.
“One of the things that we’ve found out in surveying the community is the needs of the people,” Robinson said. “What we try to do is to hear what are the particular needs and then the church tries to meet those needs.”
Rather than demand the community come to church, Robinson and the congregation seek out everyone. In a world filled with hurt and pain, The Fellowship Place wants to show everyone they interact with, from the homeless to CEOs that they are loved.
“We do a ministry called TFP on the Corner,” Robinson said. “We actually put up tents, we use basically our own clothes and food, and whatever else we can do after hearing the needs of the people, and we give them clothes, food, spiritual advice, counseling, prayer—whatever it is that people say that they need on the corner. We actually go out into the community and pitch tents. Church will be on the corner, and we’ll meet them where they are.”
Robinson calls for people to see the humanity in their neighbors and build relationships with them, rather than only see the labels placed on them by circumstances.
“A lot of the time, we dress like them, look like them,” said Robinson. “We try to show the love of God out on the corner. Thus those persons will return, and follow us back to the church—3148 B Freedom Drive.”
Ashley Mahoney on Twitter: @ma_honey7
|I like the theology of TFP. God bless Rev. Robinson and the members and friends of TFP.|
|Posted on February 11, 2016|
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