The Outreach Committee is the special forces team at DPC dedicated to being outwardly-focused and community-minded. We are inspired by Biblical texts such as Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for Me, and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. We try to be the group that takes belief in God to the front lines of our city's needy areas and organizations. Our goal is to put hands, feet – and cash – to ministry beyond the church doors. So, we have regular interactions with (and often help to support) Nashville not for profit groups like Open Table, Matthew 25, Monroe Harding Children’s Home, Siloam Clinic, Room In The Inn, and The Contributor. Leaders from these groups regularly come and speak to the DPC congregation for a few minutes on a Sunday morning (we call these Minute for Mission). Our committee is a bold team of dreamers - and doers!
We also work to support the demanding and rewarding work of the DPC Wednesday Lunch and Sunday Breakfast. These two efforts – weekly service of hundreds of hot, nutritious meals in a safe, supportive environment to beloved, and needy brothers and sisters – this remains a defining activity of the DPC faith community
The DPC mantra, you might have noticed, the one featured on several of our printed materials - it's Where Passion Meets Action. It's a little fuzzy, but the legend is: the Outreach Committee gave birth to this phrase. We would love to see you at an upcoming meeting! We typically gather once a month.
The Wednesday Lunch
For over 20 years, our church has opened up our doors each Wednesday at noon to provide a hot, delicious, and usually large meal to those in need. This takes place in our Fellowship Hall. Our bathrooms are also made available to our guests at this time. We typically have between 200 and 250 come through. They are also given the chance to attend a short chapel service - a message of hope - during this time. Attendance is never required, however. Many diverse individuals and groups come together to serve week-to-week. Help is always appreciated.
In 2006, based upon the ministry of the Wednesday Lunch, the Sunday Breakfast experience was formed. Between 100 and 150 are typically served at 8.30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. In a desire to provide a nutritious meal, fresh fruit is made available along with other breakfast items. The church is thankful for regular donations from Publix grocery stores who donate the fruit. Like the Wednesday Lunch, the breakfast is reliant upon volunteers. Groups as diverse as the St. Henry's Catholic Church in West Nashville and the East Nasty Running Club of East Nashville may joyfully serve side-by-side. We are grateful for our extended family across the city! Further help is always appreciated.
The Contributor began in 2007 between then-and-now DPC Artist Tasha French and longtime DPC elder and fellow DPC Artist, Tom Wills. The paper has operated in the DPC church building since its beginning, though today they work in considerably more church space. With a staff of about 10, and about 350 vendors city-wide, they are the largest and most successful street newspaper in the United States. A documentary, Street Paper, was independently made in 2011, and showcased to great acclaim in Nashville and Oklahoma film festivals in 2012.
The Contributor is a strategic partner with DPC in serving the poor of Nashville, however, they are a distinct and separate entity from the church. The Contributor gives a generous monthly donation for their DPC building use; their is not a formal lease arrangement.
The Contributor now publishes twice monthly. The values of the paper remain:
- To provide a diversity of perspectives and information on the condition of homelessness while highlighting the contributions of homeless and formerly homeless individuals
- To provide homeless and formerly homeless newspaper vendors with a source of income
- To create community between vendors and their customers
More information on The Contributor can be found at their website, http://thecontributor.org/