“Do you just get in your car really quick and say, ‘Sorry, I can’t help,’ and lock the doors and leave? Do you pull 20 bucks out of your wallet and give it to them?” said the Rev. Harrison Bell, associate pastor at First Broad Street United Methodist Church. “What’s the correct way to respond in that situation?”
This is one of several real-life scenarios that will be discussed Saturday at First Broad Street United Methodist Church. The event, called “Serving Matters,” will teach people how to help others effectively, without hindering them in the long run.
When and where
The event will be held Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, located at 100 E. Church Circle. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided.
Those interested in attending should call (423) 224-1502 by Wednesday, Jan. 24, to make a reservation.
What to expect
Bell said the event will open with a theological discussion on poverty. Then attendees will work through scenarios such as the one described above, and they’ll have an opportunity to share personal experiences about how they’ve responded in those situations.
One of the most exciting aspects of the event, Bell said, is that local experts will be on hand to participate in the discussion. These include David Quillin, Kingsport’s chief of police; Will Shewey, pastor of Shades of Grace United Methodist Church; and Mary Watterson, director of the Kingsport Community Ministry Center.
“We’re going to draw from some local experts about some of their best practices that they would recommend, and then we’re going to talk about the resources that are available in our community,” Bell said. “There are churches, nonprofit organizations and other systems in place that really do a lot of good in our community, and (we want) to make people aware of those things.”
Why you should attend
Bell said the event is open to the community, and he’s hoping for a crowd of 150 to 200 people.
“I hope that everyone leaves with, one, a better understanding of the ways in which Kingsport really is a wonderful place to live and Kingsport’s a very generous community,” Bell said. “Then I hope that they leave equipped to know how to handle different situations that they might find themselves in.
“So hopefully this will give them some tools to be able to do that effectively, and if it’s a person of faith, to be able to do it faithfully.”