GAINESVILLE – The setting was eclectic: the mismatched furnishings and the wide array of people seated in the room offered a lot of variety; despite their backgrounds the ambiance was warmly ecumenical: Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals, Agnostics and Buddhists fellowshipping together.
The message was evangelical: welcoming, but clearly Christian.
Such was the environment in the dining room at the Good News at Noon Community Shelter on Sunday morning. It was just before ten o’clock and “church” was about to begin.
While Good News at Noon has been a fixture in Gainesville for more than 32-years, Sunday morning’s “church service” is a new aspect of the homeless outreach and it was meeting for only the third time.
“I think it’s going to be wonderful; this is what’s needed anyway,” said Willie Alexander who has both lived and served at the shelter. “This’s what we should have been having. Personally, I think it’s wonderful.”
Since 1987 Good News at Noon has provided hot meals to the hungry, temporary shelter for untold scores of homeless, given away hundreds of tons of groceries, and hosted thousands of Bible studies, but it has never offered a structured church setting until recently.
Fletcher Law pastors the fellowship. “We focus on a passage of scripture…that’s what we preach on…then we have communion and a hymn, and then we go to disciple groups of three to five people. That’s how we plan on sharing with this community.”
“We’re using the Discover Bible Study system…and the people have to interact with the Scripture,” Law said.
“We’ve had a lot of volunteers from the community that wanted to be part of a church like this,” Law said regarding those who facilitate the small group studies each Sunday.
“This is a church for the people in the immediate neighborhood…this is a church that you can be a part of - that you can be a part of the fabric of,” Law continued.
Lifelong Hall County resident Rodney Barnes was one of the forty worshippers this day, and said, “It’s slow-go to begin with, but we’ll get more people in. I think it’s a good thing that will improve the community.”
For more information on helping the fledgling church contact Fletcher Law at: firstname.lastname@example.org