Columbus, Ohio USA
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Victoria Moseley (1929-2017)
Friend to countless neighbors in need
by Margaret Marten
January/February 2018 Issue
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(L-R) Vickie Moseley, Rev. Jennifer Casto, and volunteer Chris Prespare in the New Life free clothing room.
The New Life United Methodist Church, located at 25 W. Fifth Ave. in the Short North, closed in April and will reopen as Short North Church later this year. The building has a history of ministering to the poor and homeless for over 100 years. Victoria Moseley volunteered in the church’s clothing room for almost a decade beginning in 2003 before retiring in 2012 to care for her husband, Philip. Vickie passed away on October 29, 2017, after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer six months earlier. She was 88.
Vickie and her husband lived in Dublin, Ohio. She was in her mid-seventies when she first felt called to serve New Life Community Outreach – a non-profit working out of the church. As a congregant of Trinity United Methodist Church in Upper Arlington, one of New Life’s partner churches, she had attended an experiential class at Trinity examining the realities of poverty affecting neighboring communities, introducing her to the outreach program. Involved with Christian education throughout her life, studying the bible and teaching adults, Vickie decided to finally put her faith into action and began traveling to the Short North several times a week as a volunteer to help operate the free clothing room, serving up to 2,500 people a month.
“She created an atmosphere of hospitality, kindness, and love for serving others that was contagious,” said Jennifer Casto, pastor of New Life at that time. Shortly after she began, Vickie was commissioned as the clothing room steward, eventually supervising the ministry’s nearly 100 volunteers, managing the facility and soliciting donations. “Vickie’s leadership and organizational skills helped us get the clothing room in better administrative order, more attractive and hospitable, and with her communication skills, she built a strong network of volunteers from partner churches.”
When interviewed for a Gazette story (Sermon on a Wall, September 2010), Vickie said her experience helping others was transformative and that she had gained a clearer understanding of the brokenness in many people’s lives through homelessness and poverty.
Speaking at Moseley’s memorial, Casto related how Vickie’s gifts and faith flourished while working in the clothing room. Alluding to scripture, Casto described the transformational affect she had on others. “Vickie saw people who were broken and bent over and was willing to bend over and look them in the eyes and encourage them, and find value in them, and help them stand up a little straighter, even rise up,” Casto said.
Moreover, her heart was large enough to handle the ups and downs of dealing with the downtrodden. “Vickie learned how to balance firmness with grace, how to speak the truth in love, and somehow she could miraculously come up with what was needed.”
Nor did her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer shake her faith. Vickie was not afraid of death. “Vickie modeled for us what it means to live as a faithful disciple,” concluded Casto. “As one who served Christ by serving our neighbors.”
Vickie is survived by her husband, Philip H. Moseley; daughter Ann E. (Christopher) Carlson of Upper Arlington; son Gregory P. (Anne) Moseley of Houston, Texas; grandchildren, Amanda Carlson, Bradley (Megan) Carlson and Scott Moseley.
To learn more about the Short North Church opening at 25 W. 5th visit www.shortnorthchurch.org
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