Reconciliation Outreach News

Welcome to the Reconciliation UMC Outreach Blog and Bulletin Board. This site is designed to be an online place where we can share ideas, projects, information, celebrations, and other things pertaining to outreach ministry. If you would like more information, please contact our Outreach Team Chair, Kathy Murray by emailing her at

Saturday, May 27, 2006

An Invitation to Join the RUMC Outreach Team

An Allegory About Compassion and Justice

A man was walking along a riverbank and happened to see someone in the water calling for help. He pulled the man to shore only to see another person floating down the river. The man also pulled out the second person and soon needed to pull out a third. As the fourth person floated into view, the man began to walk away. Bystanders yelled at him "Where are you going? Someone else needs help." The man replied, "I am going to walk upstream and find out who is throwing all these people in."

Pulling the person out of the water is an act of compassion and is certainly important to that person who was pulled out. At Reconciliation we do acts of compassion regularly – hosting IHN, addressing hunger during the Cropwalk, prayer groups at Urban Ministries, plus all the care we take of people through the Good Samaritan Fund. Unlike the man above, we will not walk away from these ministries, as they are essential and important. Pulling people out of poverty and disenfranchisement, and helping them to help themselves is essential to Christian Ministry.

Fortunately, we are more than one person. Some of us can go upstream to address the issues of poverty, hunger, disenfranchisement, marginalization of the poor, etc. These are the systemic issues that keep people impoverished - keep them falling into the river. Issues such as minimum wage, inadequate health care, unemployment, racism, sexism, our criminal justice system, all contribute to the conditions that set people adrift in our society and must be addressed under our mission of “Justice” - making sure all people get enough of the earth’s resources to live a healthy and holy life.

The mission of the RUMC Outreach Team is both to offer compassion to those in need, while doing all we can to seek justice in the world. Participating in the committee will enable us to be informed and look more deeply into the issues affecting our lives today, and empower us to join with others to take action to make positive changes in the world.

On this Blog, we hope to create a forum to share ideas, resources, events and projects. Reports and photos of projects completed would also be a welcome addition. Most importantly, we can inform each other of opportunities to take positive action. One person and one church can make a big difference.

We invite you all to take part, in some way, in our Outreach Ministries. Joining together, becoming informed and learning the tools of advocacy and action are an antidote to the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that many of us experience in the face of the world’s problems. If you have a pet project, a pet societal peeve, or a dream of something you would like to see happen in our world, please let us know and join with the Outreach Team at whatever level your time, interest and energy will permit. Contact Kathy Murray, Outreach Chair, Phone is 919-419-7059 (Home), 688-3079 (Office).

Outreach Team Meeting, June 4

Outreach Team Meeting Sunday, June 4 after service. We will convene Babaghannouj Bistro, 2200 West Main Street, Durham, NC. It is underneath the Wachovia Building in Erwin Square.

Plans for this year include:

  • Reconciling Prayer Group at Urban Ministries (homeless shelter)
  • Viewing and discussion group of the movie "Crash", which raises interesting issues around racism and prejudice.
  • Participation in Bread for the World Program
  • Continuation of Cross-Racial dialogue group
  • More Tamale Parties and outreach to Hispanic communities
  • Continue support of IHN and Cropwalk

Contact Kathy Murray at if you will be able to attend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Reconciling Prayer Group

We are launching a new group for the Durham community called the Reconciling Prayer Group. It offers an opportunity to pray alongside the residents of Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) who are currently homeless. Pursuing friendship with the poor is a sacred opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the prophets. Various forms of prayer will be suggested by the leaders and participants. This group is open and welcoming to all.

Time: Wednesdays 5:30 to 6:45 with optional meal afterwards. Starting Wednesday, May 31, 2006. Contact Bill Murray for more information: 419.7059.

The address for Urban Ministries is 410 Liberty St., Durham NC 27701, (919) 682-0538 x27. See the website at: