At United Methodist Children’s Services, this spring and summer have been a time of renewal and rededication to our mission as we look ahead to a more hopeful future. Here in Washington Park and across the country, we witnessed how the pandemic exacerbated and further exposed so many of the deep-rooted disparities and inequities that continue to afflict our communities and prevent us from achieving a more just and perfect union. With so much more work to be done, this moment presents us all with both a challenge and an opportunity to be better, to embrace discomfort, and be open to growth.
However, despite the unprecedented struggles of the past year, we also saw the power of people coming together to support their neighbors, to care for the most vulnerable, and sacrifice for the greater good. It is that spirit of solidarity and generosity from our many supporters that allowed us to not only weather the storm of the past year but, in many ways, to emerge from it in a stronger position to fulfill our mission and enhance the services that we provide. We are excited to tell you some of those stories of resilience and rebirth in this newsletter, highlighted by the re-opening of our childcare center, the gradual resumption of in-person gatherings, and more sustained, forward-looking community engagement in the Washington Park neighborhood, our home for the past thirty years.
And while we don’t have space to focus on it here, I hope you had a chance to read our supportive housing profile from earlier this spring. So much of what we do at UMCS falls under the rubric of “supportive housing,” and the pandemic didn’t stop us from moving forward with some major changes to a program that can increasingly serve as a model to others for how to do competent, compassionate, and mission-driven supportive housing. I hope you can come to visit us and check it out for yourselves in the months ahead.
Thank you as always for your steadfast support!
~ Bill Schmitt, Executive Director