Seashore Mission takes steps toward rebuilding


Special to the Advocate

The rebirth of the Seashore Mission has begun. 

The Board of Directors of Seashore Mission is working to develop a strategic plan that will enable the ministry, hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, to soon get back in the business of helping the homeless along the Gulf Coast.

During an initial planning retreat at Seashore Assembly facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Mark Sills of Sills Consulting LLC of Greensboro, N.C., the board defined its vision of the Gulfport region as being "a community of hospitality and healing where there is hope for the hopeless, peace for the weary and refuge for all."

Responding to that vision, the board of Seashore Mission adopted the following description for its ministry: "Our mission is to help create a community of hospitality by offering refuge and restoration on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

Historically a ministry of outreach to the homeless in Biloxi, the emerging reborn ministry will have a broader scope, seeing itself as a ministry to the churches in the Seashore District as much as a ministry to the homeless. The board has defined its role as one of "helping to build a community of hospitality, not just a place to provide shelter to the homeless."

In its initial planning process, the board members determined that they feel called by God to focus their resources on helping those who want to get off the streets so they can move on with their lives. While the ministry will offer an open door to everyone who comes, it will concentrate on providing services that aid those who seriously seek recovery from whatever disaster has led to their being homeless. The board has embraced a mission that will engage the whole community of United Methodists and others who share a concern for the poor and dispossessed in our midst.

The board expects to complete its plan early this month.