Ministries & Missions

GROWTH GROUPS

A new (old) kind of small group – these are “class meetings” like the ones that were the most important and most basic practice of early Methodists. These small groups are primarily focused on transformation and not information, where people learn how to interpret their entire lives through the lens of the gospel, build a vocabulary for giving voice to their experience of God, and grow in faith in Christ. These groups are not based on curriculum. Instead, participants actively discuss the state of their current relationship with God and how they are living out (and sometimes failing to live out) their faith. Sharing is a big part of what makes these groups so special.

Wesley currently has two very active Growth Groups:

Wednesday night 6:30 – 7:30 pm via a Zoom Meeting

Sunday morning at 10:15 - 11:15 am in-person (beginning Jan 2 - 9:45 - 10:45 AM)


Wednesday night Zoom Growth Group enjoys some in-person food, fun and fellowship.

OPEN DOOR BIBLE STUDY

Our Bible Study/Sunday School Class began over twenty years ago and was intended to be a 6-week overview of the Bible, led by long-time Bible teacher, Lt. Col. Tom McKenney. Tom has led Bible studies, written books on Christian life and American history, led conferences, and explored the beautiful Word of God since meeting Jesus at the age of 40 and at the end of his rope. Our “six- week overview” turned into an in-depth book-by book study and Tom’s Bible Study is now his magnum opus and is over 1,000 pages long. Our class follows Tom’s study but is based on class discussion as we read, ponder, share, and wonder at the words of life in the Book of Life and the work of God in our lives today. The official name of our class is the Open Door Class because we would love to have you walk through our open door and join us as we grow closer to Jesus!

WEEKLY CHILDREN'S MESSAGE

Every Sunday our worship service includes a children's message. Led by Debbie Flagg, and often featuring Lambchop, this message teaches important lessons from the bible in a way that children (and adults) can easily understand and enjoy.

Children's moment 11:28:2021.mp4

MONDAYS AT THE TABLE & BIBLE STUDY

We are changing the name of our 2nd and 4th Mondays gathering (previously called PASS) to “Mondays at the Table”. We will have a meal (provided) and we will select a Ministry Subject to discuss. We will still have time in the scriptures through extended devotions as well. Everyone is invited and encouraged to be a part of this group as we enjoy Fellowship, Food & Ministry together!

PRAYER GROUP

Meets every Thursday at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM to pray corporately for the needs of our staff, members and constituents and their families, folks in our community, our missionaries in Honduras and Sweden, our world and our leaders. We begin with a devotion, prayer, and end with praise.

WOMEN OF WESLEY

A group of women that meet the 2nd Thursday of every month for lunch and fellowship out on the town. We meet at a designated restaurant at 11:30 AM.

MEN'S COFFEE

Every Wednesday morning from 8:00 - 9:00 in the Life Center – just a time of prayer, devotional, coffee, and fellowship for men.

USHER/GREETER TEAM

These team members are responsible for greeting everyone and helping direct visitors. They ensure the sanctuary is neat and prepared for each service – with all worship supplies stocked and in working order. They usher folks and assist with communion elements. They ensure the heating/cooling is adjusted appropriately and lights on. They ensure the coffee bar is stocked and foyer is ready.

CHRISTMAS ANGEL TREE

Every year for the last 29 years Wesley has partnered with Prison Fellowship Angel Tree at Christmas. Prison Fellowship Angel Tree provides an opportunity for local congregations to extend the hope of the Gospel and enfold Angel Tree families into church life through delivering Christmas gifts on behalf of incarcerated parents. We have worked on calling the families, getting angels adopted, wrapping the presents, and delivering the gifts. In the last few years (before Covid), we also had a Christmas party for the families. The parties included food, games, music, stories, and crafts, and pictures that were given to the families. We also pray for the recipients and often include booklets of Bible stories and support materials for the spiritual growth of the families involved. It is amazing to think of the many children, parents and other family members that have been blessed by Wesley's commitment to this ministry and hopefully the lives that have been drawn closer to Christ thru this process.

SEASHORE MISSION

Since 1991, the Seashore Mission Homeless Day Center has been a United Methodist community of hospitality and healing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They strive to offer God’s hope, peace and resources through all that they do. They share the Gospel in words and actions. They offer food for the body and food for the soul. Their program ministries make a real difference in the lives of hundred of individuals each year, reaching out to individuals experiencing homelessness, families in need of food, women and children victimized by violence. Seashore works to offer a hand up, providing resources to help individuals access medical and financial resources, as well as documentation needed for work, and securing rental housing. Seashore also provides laundry and shower facilities to those in need.

Wesley supports Seashore Mission in two ways. First it provides monetary support which is primarily focussed on a “fifth Sunday offering”. Wesley uses these fifth Sundays which occur 4 times a year to focus on one of the several missions which we support. The offering collected on the Seashore Sunday is sent in entirety as cash for Seashore to use in daily operation for such things as facility maintenance and supplies needed to provide services.

The second way in which Wesley supports Seashore is providing meals. Wesley has provided sloppy joes along with sides and dessert. Sloppy joes are cooked by volunteers, and you do not need to have experience to cook for this, as ingredients, recipe, and pans are provided for those cooking. Bunny Bread day old store in Gautier has been providing us buns free of charge. This effort has been funded by a class which is no longer meeting and we are seeking groups that might consider funding going forward.

KAIROS OUTSIDE

South Mississippi Kairos Outside is a branch of Kairos International Prison Ministry. We host KO Week-ends for women who have (or have had) relatives and/or friends in State & Federal prisons, jails, youth facilities, or who have been incarcerated themselves. These women are shown God's love and treated as Guests of Kairos. Week-ends are usually held twice a year. After attending a week-end, women are invited to participate in a Sister Group of fellow weekend guests and staff that meets monthly to give support and encouragement as they grow in their Christian walk and face the unique challenges that incarceration brings to their lives and their relationships. Wesley UMC provides the use of a classroom for a monthly Sister Group. Members of the congregation are invited to give support for the KO Week-ends by participating in a Prayer Vigil, helping with gifts of Love for the weekend guests, or serving on a staff for the week-end. For more information or to participate in this ministry contact Betty Weaver 228-875-1163 or 228-235-2035 or at bete.weaver@gmail.com.

HONDURAN MISSION

The Cornerstone Foundation is a non-profit, Christian, charitable organization which built and administers a hospital-based outreach on the north coast of Honduras, Central America. The hospital, Hospital Loma de Luz, is a full-service medical facility, and it serves as the hub of related ministries. These include Foster Children’s Ministry, Chaplaincy, Bilingual School and Educational Ministries, Agricultural Ministries, and Community development. It is our desire to effectively serve the people of Honduras in the name of, and with the direction of, Jesus Christ — the stone which was rejected by men but which became the Cornerstone.

The mission hospital at Loma de Luz was begun in 1992 by Dr. Jeff and Rosanne McKenney and they started with one building for visiting workers and a twice-weekly clinic which met there as well. Now, it is a 40,000 sq ft. hospital which sees 25,000 patients and performs 1,200 surgical procedures annually. Every patient is prayed with and treated as an individual made in the image of God. The work at the hospital led to El Camino, the Christian Bilingual School and El Sanctuario, the Children’s Center.

Dr. Jeff and Rosanne McKenney are members of Wesley but are, of course, living in Honduras working as a surgeon and nurse at the hospital as well as administrators of the work of the mission. Kathryn Goodloe Sanchez followed the call to the mission field after visiting with a team from Wesley and has worked at the Children’s Center and now is an integral part of the teaching team at the school. It was while serving in Honduras that she met her husband, Oscar Sanchez who has worked at Loma de Luz for many years in pastoral care and now also serves with the team that creates and fits prosthetics.

Wesley at Loma de Luz

Wesley began bringing work teams to Loma de Luz in 2001 with a small team of six and they have brought teams a number of times and still others have gone to work and to visit as individuals. Members have worked and served on these trips as medical support, in construction (including demolition, electrical, welding), and small project support as well as serving at the local school as well as at the El Camino and El Sanctuario. Those serving learned so much, while there, about the grace and power of God to work in their own lives as well as in the lives of the missionaries serving there and the wonderful people of Honduras.

Dr. Jeff & Rosanne McKenney

AL-ANON FAMILY GROUPS

While this is not a ministry of the church, Al-Anon Family Group meetings are held at Wesley every Thursday night from 7 – 8 pm. Al-Anon members are people, just like you, who are worried about someone with a drinking problem. Al-Anon Family Groups is a spiritual fellowship, not a religious one. We avoid discussion of specific religious doctrine, and members of all faiths (or of none) are welcome. Our Twelve Steps ask us to find a “Power greater than ourselves” who can help us solve our problems and find serenity. Each member is free to define that power in his or her own way. There are no dues or fees in Al-Anon. Most groups pass a basket for voluntary contributions to pay bills and buy literature. Members give as they are able, or not.