What exactly does “fellowship house” mean?
So often when I introduce myself on the phone with “Hi, this is Lisa McKinney and I’m from Fellowship House”, I get a puzzled response. Now, I’ll be honest… this probably has something to do with my funny Northern Irish accent, but what does the name “Fellowship House” mean? The word “fellowship” isn’t a word we necessarily use on a day to day basis- “Hi, would you like to fellowship today?” I haven’t said that recently, have you? The Webster dictionary defines fellowship as “the relationship of people who share interests or feelings”. And indeed, Fellowship House of South Camden was created as a place for people from different churches, different companies, different towns; people of different backgrounds, race or creed to join together in helping those in need. We are a community of people who share an interest in helping others… to truly love our neighbor. As Mark 12.31 says: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The mission of Fellowship House is to care for the children of Camden. We do this in so many ways, but another powerful way we can impact the children is by helping their families. Here are some ways we showed love to our neighbor during these past few months:
- In August our Back-To-School Event was a huge success. We welcomed the families for a community barbeque and provided back-packs and school supplies for every single child.
- In November we supplied Thanksgiving baskets to each family (thanks to Rutgers University and Haddonfield UMC).
- The following week in November we joined with the families for a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal, thanks to Liberti Church from Collingswood. The food was great, the conversation was great, but most of all God’s love was shown in a practical way.
- In December we ran a “Christmas store” to provide the children with free Christmas gifts to give to their families (thanks again Liberti Church from Collingswood).
- And thanks to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Haddonfield UMC, and Haddonfield Rotary Club, we provided every parent with Christmas gifts for their child last year. Yes, that means together we ensured every family was able to celebrate Christmas last year, despite any lack or struggle.
As one mother wrote in a little note: “If it wasn’t for Fellowship House, my family would not have enjoyed a Thanksgiving or Christmas last year. I can’t thank you all enough.”
So, who is Fellowship House? We are Fellowship House. Not just the Children’s Director, or the teen worker… but you also. We often teach the children from Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”, and that is exactly what you are doing.
Thank you so much, for you are not merely a supporter, you are a co-worker with us, as we show love to our neighbors in each and every season.