Network Spotlight: Enumclaw
Light Up the City is a network of networked congregations in the Greater Seattle region. Over the past four years, all around the Puget Sound, we have witnessed congregations gather together across denominational lines to serve their cities in the spirit of unity.One of our networks is in the far reaches of King County (we lovingly like to call our Guam), Enumclaw. The City of Enumclaw website claims it is the "Gateway to Mt. Rainier", the name means "thundering noise", and has a thriving population of about eleven thousand souls. The city is known for its picturesque pastures, forests and close proximity to the mountains.What Enumclaw is less known for (outside of the city) is a deep spirit of community and caring for those in need. One of the expressions of care for those in greatest need comes from the Church in the form of Plateau Outreach Ministries(P.O.M.). Our friend Britt Nelson wrote an introduction for their page on our website. Visit our new "Networks" page on our LUTC website to see more of our network pages. You can link to all the members websites and contact our brothers and sisters to hear from them directly.
The Enumclaw plateau is a small, rural community in southeast King County. It still has that small town atmosphere and neighbors still care for neighbors. The community is not spared from the many challenges facing the greater Puget Sound region. We are blessed to have a community of pastors who not only come together to pray, but also bring their churches together to fill needs.
The Plateau Ministerial Association became official in the early 1990s. It is an ecumenical group of pastors who believe in the strength of the Gospel and that their similarities are more important than their differences. In the late 1990s, they formed Plateau Outreach Ministries (POM) to serve as Christ’s hands and feet to our neighbors in need. For twenty years, POM has helped neighbors stay in their homes, kept the heat turned on, kept food on the table and been here to compassionately listen to difficult stories, build relationships and love our neighbors. This ministry is only possible because of the pastors, churches and volunteers who give their hearts week after week.
At the very first LUTC event, our community was struggling with the homelessness issue. There are no shelters, no day center, no public social services in our area. Auburn and Kent are the closest locations and over 15 miles away with very limited bus routes. It’s even more difficult for the folks living up toward the mountain facing the cold weather of winter. Through the encouragement of Union Gospel Mission and other LUTC networks, Winter Shelter became a reality. The first year seven churches barely filled the schedule, today more than 12 churches are involved. Each year there are new volunteers, more churches joining together and caring for our homeless neighbors, and new friendships being formed. This year’s core group of shelter guests has begun volunteering at POM to lend a helping hand.