Nearly every Sunday during the Traditional Worship Service at Sheffield First UMC the congregation prays in unison that model Prayer Jesus gave to his first disciples. Part of that prayer says, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
On the evening of January 3, 2016, these words became action—a sign of the Kingdom Life visibly present at Sheffield First. On that evening they hosted their first time of providing a warm meal, a warm place, radical hospitality, a warm bed for the evening, a warm breakfast, and a sack lunch for the area homeless.
Sheffield First has become a partner with Room In The Inn Shoals. Room In The Inn Shoals is part of a program that originated in the mid-nineteen eighties in Nashville known as Room In The Inn. It’s mission is to meet the most immediate needs of the homeless, which is safe and warm shelter during the winter months. This is the second year for Room In The Inn Shoals to be serving Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties. To be a partner with Shoals Room In the Inn, the host church is responsible for picking up guests that evening and returning them the next morning at their office. The host must also decide how many guests they are capable of hosting. Sheffield First has committed to hosting up to 12 persons.
The evening began when Sheffield First picked up their guests at the local office of Room In the Inn Shoals. Then they provided an evening meal that was served by the Youth Ministry. It was followed by a time of simple conversations. Worship Leader, musician and recording artist Shane Baker provided a time of music after the meal. A movie was shown as the guests began to prepare for an evening of sleep in a safe and warm place.
The following morning coffee, milk, juice and breakfast was provided for their guests, before they were taken back to the office of Room In The Inn Shoals. Members who supported and participated in this had an amazing and wonderful experience of being the presence of God for those most often marginalized by our world. They are looking forward to their next opportunity to be a host church for Room In The Inn Shoals. For more information about Room In the Inn program, visit their website at www.roomintheinn.org.