Sharon UMC encourages community to get involved

Sharon United Methodist Church has a strong mission of being a spiritual crossroads in the SouthPark community.

Centered on Sharon Road across the street from the high-end mall, the church has a long history of missions and service all across the world. On Sunday, April 28, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., the church is giving members, their retail partners and people in the community a chance to get involved, too, at the Sharon UMC fifth annual mission fair.

“The idea is to bring agencies on site and let church members and community members see the breath of these agencies,” David Rhew, chairperson for the church’s mission and community outreach team, said. “This allows these agencies and nonprofits to be able to interact and tell their story. It really puts a face behind the ministry.”

The church has partnerships with various nonprofits throughout Charlotte, including local school Pinewood Elementary and various organizations working to embrace and lift up Charlotte’s homeless. Rhew said the intent of the event is to encourage people to give back and volunteer where help is needed. Rhew said the mission fair gives people a chance to explore many different options in hopes of finding the right fit.

Rhew started attending Sharon United Methodist Church around 30 years ago and has been heavily involved with missions and service for most of that time.

“I’ve been involved with a variety of different things… serving meals at Room In The Inn, volunteering at the men’s shelter. I just look for where I’m needed,” Rhew said. “This community has been very good to me and my family for 45 years. I’ve been here since 1969. It’s an opportunity to enrich the community that I’ve lived in.”

The church is expecting around 18 different ministries and organizations to attend the fair, adding most have a local influence while some may have some regional, national or international flavor, as well. Some organizations that will be represented are Habitat For Humanity, Room In The Inn, the Charlotte Rescue Mission, the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, A Child’s Place and House of FAVAR.

“As you can see, there is a whole cross section,” Rhew said. “If you want to be involved with Habitat, that’s great, but we really have something for all demographics.”

Some recent projects the church has been involved with include a Habitat For Humanity house dedicated earlier this year and a backpack program at Pinewood Elementary. The church’s youth group also is planning a summer trip to Alabama where they’ll work to renovate homes for the elderly, Rhew said.

The event is open to both church members and the public and will be held in the church’s Wesley Center. Agency representatives will be on hand to talk about volunteer opportunities and answer questions any participants may have.

Rhew said the mission fair is a great opportunity to check out Sharon United Methodist.

“To be honest, this is the first way many people make their entry into their potential life in the church – missions is that connection.”

Sharon United Methodist is located at 4411 Sharon Road. Following the mission fair, participants are invited to attend the church’s 11:15 a.m. contemporary service.  Find more information at the church’s website, www.sharonumc.org.

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