HOUSTON – As part of the mission to reach out to people and up to God, the congregation of Houston First United Methodist Church continued their tradition of hosting a soup supper during the annual Christmas parade.
The idea was born several years ago as members of the church gathered in the Family Life Center before the parade to get out of the weather. As the FLC is on the parade route, it was a logical step to invite others in to gather in comfort before heading outside to watch the band and floats pass by.
“In opening our doors and offereing soup to the community at the annual Houston Christmas parade, Houston First United Methodist Church provides a safe, warm and festive atmosphere for the community,” said Rev. Rex Wilburn. “It is much more than just offering sustenance to those who are hungry. It is providing space for folks to celebrate community be being served and received.”
Members of the congregation prepare and donate crock pots of home made soup of different varities and also provide tea, water and coffee at no charge. Soup is available before, during and after the parade for anyone who wishes to come in and join the fellowship.
Wilburn said the tradition follows the teaching of Jesus to spread His love out to the people.
“The soup ministry not only fills Jesus’ teaching regarding, ‘When did we feed you?’ and ‘When did we give you drink?,'” Wilburn said. “It also puts hands, feet and hearts into Jesus being present with the least, the last and the lost. At our ministry, one is able to see folks from all walks of life sitting at table with one another. We are thankful to be a small part.”