Ministry of the Week Interview

Jan 16, 2024

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Ministry of the Week

Stowe Mission is happy to have been featured on Ministry of the Week, where our Director of Outreach Joshua Shortridge was able to spread the good word about our programs. Below is our full week of interviews with Anne Rae, host of Ministry of the Week.

You can find more episodes of Ministry of the Week here.

Video Trascript

Stowe Mission

Hi, I’m Anne Rea. Welcome to Ministry of the Week. My guest this week is Joshua Shortridge, director of outreach for Stowe Mission 888 Parsons Avenue in Columbus. Joshua, welcome. Thank you for having me. It’s great to have you here. We’re going to start out and just in general, tell everybody what the Stowe mission is and then we’re going to go in so many directions. My head’s going to spin. So tell us about the Stowe mission. Okay, so we do hunger, health care and education. Those are the three areas of focus that we have. And each one, they have their unique area. So for hunger, we have a food pantry. We partnered with Salvation Army and then we also have a community kitchen. So Monday through Friday will serve lunch 11 and 1230, serves about 250 meals.

And then in our clinics, we have a dental clinic that offers free tooth extractions, teeth cleanings, as well as we’re looking at expanding into potential fillings. And then we also have an eye clinic offering free eye exams, partnering with Ohio State College of Optometry. Yeah. Yeah. And so we’re partnering with them and will get prevent blindness Ohio they’ll provide a voucher up to $250 for non insured individuals.

Excellent. Well, now, I guess we should start out and find out a little bit about Stowe mission. Are you affiliated with anybody? So we are partnering with strategic Church Network. So that’s a network of Southern Baptist churches that operate right here in central Ohio. We probably have over 100 plus churches that work with us alongside us. All right.

And how long has there been a Stowe mission? Tell me a little about that. So the history is very as numerous as the amount of services we offer. So it started in September of 67 as German Village Baptist Church. Right. And then from there in the eighties, we started an after school program with the Laotian. A wonderful opportunity there in 81. Danny Stowe came down and started doing teeth extractions. Wonderful ministry. So a lot of people think that we started with food, but really it was our educational piece and then the medical piece with the tooth extractions. And then from there, the Strategic Church Network really took hold and wanted to support it because an inner city mission, it’s very much needs money, need support.

Yeah. So all the churches came, pulled together resources in order to keep us going. And then from there incorporated in 2001 moved into our new location and it’s just been a wonderful opportunity for growth and expansion. Well, we have a lot to talk about this week, but again, Stowe mission is 888 Parson’s Avenue in Columbus. You can call 614445 8400 for more information 445 8400 are go to Stowe That’s Stowe Mission dot org.

Directior of Outreach

Now exactly what does a director of outreach do at Stowe mission. So a little bit of everything, especially being a nonprofit, you have to figure out where you fit in and make sure that we’re getting stuff taken care of. But my main focus is working with churches and organizations, other nonprofits to come alongside to help the ministry that we’re doing right here on Parson’s Avenue. And I’ve got to say, I mean, a lot of what I’ve heard about Stowe mission has to do with your affiliations with Southern Baptist Church, but what you’re trying to do and part of what you’re trying to do now is to go to other non-profits and other churches as well, to get them involved. Yeah, absolutely. We want to see cooperation among the churches.

We want to be able to see Christians who want to be able to serve, to come in and have an opportunity to really see ground level ministry of what we do. Because I’ve been there for many years and just being able to see. So our mission is giving gospel hope and restoration to people facing hardship. We’re in the midst of people facing hardship every way, shape or form. So we want to be able to bring that hope and in order to bring hope, we have we need people to be involved in that. That’s the way the Lord You’ve failed us with this Holy Spirit in order to go out and be ambassadors and be disciple makers. So we want to see that happen. So how long have you been with Stowe Mission now?

So I started volunteering, I believe, in December of 2013, and then from there kept volunteering, then was an intern and then came on staff full time and have been around ever since. So. So you’re from you’re right from this area then? Central Ohio? Yeah. I spent a lot of time in the South, in the Columbus time in Asheville, Ohio.

So southern of the 270 out or about that. That’s my stomping grounds. All right. Well, so what we’re going to try to do is, as the week progresses, tell you about the different ministries that Stowe mission has, which includes hunger, health care and education. And then we’re going to try to give you ideas of the different opportunities that are available, whether you work with a nonprofit, with a church or you’re just an individual, for that matter, lots of opportunities for you. So if you’d like information, first of all, let me give a phone number a few times so that you can call 614-445-8400. That’s 614-445-8400. And then the website is Stowe Stowe Lots of information there as well.


And Joshua, today I thought we’d spend some time talking about the ministries you have regarding hunger. Absolutely. So we offer hunger in multiple ways. So when it comes down to it, our food pantry is very popular. We partnered with Salvation Army and people can come in, they’ll create an appointment, and it’s a choice pantry so people can walk around and choose what food they want. The reason we do it that way is because if we hand out a bag of food and say they have a peanut allergy, but we’re giving them peanut butter, it’s not really showing love and compassion. So we want them to be able to walk around and choose what food that they are going to eat for their specific family. And then we have a lunch service that 11 to 1230. So different churches or organizations to non-profits will come in and they will volunteer their time, make the meal and then serve it. And we serve about 250 to 300 meals a day, depending on. Wow. Well, that’s a lot of meals a day. And you do that at your location on Parsons. Yes, we do. And we do that Monday through Friday. And I haven’t seen a day that we’ve missed in when we had that level two storm and it was -30 degrees. We still were down there. We were still serve and still serve 60 meals that day.

So people are hungry and we want to be able to provide food. So exactly what would be necessary? I mean, is this typically something that maybe a church small group does or a nonprofit? I mean, anybody can come in and. Absolutely. And we’ve got it down to a science. And if you are confused about like, I don’t know what to serve, I don’t know what to bring, I don’t know what to have.

What we can do is we can have that conversation with you, talk you through it, see what supplies we can get, and be able to walk you through the serving process because we do it assembly line style. And it really is it might seem daunting and it might seem overwhelming, but come down, if that’s interest you, I’ll walk you through it.

We’ll give you a tour. So do you put down there? Yes, we have a full fledged kitchen, professional kitchen that has plenty of ovens, plenty of it, plenty of equipment in order to serve that many people. Wow. So typically, how about how many people does it take to to to do a, you know, feeding on on a single day?

So about 8 to 15? It depends on how many want to come out. And we’ll switch the positions up a little bit if necessary. But between eight and 15 people, we can serve comfortably and efficiently. Excellent. So now this is certainly a volunteer opportunity. If your church or your small group, your neighborhood group or your nonprofit organization is interested in helping, you can call 6144458400 445-8400.


In case somebody is just tuning in for the first time this week, tell them what what the Stowe mission is. So we provide gospel hope and restoration to people facing hardship. So we are an inner city mission that provides hunger, health care and education and services for our local community in order to assist them with what they need and tell us about the education aspects of what you do. So education has a very close spot in my heart as we are seeing people in in difficult situations, children needing people to come alongside them, family structure. So we have an after school program. We want to be able to see them excel in school. We want to see them build good friendships, relationships and get some stability. So our after school program is one very valuable spot for Stowe mission.

And then we also have classes up in our Pregnancy resource Center to help with mothers experiencing and fathers experiencing any questions that arise as they’re having children. And what does it look like for whether it’s breastfeeding, whether it’s safe sleep, whether it’s all those type of classes? We want to offer opportunities for children, parents in order to get education that they may need.

So what exactly are the volunteer opportunities which regard when it comes to education? So we will need volunteers to help walk along with the kids. So tutoring volunteers, that’s a wonderful opportunity to get plugged in a pregnancy resource center. We would love to get people in there helping with the classes. We have multiple opportunities in the Education Department.

Well, so now exactly when does the the tutoring take place? So that is from 330 to 530 after school program. Okay. And about how many how many kids are you serving at this point? 25 signed up. All right. So you need 25 people every day. Yeah, that’s a lot of people. Yes. So what kinds of individuals do you need for something like that?

People who have a heart and ability to be alongside because these youth have a troubled past, difficult home life. Some of them right. So there might be Stability is a big thing. Consistency in people who have a heart to just love people. Well, so you have programs in place for helping them with the tutoring and. Yes, absolutely. So lots of I assume there’s a lot of training that goes into this.


Yes. All right. And Joshua, today we’re going to be talking about the different health care ministries that Stowe mission has and the volunteer opportunities that are available. So you do a lot of different things regarding health care. Absolutely. So we have a pregnancy resource center that meets onsite. We offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with our community and then our dental clinic.

We offer free tooth extractions, teeth cleanings, as well as getting into fillings. And that is one opportunity. And then our eye clinic we offer free eye exams as well as prevent blindness. Ohio’s voucher that offers a $250 pair of glasses for anybody that’s uninsured. Wow. So now how do volunteers work into all of these different outreaches? So in our Pregnancy resource Center, we need volunteers all the time in order to engage with our community members, the eye clinic and the dental clinic. We’re always looking to expand that. Right now we partnered with Ohio State College of Dentistry, Columbus State dental Hygiene. But if we have private practice dentists who want to come in, be able to have a clinic on a certain day of the month, we would be more than welcome for that. We’re looking for new optometrists. So if you know optometrists, please get ahold of us and we would love to expand our services.

All right. So now that’s the health care aspect. And I just wanted to review you. You have an education aspect to the ministry. Let’s tell everybody again what that’s about. Yes. So our education, we have an after school program. We partner with Lifewise Academy as well. We want to see people be able to be educated, be able to have success at a young age, and then also building up community to have a support network as they grow older. So you definitely need tutors, etc.. Yes. And then your younger ministry. Yes. So we have a food pantry as well as a community kitchen offering meals to everybody Monday through Friday, whether it’s lunch meals or it’s food, pantry, food, all right. So you need volunteers to to cook the food to help in the food pantry. Absolutely. So if you have a nonprofit, if you have a small group, they would love to have you take advantage of the ministries and be there to help.

And again, so mission is at 888 Parson’s Avenue in Columbus. They’re looking for volunteers in all aspects of their ministry. You can call 614-445-8400. Again, that’s 614-445-8400. And then you’ve got the website Stowe Lots of information there, right? Yes, absolutely. So you can you can get the information you need. You can get the contact information, find out a little bit more about the ministry at Stowe And Joshua, thanks for being with us this week. Thank you so much.

Recurring Montly Giving

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