Outreach is an integral part of the ministry of Myers Park Presbyterian. Through involvement with 22 different international and local partners, the church shares God’s love with children, adults, families, and communities throughout Charlotte and the world. It takes skilled planning, patience, and facilitation to plan the various mission trips MPPC disciples attend each year, and the Outreach Council exists to encourage and support those disciples, and the agencies themselves, by coordinating the service ministries. As the new chair of the Outreach Council, Catherine Armstrong understands the importance of this work to the life of the church.
Through her work in Outreach, Catherine has witnessed the impact of service on her life and those she has worked alongside. Upon moving to Charlotte in 2001, she first became involved in the Outreach Ministry as a kitchen volunteer at The Harvest Center and met many wonderful people there. Catherine fondly recalls the heat of the kitchen, the warm greetings from staff members and clients, and the conversations had. “When you are cutting up potatoes or stirring large pots of green beans, you can engage in meaningful conversation that helps you transcend differences of age, ethnicity, or background,” she says. “I think that is what I love most about Outreach.”
Catherine believes that service is a neutralizer; when we serve, we are all God’s children working to get through life together. “The world becomes smaller, and our perspectives take new angles when seen from another’s point of view,” Catherine says. She cites her favorite scripture Matthew 22:37-39 as her motivation for ministry: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself.” The selfless service provided by MPPC disciples and ministry partners is a testimony to living a life of love for God’s family.
As Christians, we are called to extend ourselves to our neighbors, and share our gifts in the life of someone else. Catherine encourages every member of MPPC to “Live Out Love” this year by stretching themselves through service. “God has given us an amazing world with so many people to love,” she says. “Get out of your comfort zone, journey into new parts of Charlotte, and reach out to new neighbors.”