SC Church Caucus Supports Special Needs Ministries

Member of the South Carolina Reconciling Ministries Network presenting a check to Aldersgate. Source: SC United Methodist Advocate

Undeterred by the pandemic that kept many of them isolated over the past year, at the first meeting of the Reconciling Ministries of South Carolina, members immediately got back to work. President of Reconciling Ministries Sidney Gatch, said of the meeting, “We’ve all been separated all over the state, not seen each other, talked to each other, just become complacent. This was an opportunity to get together, to remind ourselves we are still here and our church still has a ways to go. And it did exactly what we wanted it to do—it helped a good charity we all felt was a good cause and brought our group together.”

A ministry of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, is an unofficial caucus of United Methodists that promotes full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other individuals in the life of the church.

Over the summer, Reconciling Ministries organized a statewide fundraiser to benefit Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry. (Aldersgate is a South Carolina United Methodist ministry formed by families and friends seeking to prepare for the future of their loved ones with developmental disabilities.)

“Aldersgate is just one of those underserved ministries in the UMC, and a lot of people don’t know about it,” Gatch said. “As soon as they figure out what it is, they are immediately supportive. Almost everyone knows someone with an adult special needs child. The parents are their caregivers, and they get older or die, and they can’t take care of these adults who’ve been taken care of all their lives.”

Additionally, Aldersgate provides housing for men and women with special needs. Currently, there are 3 Aldersgate homes in South Carolina— Columbia, Orangeburg, and Florence for four men with special needs.

“Their mission is wonderful and we immediately and unanimously approved Aldersgate as an organization we wanted to work with,” Gatch said.

The network has currently raised more than $6000 to date and is working with congregations and partners to raise awareness about the importance of supporting mission ministries throughout the state.

Source: SC United Methodist Advocate