Faithful Central Bible Church is well known for its vast array of outreach ministries. So, as thousands of employees faced another week without pay due to the U.S. Government shutdown, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer got busy.
His response was to give spiritual and tangible assistance to congregants facing immediate hardship, and on Jan. 20, he dedicated special prayer to those directly impacted and distributed $100 Ralph’s gift cards to them as well.
“It was humbling and amazing,” recalled Ulmer as he described the worship services. “We had a special time of prayer and altar call for people who were government employees effected by the shut down. We called for those directly impacted – who were laid off and hadn’t been paid for 30 days – and for immediate family members – spouses, children, parents, to come forward.”
Ulmer, who joined by Senior Rabbi Steven Leder and members of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, also asked people who were currently employed but had “personally experienced an extended period of no income” to participate in the corporate blessing moment.
“We asked the Lord to ‘fix this! End this! Touch Hearts, change minds and bless the thousands [who are] hurting,” said Ulmer. Following the prayer, he handed out more than 45 gift cards to individuals and families. Ulmer added that the Ralph’s company provided considerable help and encouragement with the mass purchase.
Referring to the spiritual basis for Faithful Central’s action, Ulmer said the church was inspired in by I Corinthians 12:26, which reads “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it (NIV).”
“If one part of our congregation hurts, we all hurt, but we all participate in the healing and helping. We did this at each of our three services only on this day. We are praying for an end to this senseless political tactic and impacts almost a million people nationwide,” insisted Ulmer.
He said Faithful Central is also praying for people affected by the teacher’s strike and for a quick resolution in that situation.
“We support our educators who serve our children and our community. However, at the point where the strike begins to impact feeding your children and paying your rent, we stand prayerfully and practically with them,” he declared.
“I would encourage other faith communities and spiritual leaders to join us in doing what you can at whatever level you can to stand with those who serve our community and our country.”
Faithful Central Bible Church is located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., in Inglewood. To learn more, visit faithfulcentral.com.