WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you see people walking around town wearing what looks like bright red jetpacks, you might want to head over. They're actually bearing gifts - tasty cups of hot cocoa dispensed from state-of-the-art backpack drink dispensers.
The United Methodist Church is taking to the streets of Washington, D.C., to offer the gift of hospitality this Christmas with a warm invitation and a hot cup of cocoa. As commuters, holiday shoppers and event-goers crowd the city's most trafficked areas, United Methodists will be among them -- hoping to warm their stomachs and warm their hearts.
"We think church can happen anywhere--and so can hospitality," said Maidstone Mulenga, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministry. "Church is not something that happens just within the walls of a building. It's a way of life focused on reaching out into our communities to offer hope and love. By taking the church to the city, we hope to help people connect with a local church just in time for Christmas."
United Methodist churches are opening their doors wide during the holidays and they invite all to attend a United Methodist place of worship as Christmas nears. The paper goblets filled with chocolate-y goodness exhort cocoa drinkers to "Rethink Church" and point them to a website – rethinkchurch.org/find-a-church – where they can find a local church in their area. A mobile billboard cruising the streets will do the same. National advertising will also be running on digital media and cable television.
Research shows that twice the number of U.S. adults say they are lonely compared to 10 years ago. That's despite being continually connected more than ever before through texting, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Mulenga says they may be missing a deeper, more meaningful kind of community.
"Christmas is a time when many people are particularly lonely or feel like something is missing from their lives," Mulenga said. "The United Methodist Church is a place to belong, where you can explore the true meaning of Christmas in community with others."
Following is the schedule for locations in the Washington, D.C., area:
Saturday, December 10: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Alexandria Holiday Market
Sunday, December 11: 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Georgetown Area, DC Holiday Market and National Christmas Tree
- 11:00 am - 12:45 pm
- Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink https://goo.gl/maps/i4fYcisFahx
- 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM*
- M St. NW and Wisconsin Ave. NW
- *Please note this stop coincides with an ecumenical caroling flash mob from various Georgetown churches occurring from 1-3 p.m.
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
- DC Holiday Market activation https://goo.gl/maps/NuNhVJHLEKy
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
- National Christmas Tree https://goo.gl/maps/xhJV4wKadmA2
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-methodist-church-offers-the-gift-of-hospitality-300379609.html
SOURCE United Methodist Communications