West Salem United Methodist Church has recently joined our Open Door Churches community. While they have always been friends, we are delighted they are now officially a part of our church family and are excited to get to know them better!
If you come on a Sunday morning at 11 am to West Salem UMC, you’ll find a group of people gathered around a table, many with coffee in hand, singing along to worship music on a Youtube video. They then listen to Pastor Norm share according to the verses in the lectionary while they spend quality time together welcoming everyone.
In addition to their Sunday morning service, they are an active community being the hands of feet of Jesus to their neighbors.
West Salem Food Bank
The heart of this community is feeding their hungry neighbors through running the West Salem Food Bank. Serving 179 families every month, 387 individuals, it’s a place where people know they can come to get what they need. Between sorting the food, running the intake, and talking with the people who come in, 15 individuals keep it running. Unlike many other food banks who provide food boxes, West Salem runs theirs with a shopping system so people can pick what they need and less food goes to waste.
On Friday mornings you can find volunteers heading downstairs to the kitchen to start preparing the dinner they will later serve to 80-120 of their neighbors. First holding a short time of ministry with their guests, they then serve 2-4 entrees, vegetables, and a dessert. Using restaurant and individual donations, they are able to support this weekly dinner. In addition, with other donations, they also hold a giveaway every week with items such as flashlights, hygiene products, sleeping bags, clothes, and towels.
A Community Center
In addition to their food ministries, West Salem United Methodist Church also operates as a community center for other organizations as their building is one of the few meeting spaces in their neighborhood. Among the groups meeting in their building are Narcotics Anonymous, Red Door Community Church – a Nazarene church plant meeting on Sunday mornings, a Methodist prayer group on Saturday mornings, a counseling service that also runs a Bible study, and Adventure Club for Kids on Wednesday afternoons.
Pastor Norm will be retiring at the end of this year and the community has not yet decided what way they will go after that. For now, they would love to get to know you through Open Door Churches events or by you joining them on a Sunday morning to get to know them better or by volunteering to help feed their neighbors. We are excited to have them as a part of our community!