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Local Outreach

Vertical Church strives to be involved in spreading the gospel in the Columbus area through various partners and volunteers

Current Partners for Outreach

International Friendships (IFI)

International Friendships, or IFI, has been operating in the Columbus area for over 40 years. The organization began right here at Ohio state and has expanded throughout the country and to Canada. IFI strives to make international students and college faculty feel welcome in the United States and share the gospel with them.

The main ministry of IFI is providing hospitality and small group Bible discussions for International students, professors, and their families. For some, this is the first time that they have ever heard about the Christian faith and the Jesus that we follow. The organization also matches the students with host homes to live with until their apartments are ready, and connect them with resources such as cell phones, banks, or serve as conversation partners to improve their English.

Volunteers from Vertical Church can serve as mentors, leading small group Bible discussions, or assisting with any of the events that IFI hosts throughout the school year. If you are a person who loves getting to know other’s stories or you’re interested in sharing the gospel in an international context, this could be a great outreach opportunity for you! This would be a chance to practice your cultural awareness and influence the next generation of believers in other countries!

Click here to learn more about what IFI does at Ohio State

To get involved, send an email to Mark Sulc or Sally Sulc.

Angel Tree

Angel Tree is a ministry of Prison Fellowship.

Around the holidays, Vertical Church partners with Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree to share the love of God with children who have an incarcerated parent. Since these parents are often unable to buy Christmas gifts for their children, Angel Tree sponsors gifts to be given on the parent’s behalf. These children are connected with Angel Tree when their parents are a part of a Bible study with Prison Fellowship. Not only will these children receive the physical gift, but will also hear the good news of the gospel message.

Small groups or individuals can sign up to purchase a gift, help with calling families, deliver gifts to those who are unable to attend of church’s Christmas event, and participate in planning, setting up for, and running the Christmas Party where the gifts are distributed. Angel Tree also has ministry opportunities throughout the year including sponsoring children to attend Angel Tree VBS, mentoring opportunities, and helping children with letter writing.

Those who have compassion for your community, creativity, and a love for children would make excellent volunteers for this outreach opportunity. To learn more you can visit the Prison Fellowship website or contact Kristen Martin with specific questions or a desire to volunteer.

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House is a national organization that meets some of the most practical needs a family has when they have a child seeking medical treatment out of state. The reality of having a child sick and in the hospital can be incredibly overwhelming to parents and siblings. The Ronald McDonald House is able to provide these families with a bit of stability in the midst of unthinkable circumstances by providing free housing, meals, and basic amenities to families whose child is receiving care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Vertical Church small groups, families, and Student Ministries have volunteered with the meal program where you sign up to provide, prepare, and serve a meal in the kitchen (breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for each day of the week). Volunteers can also sign up to bake treats onsite, make welcome blankets, make snack bags, and help with things around the house. By doing so, we can share the love of Christ by meeting the needs of families who are hurting.

There is usually an opportunity to serve about once a month and involves just a single time commitment. This outreach is great for those who have unusual schedules, enjoy hands-on service, and have compassion for families who are in challenging situations. To get involved with the Vertical team and their work at Ronald McDonald House contact our outreach coordinator Kristen Martin. You can also put together your own team within the church or another organization and sign up at the Ronald McDonald website.

The Refuge

The Refuge is a no-cost Christian ministry that assists men and women who are struggling through addiction. Vertical Church has partnered particularly with the women’s residential program, which is 12 months long and comprised of 4 phases with the ultimate goal of freeing women from bondage to addiction, trafficking, abuse, and hopelessness. Each women in the residential program participates in bible study and will eventually attend a local church.  The center of the program is the gospel and finding hope through Christ thereby changing individual lives as well as the lives of their families, churches, communities, and ultimately the city.

Women from Vertical Church can be involved in relational ministry with the women who live at the residential program, providing support, mentoring, and gospel encouragement. To get involved, all women must participate in a training course, but after that, you can set your time commitment based on if you would like to volunteer weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Men and small groups can also be involved by serving the maintenance needs of the buildings, providing transportation to various appointments, and running leisure activities at the group house.

This opportunity is great for people who have a desire to personally disciple people who are seeking the shelter of Christ in a difficult time and especially for those willing to put in regular time in building relationships that further the gospel. To get more information about what The Refuge does, you can visit their website. To get involved or get more information about Vertical Church’s work with this ministry, you can contact Megan Winkler or Jensine Ahrens.

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