Tuesday, November 29, 2005


We are seeing prayers being answered everyday. I had a call today for a job interview and start tomorrow. I will be substitute teaching at the Kokomo academy. The Kokomo Academy is a private boys school. Actually, they are incarcerated teens. It will be different as most are difficult and have committed a variety of crimes. I will be teaching biology, that will be way out of my comfort zone as I can hardly spell it :). Please pray for me in that regard. If things work out tomorrow I should go back on Thursday too.

Chris goes to her orientation on Monday at Bona Vista, she will be a sort of life-skill coach for mentally challenged s who are living on their own. We are praying that these are jobs we can handle as the income is needed. Thanks for the prayers. Jeff

Friday, November 25, 2005

First Week

On Wednesday November 16 the Trinity United Methodist Church adopted a restart plan that included making the church more of a mission base/community center. In the first week we have had three activities, we started a Sunday Night Outreach that provides Bible Study and a meal for all ages, a Thanksgiving Eve Meal, and a food basket distribution to those in need as per two elementary schools. If you like statistics here goes: We had 7 churches and 3 businesses participate, there were right at 100 volunteers and we served 325 people. That all took place from Wednesday November 16-Wednesday November 23. Praise God!!!!! Please keep the prayers going. Jeff

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

Sitting with 8 young people in my living room, makes me smile. It is great that to have a houseful of people. Patric and Laura are here, along with Emily, Andrew, Jonathan and 3 friends of Patric and Laura. We just finished serving dinner to 115-125 people, we also had 7o volunteers, that made up a cooking crew, a serving crew and a clean up crew. It was a great time. Unbelievable. We also passed out 50 baskets of food to those in greatest need. Life is good. Jeff

The picture above appeared in the Kokomo Tribune on Friday, Nov. 25. It is a picture of some folks eating at the church.

Monday, November 21, 2005

New Sunday Night Outreach

Wow!!! Last night was incredible. We had our first Sunday Night Outreach at the church. The outreach is a weekly meeting from 5:00-6:15, it is open to anyone K-up, including adults. There are Bible Classes and then a meal at the end. I was expecting somewhere from 10-20 people. We planned for about that many. We had the teachers for three classes Kindergarten-5th grade, Teenagers and adults. We ended up with 55 people, there were 40-(k-5th), 13( 6-12 graders) and 2 adults. At the last minute we had to add classes we had a Kindergarten class, a first -4th grade class, a 5th and 6th grade class and a 7-12th grade class. The s who came for Bible Study readily pitched in to help. We had 17 volunteers. We thought we had enough hotdogs etc for the whole five weeks we cooked 150 and served 130. We served 6 pounds of potato chips and several dozen cookies along with more than 5 gallons of Kool aid. I was going to teach an Bible study ended up with the older teens. In my room we had a senior, freshman, an eighth grader and two seventh graders, I enlisted the help of a mother with small children that came for Bible Study to help me, she has really never been to church, so the story of David and Goliath was new to her. When I write this out it sounds like chaos, but it wasn't the kids thought we knew what we were doing. Our volunteers were veterans and able to go with the flow(we had 17 volunteers), not only were they from our church but from other churches too. Our eyes were opened to the fact that the children do not eat much on the weekend. They have good lunches at school, but by Sunday night they are hungry. Little kids eating 2 or three hotdogs, I also noticed that only one of the 55 was overweight, almost all very thin. It was good and it made my family and all the other helpers realize how much we have to be thankful for. Keep up the prayers, they are working. Jeff

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Church Restart

Last Night I presented a plan of restart to the church. It was very well received and people left excited. There is new hope being generated from the church.

The Re: start plan consists of the following:

We will move from a Traditional church to a Missional church meaning we will be a mission base in the community becoming a community center/church.

We will help those in our community realize that they matter to God because they matter to us.

Our mission is to reach people for Jesus by serving, bringing hope and offering the Good News of Jesus.

We will provide fine art classes and performing art classes to the community for free. Providing those that would never have an opportunity to participate in activities that they would never dream of precipitating in. The classes are designed to help with self esteem, discipline, and a will be a venue to proclaim the Christian faith.

The present congregation will continue to be served as in the past. I will provide the present congregation with pastoral care, Sunday morning worship, and Bible Study. The present church will continue as is.

We will re: start the church by adding new worship experiences at a different time, starting out in the church building but we are so flexible that it can be held in other locations. Presently we are trying to focus on reaching those below 35 years old. The majority of the 1330 people in our five block square are below the age of 35. Worship will be indigenous to the people we are trying to reach. I envision it to be simple, real, and experiential.

While it goes against every new service start plan we will open second service only by word of mouth. No big fanfare. However, we are going to be featured in the local newspaper as a church restart.

Every person in the church will be a missionary and look for ways to reach other people.

Our priority is not to keep the church just "open" but to do what God is calling us to be about.

In the midst of great financial difficulties and pressure we will give 10% of our offering every week to support the ministries of our Annual Conference. It will be the first check written before anything else. We are learning to trust God with our finances.

This week we will be beginning a children's ministry on Sunday night, next week we will be providing a Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday night an we will be delivering 50 food baskets to the very poor in our area. Last Sunday we made 118 shoe boxes for the Samaritan Purse, raising $5.00 per box for shipping, over $575.00 which is a big task. However, it came much easier when we began to tithe our income.

Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward. Jeff

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Prayers Answered

We have been praying specifically for three things for Kokomo Urban Outreach:

  1. To find someone to help out with the administrative part of the ministry.
  2. To get a Board of Directors in place.
  3. To find a webmaster and get a webpage up.
All three concerns were answered this week. We know have an administrative assistant, we have a Board of Directors and we have a website up you can visit the site by clicking here. It has been a very good week. Thanks for all the prayers. Jeff

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kokomo Tribune Article November 9, 2005

You can help the
needy Thanksgiving.
Tribune community news editor
Pastor Jeff Newton had some
neighbors over for a barbecue this
summer. The night before Thanksgiving,
they’re invited to a pre-holiday
feast at his place.
He’s expecting around 100 to
drop by that Wednesday night so
he’ll be setting up some extra tables.
Newton’s Trinity United
Methodist Church at 1701 S. Locke
St. sits next to Garden Square apartment
complex. As part of his urban
ministry, the house of worship is
hosting a pre-Thanksgiving feast
with the Kokomo Rescue Mission.
Thanksgiving Day, the mission
will host its annual Great Thanksgiving
Day Banquet in Grace United
Methodist Church, 219 E. Mulberry
St., just east of the mission.
Newton said he and Bebe Dorris,
the mission’s director of development,
were talking recently
about the mission’s annual dinner.
Although attended by many —
about 400 came last year, Dorris
said — some have no way to get
there. Included in those ranks are
Garden Square residents, the pastor
It was decided to use Trinity as a
satellite church for the dinner.
“We care about our neighborhood,”
Newton said, adding his
wife and their children live adjacent
to the house of worship.
He said they enjoyed the opportunity
this summer’s barbecue
gave them to meet and talk with
their apartment-dwelling and other
Dorris said volunteers are needed
— especially for cleanup — for
the dinner.
Good Samaritans also can deliver
dinners to shut-ins that day, the
mission spokeswoman said.

Monday, November 07, 2005



Just a note of thanks and appreciation for your prayers and your support for Kokomo Urban Outreach. I am preparing a newsletter to be mailed to all of those that would like to receive it. Email me with your address ( urban.outreach@gmail.com ). I have had many people ask me what we have been doing, so I will share it, knowing that it is not about me, but how God is using a whole bunch of people to do the work:

  • We have been in Kokomo for 5 months.
  • We have received financial support from 13 individual families
  • We have received financial support from 2 churches (Grace UMC and St. Luke's UMC)
  • The Attica Thrift has also supported us
  • I have had the opportunity to speak at two churches--Grace and St. Luke's--and the Kokomo Kiwanis club
  • I have visited the following ministries and community leaders: Bridges, Congo Cares, Birthright, Nesting Doves, CAM, Headstart, Salvation Army, the Housing Authority, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Open Arms, Caleb Ministries, Crisis Center, Howard County Foundation, Red Cross, the Superintendent of Kokomo Schools, the Majors office, the police department, and have met individually with 18 pastors.
  • I have attended a weekly Tuesday Morning Men's breakfast
  • Monthly United Methodist Pastor's Breakfast
  • Wednesday Lunch Men's Bible Study---The Huddle
  • Coordinated 5 weeks of displaced hurricane family relocation into Kokomo--working with 17 families of the 22 identified in town
  • Worked on a Walk to Emmaus Weekend
  • Planned life skill classes at Garden Square Apartments--Cooking classes
  • Cook out in Backyard for neighborhood
  • Went through neighborhood and collected 500 items to be sent on truck to Mississippi
  • Have knocked on every door in a five block square of our house and have met about 60% of people
  • Worked with UAW to distribute school supplies to those in need
  • Worked at a carnival at a local school with school supplies as prizes
  • Was a driver on a Bridges field trip
  • Laundry Ministry
  • Attended District meetings and I am on the District Board of Ministry, mentoring a candiate for ministry
  • We popped popcorn on our porch for Halloween and met a great number of neighbors
  • For fun I have been walking, doing Internet podcasts (radio shows) with a friend, watching Marching Band Completions and spending time with family
  • In the church we working on a church "Restart" hopefully making a church/ community center
  • We will be working with a local church on Sunday Nights providing a Children's Ministry with games, stories, crafts and dinner
  • We will be serving Thanksgiving Dinner in the church on Wednesday before Thanksgiving in cooperation with the Rescue Mission
  • The Salvation Army will not be providing food baskets at Thanksgiving, nor will anyone else in town due to lack of funds. We with the help of other churches are going to provide food baskets to families in need from two of the poorest elementary schools in town.
None of the things accomplished is done alone or in a vacuum. We have been experiencing a movement of God that has been incredible. We know that God will provide our needs. We have a great prayer support team and have worked with many volunteers. The Hurricane Relief provided me with many opportunities to meet community leaders and build networks within the community. Chris and the our sons spend a great deal of time in this ministry.

Our greastest Prayer Needs:
  • To find jobs to supplement income (we have applied for many)
  • Presently Kokomo Urban Outreach is an extension Ministry of Trinity Church, however, we need a board of directors in place soon (we are working on this now)
  • Administrative help, setting up data bases and proof reading stuff I write etc
  • Webmaster, I believe a web page would be a fast way of communicating with others.
  • Those that we are working with might become followers of Jesus

Thank You
Jeff Newton

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Huddle

Yesterday I went to a men's weekly Bible Study at the YMCA called the Huddle. It starts at 12:10 and ends at 12:5o, to accommodate men on their lunch hour. They started with prayer had a 2o minute talk and then 20 discussion groups. Groups sat around tables that had an assigned table leaders. My group was very good, I took away a lot and it has caused me to do a great deal of thinking. One of the guys at my table looked very familiar and he said thought I looked familiar. We figured out that he sold me a sound system when I was the pastor at Hillsdale. There were one hundred men there. This is one of the things I am focusing on with Kokomo Urban Outreach, places outside the church where lives can be nurtured and transformed. It was very good day. I have been working all week on what I am calling a church re: start. The church is to a point that we have to do something radically different or close. Radically different is my desire, but we shall see what the church desires. Thanks for the continued prayer. Jeff