Hamlet's of Hope - Helping to Move People of Faith from the Pulpit and Pew to the Pavement

Hamlets of Hope Spotlight!


Mount Zion United Methodist Church-Magothy, Pasadena, Maryland is the featured Hamlets of Hope Pilot site for the first quarter of 2013.  Changing the way we 'do' ministry is a centerpiece of Hamlets of Hope.  Mount Zion United Methodist Church embodies this approach by incorporating their youth in authentic, substantive and prophetic ways. 

Our Today and Our Tomorrow...

Through their efforts of feeding the homeless, visiting shelters, and integrating poverty simulators, the youth of Magothy are carrying out the Great Commission by being Matthew 25 disciples to "the least, the lost and the left out" within their community. 

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you."

Hamlets of Hope's Poverty Simulator is intended to pull back the curtain on poverty in an 'in your face' manner.  The Mount Zion-UMC youth customized this tool and chose to present this simulator to the entire congregation in the nave during a Sunday worship service.

"...Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth."

The strategy attempts to debunk stereotypes and highlight some of the conditions of those who are experiencing poverty, abuse, unemployment, mental health issues, bullying, homelessness and other social challenges.  This consciousness raising tool has led the church body to become involved with housing, feeding and relationship building with people who are experiencing homelessness during the winter months.

"...We did not think we could do this...now we know we can and I want us to do this every year..."

Vital Voices of Valor!

Lived Faith-Magothy Youth continue to change heads, hearts and hands as they identify, plan and engage in ministries that target specific social issues that they want to lift up, advocate and impact.  In this way they demonstrate that their young voices are just as vital to affect systemic change within their faith community and throughout the world.

"...See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:6-10 NIV

In December, the entire Magothy Church family welcomed persons experiencing homelessness to break bread, enjoy a warm bed and fellowship.  Over thirty youth eagerly teamed, with church members and local volunteers to share God's love-to bless and be blessed.

This was the first time the church had endeavored to do this type of ministry.  Partnering with a local non-profit and an area school, MZUMC was able to provide their community family with hot showers, delicious three course meals, spiritual counsel, recreation space to relax, internet access and movies. 

[*HoH does not take pictures of our neighbor's without written permission and in cases where confidentiality and anonymity are a concern]

Mount Zion United Methodist Church-Magothy
A Beloved Shalom Community, Pasadena, Maryland

Ebenezer Baptist Church - Evangelism-Homeless Ministry, Monroe Park, Richmond, VirginiaEbenezer Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia is the featured Hamlets of Hope Pilot site for the month of December because of their consistent commitment to serve and advocate for, in and with their community.  This historic church, whose motto is the People's Church, is located in the downtown section of the City of Richmond referred to as Historic Jackson Ward. 

Ebenezerites actively invest in their community through various ministries that serve those who stand 'with their backs up against the wall'.  Through ministries such as a clothes closet, weekly food pantry and now a thriving evangelism and homeless ministry EBC disciples faithfully demonstrate Christ's message, mission and ministry of love by establishing authentic relationships with their neighbors, feeding the hungry, being present with and sharing the Word of God with the most needy.  Through these efforts, the Holy Spirit is transforming head, heart and hands as they work towards the creation of the Beloved Shalom Community of God!

Why Transformational Ministry?
Condition:  Some churches and communities of faith are “Spiritually Obese” and “Evangelistically Anorexic” spending significant time doing “in-reach” rather than outreach, missions, and evangelism.  Moreover, congregational churches are using out-dated modes of ministry to inspire members to be disciples and servants---essentially the faithful are employing a Tape Ministry to reach a DvD and iPad Generation. Subsequently, action oriented, transformational, innovative ministry is diminished. 

The church is well positioned to be a catalyst of spiritual, economic, and cultural transformation that leads to a renewed reality and the creation of the Beloved Shalom Community

In order to do this requires a shift in our understanding of the disciple’s role---that leads to the "the body" becoming witnesses, vessels , and servants.  Hamlets of Hope is about People Development and it's mission is to cultivate “a ministry doing mindset” among the faith community ---- moving people from pew and pulpit; to pavement thereby creating a balance in hearing and doing the Word. 

Who: The Church, Communities of Faith, and Faith-Based Organizations [FBO’s]
What:  HoH is a Community of Ministerial Practice [COMP] and a Christian repository of tools to assist faith practitioners and congregations align their vision, missions and ministerial practices in order to serve the local community.

How:  HoH's repository of tools and faith network assists ministry practitioners and churches align their vision, missions, and ministries by rethinking their approach
  • From In-reach to Outreach ministry orientation
  • From Program focused to People Development focused
  • From Church focused to Kingdom focus

Outcome:  This strategy seeks to grow members into disciples who embrace and carry out the believer’s charge to serve the least, the lost, and the left out while fulfilling The Great Commission which calls disciples to be Salt and Light--witnessing and serving communities throughout the world.

  • Are you looking to be spiritually and evangelistically healthy, vibrant, and fit?
  • What are you doing outside the walls of your church to fulfill the vision, mission, and goals of your church?

  • How are you cultivating a ‘Doing Ministry’?
  • Are you looking to re-energize your disciples, but lack the tools and the resources to put plans in motion?
Tools include but are not limited to:
We hope to see you again! In Service-Onward and Upward In Christ!-In Service To God & Humanity-Cheryl Cook, Founder

What We're Reading...
Re-entry, Restorative Justice & The Prison Industrial Complex

Ministry with Prisoners & Families: The Way Forward, ed. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., Charles E. Lewis, Jr. and Harold Dean Trulear; Foreword by Addie Richburg. Afterword by Dee Dee Coleman

This edited volume considers the impact of incarceration on the African American community and the biblical mandate for an intentional response from the church. The book features model ministries that address:

  • Incarceration
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Care of families
  • Political advocacy around issues in criminal justice reform


Contributors include:
Karen Swanson,  director, Institute for Prison Ministries
Deborah Jackson-Meyers, founder and executive director, Breaking the Chain Foundation
Michael Smith, founder, Cross of Christ Ministries
Alfreda Robinson-Dawkins, founder, National Women’s Prison Project, Inc.
Madeline McClenney-Sadler, founder, Exodus Foundation.org
Elwood Gray, president, National Coalition of Prison Ministries

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, Forward by Cornel West

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

I Was In Prison: United Methodist Perspectives on Prison Ministry by James M. Shopshire, Mark C. Hicks and Richmond Stoglin , Editors

Church Culture

Church 3.0: Upgrades for the Future of the Church, by Neil Cole

The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting with the Movement Shaping out Culture, Efrem Smith, Phil Jackson, Forwards by Bakari Kitwana and Alton Pollard, III

Transformational Ministry

Rethinking the Church: a challenge to creative redesign in an age of transition, James Emery White

Urban Ministry
Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City & the People of God, Harvie M. Conn and Manuel Ortiz

Empowerment: A Key Component of Christian Community Development, Mary Nelson, PhD

Urban and Suburban Partnership
Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities, Ronald J. Sider, John M. Perkins, Wayne L. Gordon, F. Albert Tizon

Garage Door Evangelism: Opening Your Church to the Community, Dary Northrop


Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times Luis Rodriguez
Touch:  Pressing Against the wounds of a Broken World, Rudy Rasmus
Jesus Weeps: Global Encounters on Our Doorstep, Harold J. Recinos and Robert A. Evans


Models, Mentors, and Messages: Blueprints of Urban Ministry, Rene Rochester

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