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Shalom UCC-Mennonite delivers boxes to Shalom Ministries

By Kaye Hult
Shalom Church Spokane (United Church of Christ and Mennonite), in cooperation with The Christmas People Foundation of Yakima, recently donated almost $4,700 of Blessing Bags, crew caps, coffee and candy to Shalom Ministries, 518 E. Third Ave., Spokane.

Fred Hutchinson and Ruth Bishop of The Christmas People and Shalom Church Spokane members Reanette Boese, Jerry and Marilynne Mueller, deliver boxes to Ray and Barbara from Shalom Ministries. Photo courtesy of Kaye Hult

Blessing Bags, using a reusable, draw-string bag, contain a T-shirt, three pairs of socks, hygiene supplies—such as a comb, deodorant, shampoo, face cloth, soap, tooth brush and tooth paste—adhesive strips, lip balm, cough drops and a chewy bar.

Each bag assortment was put together by Ruth Bishop and Fred Hutchinson, co-founders of The Christmas People and also members of Shalom Church.

Shalom Church contributed monetarily to the project.

Shalom Ministries has provided meals for hungry and homeless people in downtown since 1994, begun at what was then Central United Methodist Church as part of a nationwide urban ministry of the national UMC.

The program brings together religious, business, political and social service communities to find solutions to poverty and homelessness through to building relationships and community among people who are disenfranchised.

It provides breakfast Mondays to Thursdays and dinner Mondays and Tuesdays. Previously people would come into the social hall and sit down at round tables, along with volunteers. Now people come through a corner door from Howard St., pick up a grab-and-go meal in the narthex and exit through a door on Third Ave.

The meals have been offered in a safe, loving and accepting environment that can open the door for healing and renewal, creating a sense of belonging to something greater than one’s self, said Fred.

The Christmas People Foundation, in its 23rd year, provides meals, new clothing and bulk wholesale food supplies to marginalized and underserved populations throughout the year in Spokane, Yakima and Seattle.

Shalom Church Spokane is a yoked congregation of Shalom United Church of Christ and Shalom Mennonite Fellowship.

“Because of our low overhead, the majority of our offerings go to mission,” said Marilynne Mueller, treasurer.

For information, call 208-771-1514


Pacific NW United Church of Christ Conference News © April 2021


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