by Georgine Wallace
Christ United Methodist Church has graced the southeastern corner of 4th Street and I Street SW for nearly 60 years. Formed as a merger of the Gorsuch Methodist Church at 4th and L Streets and the Lewis Memorial Congregation, the church remains a strong and active presence in the Southwest community.
For the last five years, Pastor Monica Raines has led the congregation. A self-proclaimed “military kid,” Raines thinks of Fayetteville, North Carolina as her hometown. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of North Carolina and was called to Southwest not long after graduating from the Wesley Theological Seminary in 2017. When asked about the project or achievement that brings her the most satisfaction, she responded that the relationships she has forged in the community matter the most to her. The 5000 Food Ministry is the byproduct of some of these relationships.
The 5000 Food Ministry was created in March of 2020. Initially, the church provided 40 bags of fresh produce every other week from their garden and purchased other goods from the Capital Area Food Bank. Thankfully, kale, lettuce and other healthy greens grow in abundance under the green thumbs of church volunteers. Some of these vegetables still grace the bags, but donations from patrons of the Saturday Farmer’s Market comprise a large percentage of the bags. The use of the Farmer’s Market evolved out of a partnership with Ward 6 Mutual Aid. This partnership also enabled more residents to receive assistance.
As a result of the pandemic, several church members moved from Washington. Popular programs, such as the Men’s Breakfast every third Saturday, could not be held. The Pastor hopes to continue it one day. On a happier note, the church’s choir performs on Sundays with growing regularity. The church also plans to be able to make their social hall and sanctuary available for rent within the near future.The 10:15 a.m. Sunday service is in the hybrid phase and will be for the foreseeable future. Details on how to enjoy their Sunday service or help them in their community efforts can be found at: https://christchurchinthecity.org/ .