- November 23, 2022
The mission of Sojourner Truth Ministries is to be a loving, spiritual, and inclusive Christian mission. It is a non-profit ministry based in Williamsport that focuses on making the world we live in a better place. With the aid of its tireless staff and volunteers, it organizes fundraisers and community-building events and offers food, clothing,
The mission of Sojourner Truth Ministries is to be a loving, spiritual, and inclusive Christian mission. It is a non-profit ministry based in Williamsport that focuses on making the world we live in a better place. With the aid of its tireless staff and volunteers, it organizes fundraisers and community-building events and offers food, clothing, and social services.
According to its website, the goal of the ministry is to provide a place where God’s love may be experienced. Their doors are open to all as they minister to those that are broken — whether that brokenness is financial, physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, or any other type. It seeks to be a place of safety and healing through the grace, healing, and mercy of Jesus Christ.
The ministry began twenty years ago when a group of Methodist clergy and laity discussed a burden they felt for Williamsport. They had spent time walking the city and praying. During that time, one of the group members dreamed of a wheel with a central hub, with spokes radiating from it. That dream was realized in the form of Sojourner Truth Ministries, where each spoke was a church, and the ministry was at its center. It was envisioned that instead of each church in the region having its own small yet separate ministry, it would be more impactful and efficient to have one larger, centralized ministry.
“Many of those we serve on a regular basis have multiple barriers to obtaining or sustaining employment. These are often who fall through the cracks for various reasons,” said Pastor Angelique Labadie-Cihanowyz, Executive Director of Sojourner Truth Ministries. “That extra boost of support has become a necessity for many, even people productively working. Things are very difficult right now.”
Sojourner Truth Ministries is so much more than a local soup kitchen.
Not only do they provide hearty lunches Monday-Saturday, but they frequently help people with very basic needs such as underclothing, fresh produce, and other foods to help stretch a budget. In addition, their spiritual support is a regular part of serving, with daily devotions and prayer offered but not required.
“The ministry is honored to serve and meet people right where they are, following the example of Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Labadie-Cihanowyz. “We have been seeing the levels of need increasing, and this is reflected in our numbers. This summer, for example, we have served 1,000 more meals (2,401) per month than this time last year (1,413). To us, each meal represents a story and an opportunity for even a small impact to take some pressure off and to be a blessing.”
Pastor Labadie-Cihanowyz went on to say that people are going through difficult situations, which often lead to a need for meal assistance. Some come to Sojourner Truth regularly to share in a meal. Others come during a crisis or a season of unexpectedly being unable to provide for themselves or family members. Regardless of the situation, the ministry offers a warm greeting. It helps make various agency referrals and connects with each person who walks through the door. “We work to make connections and to show value to everyone, watching for ministry opportunities to show the love of Jesus, to encourage sobriety, and to walk alongside sojourners through hardships.”
Sojourner Truth Ministries is located at 501 High Street in Williamsport and can be reached via phone at (570) 323-1797 or found online at stmwilliamsport.org.