The Church and Community Improvement Society (CCIS) is a new ministry partnership consisting of churches and social service providers on the Southside of Columbus.
CCIS began in March 2010 by three Church and Community Workers (CCW's are GBGM missionary personnel) assigned to the West Ohio Conference to work with poor and marginalized populations. The work of the three CCW's includes working to attain affordable housing, healthcare, pharmaceutical care, food and nutrition for low income residents. The CCIS consists of area churches and organizations that provide social services to the underserved including Gates-Fourth UMC (community breakfast), Thurman Avenue/Washington Avenue UMC (food pantry and community meal), Livingston Avenue UMC (Charitable Pharmacy, food pantry), UM Church for All People (Mt. Carmel Health Station, Celebrate Recovery, community meals, free store), Clair UMC (food pantry), Southside Settlement House (social services).
A primary goal of the CCIS is to coordinate the activities and resources of partner organizations to maximize their effectiveness including sharing in the recruitment and training of volunteers and fundraising.
Meet Our Church and Community Workers
The coordinators of the CCIS are the three Church and Community Workers (CCW) who are on staff at Community Development for All People. Church and Community Workers are missionaries assigned by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. They are pictured below:
Programs and Activities
The CCIS holds bi-monthly meetings at various United Methodist churches on the South Side of Columbus. All who are interested in this ministry are welcome to attend, including community residents, representatives of other South side organizations, churches and programs in the area.
Agape Backyard Gardens
In May 2011, CCIS received a Neighborhood Partnership Grant and a seed grant from UM Community Ministries to help support its food, health, nutrition and support recovery programs. Hunger, poor nutrition and a lack of exercise contribute to the poor health of area residents. Several CCIS partner organizations have church or community gardens and they are using their gardens as a launching pad for a social enterprise venture that consists of hiring unemployed area residents to cultivate, start and plant backyard "agape" gardens in the neighborhood. In June neighborhood residents interested in growing agape backyard gardens received a container garden (raised box) or had their ground tilled in exchange for a promise to donate at least 10% of the produce to area soup kitchens or food pantries. CCIS is also planning healthy cooking demonstration classes for later this summer
Promoting the Charitable Pharmacy
The newly opened Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio will be another ongoing component of the CCIS. Mariellyn Dunlap works as the Patient Services Coordinator and will oversee efforts to inform church and community members about this important health and wellness resource. The CCIS will also recruit volunteers to serve at the Pharmacy.
Looking Toward the Future
Over time, under the direction of the Church and Community Workers, the CCIS will identify additional goals and activities to achieve the vision of this faith based initiative. The leaders of Community Development for All People and the Church for All People believe that the CCIS will become a model for other churches that have a passion for working with the people in their community to create a front porch to the peaceable Kingdom of God.
Help Support Church & Community Workers!
Church & Community Workers are able to perform thier ministries based on covenant donations provided by generous groups and individuals. To participate, please download the forms below!
Deborah Archie Covenant Margaret Madison Covenant