New Vision UMC receives effective urban ministry award

New Vision UMC accepts the Kim Jefferson Award for effective urban ministry: (left to right) Elenor Davis, Jean Kershaw, Rev. Gregory Holston, and Anna Smith.

The “Kim Jefferson Award” for 2013, presented by the Office of Urban Ministry, went to New Vision United Methodist Church in Philadelphia.  Rev. Gregory Holston, Pastor, and Ms. Jean Kershaw, Lay Leader, accepted the award on behalf of the congregation.

New Vision is the merger of Mt. Carmel and Tioga UMC Churches. The church’s ministry and outreach includes hosting Breakfast Ministry, which feeds approximately 75-100 people on the first and third Sundays of every month. Food Pantry provides food for 65-100 people every 2nd Saturday. New Vision partners with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and 25th Police District and established a cleaning company to provide additional street cleaning in the Germantown & Erie area and greater job opportunities in the community. The Thanksgiving Ministry provided dinners for over 200 individuals and the Christmas Ministry had two celebrations in which over 700 people were given toys, Christmas gifts, dinner, food, and clothing.

New Vision is a member of P.O.W.E.R (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) which includes forty houses of faith organized to fight for good jobs, good schools, and a fair immigration policy. Rev. Holston and New Vision co-chaired the the recent P.O.W.E.R. convention, which had over 3500 people in attendance.  The organization’s efforts includes adovocating for a living wage for airport workers at Philadelphia International Airport.

This non-monetary award is presented by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Urban Steering Committee for significant and effective urban ministry. The award is named in honor of the late Reverend Kinmoth “Kim” Jefferson, a member of the Northern New Jersey Annual Conference who served in the Office of Urban Ministry of the General Board of Global Ministries. He was a member of the Field Staff for 7 years and Executive Secretary for 18 years. Kim was a pastor in Newark in the 1960’s and has served on numerous committees in both United Methodist and Interdenominational/ Interfaith Relationships.

By Myra Maxwell

Rev. Myra Maxwell is coordinator of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Office of Urban Ministry: