Berryville church takes to parking lot for weekday ministry

Berryville UMC member Mary Chew visits with Berryville School District students who stop by the church on their way to classes each morning. COURTESY PHOTO

Berryville UMC member Mary Chew visits with Berryville School District students who stop by the church on their way to classes each morning.
COURTESY PHOTO

Monday through Friday during the school year, members of Berryville UMC arrive in the church parking lot at 6:30 a.m. They bring soft drinks, hot chocolate, coffee and snacks, and will spend the next two hours serving and visiting with local students who walk by the church property to get to school.

It’s a simple ministry of presence and hospitality, but one that has had enthusiastic support for several years. While the official need is for four adults per morning, more almost always come, simply because they enjoy helping young people get a good start to the school day.

Everything provided is free to the students. According to the Rev. Andy Hughes, September’s parking lot ministry brought an average of 68 individual contacts per day, and some of those interactions went deeper than a greeting and the gift of a snack. There is a place for students to submit written prayer requests, or they may choose to pray with someone.

“There have been more than 30 prayers, including prayers for healing, family crisis, guidance, a desire to know Jesus and numerous other needs,” he said. “There have been many adults ministered to also.”