The Rev. Mike Feely, executive director of St. Andrews Center, a faith-based, urban, multicultural organization in Chattanooga, Tenn., will lead a workshop on the vital role churches can play in addressing the needs of their urban communities 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. The workshop will focus on ways of fostering church/community collaboration and partnerships.
Feely will base his presentation on his own experience of taking an empty United Methodist church building and turning it into a busy, thriving, multipurpose mission center that now serves the people of Chattanooga on a daily basis. Among its many initiatives: stewardship of a 60-acre former dairy farm within the city limits; an arts academy for new immigrant students from Iraq, Guatemala, Mexico, and Haiti; a free pediatric clinic for refugees and immigrants; emergency food pantry; bilingual credit union; and adult education and ESOL programs. The center also serves as a field school for area seminarians interested in urban ministry. Feely was recently honored at the state conference of the Tennessee Teachers of English-to-Speakers-of-Other-Languages for his contributions to the field and to international education.
The Syracuse workshop is open to all; cost is $10 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, call University Church at 475-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feely will also be a featured speaker the following day, March 28, at University Church’s free church-community breakfast at 9 a.m. and Palm Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.