Warren UMC to Partner with Zip Code Connection in South Dallas
Beginning March 1, 2018, Warren UMC and its pastor, Rev. Joshua Manning, started a test phase of a partnership with the Zip Code Connection to live into a call to become a ministry hub for the South Dallas Fair Park community. As part of the Center for Missional Outreach’s pivot toward catalyzing local church efforts, the Zip Code Connection is exploring ways to engage the South Dallas Fair Park and the Clarksville/Red River County areas through local churches, existing organizations, and in partnership with pastors and laity who are passionate about and committed to connecting to their community in a deep and relational way. Over the next few months, this effort is aimed at encouraging and resourcing Warren UMC as it lives into its call to be the church at the corner of Malcolm X and MLK streets in Dallas.
In a church meeting on January 21, 2018, Rev. Andy Lewis, the Director of the Center for Missional Outreach, explained that the Conference remains committed to being in ministry with the people of the South Dallas Fair Park community and to the vision of it becoming a more thriving, vibrant place that is a good place to do business and raise a family. The Conference believes that the people of Warren UMC, with their tenacious commitment to remain in South Dallas Fair Park and their openness to participating in a new model of ministry, will be excellent partners in this work, said Lewis. On February 25, 2018, a church conference decided by consensus to pursue this partnership.
The practicalities of this partnership include Rev. Manning intentionally focusing half of his time and work outward. This means meeting with area residents, leaders, and potential partners with whom the church can collaborate to impact the lives of neighbors. Rev. Manning will also create an advisory team of congregants and others who love Jesus and the neighborhood to discern a vision for how they will go about their work following the Holy Conversations process facilitated by staff from the Texas Methodist Foundation.
As part of their encouragement for this work, the Zip Code Connection will help Rev. Manning move to full-time and provide some financial resources to assist with connecting to the community. In addition, Rev. Andrew Fiser, the Associate Director for Zip Code Connection, will office at Warren and assist with creating partnerships that will impact the neighborhood. This will include convening gatherings of UMC-related churches and organizations who have ties to South Dallas Fair Park to explore ways to collaborate and innovate together.
If you would like more information on ways you can be involved, please contact Andrew at email@example.com or 972-526-5018.