By Keith L. Scott*
The Rev. Steve Hansen of Wesley and Grace United Methodist Churches in Mason City started a “soap ministry,” teaching members of the congregation and interested others how to make laundry soap as a way to be of service to others as well as to help themselves. He began making soap to be taken to an area school to be given to needy families, to the Senior Center, Community Food Bank, Community Kitchen, and to members of our congregations.
In the spring of 2012 Anne Bacon, Director of Bidwell-Riverside Community Center of Des Moines, spoke at the Wesley UMW Guest Day. She made a plea for churches to become more involved in the ministry of Bidwell-Riverside. Rev. Hansen asked if providing soap would be an appropriate ministry. She said that it would be most welcome, particularly because soap could not be purchased with food stamps. Rev. Hansen offered to have Wesley UMC provide 100 gallons of soap to Bidwell-Riverside.
The challenge was presented to the congregation. Men and women gathered at Wesley on Saturday, May 12, 2012. The women prepared the ingredients to make the soap; men filled the buckets and did the final stirring of the ingredients. They spent the morning mixing over 100 gallons of soap. The soap was then left to “cure” overnight and then put into detergent bottles to be distributed through Bidwell-Riverside.
If your church is interested in joining in a soap ministry, please contact Rev. Steve Hansen at Wesley UMC, Mason City. He’ll send you the recipe and other information on how to get started.
*Rev. Keith L. Scott is Visitation Pastor for Wesley and Grace United Methodist Churches, Mason City