Happenings at First United Methodist Church
As you know the Lenten season begins this Wednesday, March 1st. Our 2017 Lenten project focus is World Vision. This is an organization that helps underdeveloped countries with the means to better themselves. World Vision is similar to our project last year where we were able to purchase livestock for families. The one exception is that World Vision introduces the missing component of faith. It's just not an entrepreneurial endeavor but a help in the faith journey of many. We are again asking you to throw your loose change in a container during the Lenten season. Every Sunday School student will be given a bag, which was monogrammed by the SHINE students, to throw their nickels and dimes in. There will be more information on World Vision throughout Lent. Last year we collected over $900. This year we're shooting for $1,000!!!
The Mission Team wants you to know that we recently received word from Cornerstone Women’s Resource Center that, through the baby bottle collections, we contributed $2,266.41. That is a fantastic amount and you are to be congratulated. There are, however, 11 bottles as yet that have not been turned in. So, check the house and see if, maybe, you might still have one.
Regarding the Future with Hope Mission Fund, we are able to keep 25% of the contributions for local community missions projects; the current balance is $3,553.43. We contributed over $18,000 to the Future with Hope Mission Fund, and you can still give toward this worthy endeavor. As in all donations, when giving by check, please put which mission you are contributing to in the memo line of the check.
We presently support partnerships, Help and Hope, SHINE, Jack and Jill Christian Pre-School, ASELSI (our donations go toward the Milk Program of Father’s Heart Clinic which provides milk to severely malnourished babies), Code Blue, and a new mission this year, “Cru” which you will hear about at a later date. We also will continue helping the school children in Haiti through Mission for Haiti (MFH). We will have an envelope in the bulletin in coming months where you will be able to contribute to a mission close to your heart. More on this later too.
If you have a mission that you specifically care about, please feel free to attend a Mission Team meeting. Our next meeting will be March 9th. We meet every other month in the Church office. We would love for you to join us. Or, just let one of the Mission Team members know of your interest. Your team consists of Patty Reeves, Susan Miller, Shaun Connors, Clyde and Mary Phillips, Jay Reed, Janet Page, Betty Miskelly, Christine Wilford, and Barbara Goranson.
As you know, the weather lately has necessitated that Code Blue be put in to effect. They desperately need volunteers and pillows. If you’re interested in helping out, contact Susan Stowe at 856-265-5859 (she does not have a computer). She’s willing to speak with anyone interested. The pillows can be placed in a basket at Church outside the Lillian Henry Room.
We will try to keep you informed of the activities of the Mission Team.
This weekend we are celebrating Native American Sunday and the envelope in the bulletin today is for this cause. If giving by check, please make it out to First United Methodist Church and write Native American Ministries on the memo line.
Let me tell you a few things about Native American Sunday retrieved from their website.
"Together, we empower local spiritual development and educate native American seminary student to serve God faithfully." That's their mission. Many Americans today recognize that the history following the arrival of the large canoes bore little resemblance to the one all Christians identify as Creator. That's why the people of The United Methodist Church, Native and non-Native, are creating a new history. Through Native American Ministries Sunday, they are able to equip and empower Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to do what only they can do: authentically worship and serve Jesus. As a member of The United Methodist Church, your gift on this day, equips Native congregations like New York's Onandaga Nation UMC and Nebraska's Native American Sacred Winds congregation--to worship and serve as only they can. Anything that you can give will be so gratefully appreciated.
We would also like to inform you that the final count for World Vision is $749.27. Thank you so much for your generosity. Just think, your quarters will provide assistance in securing clean water for those in need of a cooling drink of clean, fresh water.
Also, a letter of thanks was received from Help and Hope Ministries. The Community Maundy Thursday service was held at First Church and the offering that evening was $227.80. The Ministry is extremely grateful for your generosity. Our congregation is amazing! God Bless.
Vision: As the humanitarian relief and development arm of the United Methodist Church, UMCOR strengthens and transforms people and communities.
Mission: Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing UMCOR’S work can be categorized into three major areas:
1. Humanitarian Relief/Disaster Response
2. Sustainable Development
3. Global Health (in collaboration with Global Ministries)
WORLD VISION (LENTEN INITIATIVE)
Fact #2: What types of projects does World Vision Do?
World Vision projects may be grouped into three areas:
1. short-term emergency relief, such as providing food, shelter and
2.long-term sustainable community development focusing on helping communities meet the needs its members identify, like clean water, education, health care, agricultural improvements and sanitation;
3.working with policymakers and the public at the national, regional and global level to build awareness around poverty and to address the unjust systems that help perpetuate it.
Many relief projects transition into development activities. For example, World Vision began working in the Ansokia Valley of north central Ethiopia during the massive famine of the mid 1980’s. World Vision provided food and other necessities, but also helped transform the valley into a region that actually exports agricultural produce.
Your coin folder should be half way full by today. As in the past, we would appreciate turning your coins into bills or checks. Please make checks payable to First UMC and write Lenten Coin Folder on memo line. The folders should be returned by Easter April 1st. Thank you!
As you know Lent begins on February 14th. Lenten Coin folders will be available the weekends of February 3&4 and February 10&11. The greeters will be giving out coin folders along with your bulletin on these dates. As in the past, we would appreciate turning your coins into bills or checks. Please make checks payable to First UMC and write Lenten Coin Folder on memo line. The folders should be returned by Easter April 1st. We hope this will be as successful as in past years. The recipient again will be World Vision. More information on World Vision will be forthcoming during Lent.
Thank you and God bless. Barbara Goranson
The Mission Team met on January 9th to start the 2018 year. One of the things discussed was the confusion regarding the monthly mission envelope included in the box of yearly giving envelopes. Evidently this envelope was included to support local missions. The envelope in your bulletin today incorporates both local and world-wide missions. If using the envelop provided in the 'box' and you wish to designate which local mission you would like to support, just write on the envelope which mission you support. The local missions are: SHINE, Jack and Jill, Help and Hope and Code Blue. The world-wide missions are: ASELSI, Haiti, Cru, Pioneers. The Team will reevaluate the mission envelope used on the second weekend of the month to see if it is still a viable option for the missions listed in the future. If you have a thought of this, please let me know.
We would also like to inform you that your giving in 2017 was more than generous.
Christmas Eve offering (evening) was dedicated to the Hallaran family.
For hurricane relief you gave $8,795.81. Twenty-five percent of that amount, $2,198.95, was given to M25 Initiative to be used for Code Blue. (The recent cold snap put a great strain on Code Blue.)
Other giving totals for 2017:
ASELSI - $113 Communion Sunday - $3,170 Haiti - $250
Cru - $250 Pioneers - $1,421 M25 - $327
Help and Hope $3,350.82 Jack and Jill - $1,680
The amount for SHINE is not listed because it goes directly to SHINE.
The Mission Team would like to give you all a very heartfelt thank you for your generosity.
Barb Goranson, Chair
Missions Envelope Categories Defined
ASELSI: Provides medical help through Father’s Heart Clinic and the Milk Program for Guatemalan infants. Exams, vitamins and formula are essential for those in need.
CODE BLUE: Provides a warm place to have a meal and a place to sleep during bitterly cold weather.
CRU: Crusade for Christ assists campus missionaries to college students who are on their faith journey.
MISSION FOR HAITI (MFH): Provides medical clinics, day schools, vacation Bible schools, discipleship training, and church-planting to Haitians.
JACK AND JILL CHRISTIAN NURSERY SCHOOL: Provides a loving Christian-based nursery for our community families.
PIONEERS: Supports partners in their endeavor to bring Christ into the lives of those of other faiths.
SHINE: Provides tutoring, meals, and love of Christ to the children of our community.
The Mission Team received the following note from Alex Simpson from Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ): "Dear First Church, Thank you so much for your $250 gift! This is such a God thing! Especially since my letter somehow ended up with you back in April. I can't wait to see how God uses our partnership to reach college students in Jersey. God Bless, Alex".
We also wanted you to know that the love offering taken for Alex's missionary work with local college students at the 9:00 and 11 o'clock services recently totaled $268. Those monies will be sent asap. This love offering will help Alex as she covers many miles in her service to the students. Thank you very much.
As you know the Lenten season began on Wednesday, March 1st. Our 2017 Lenten project focus is World Vision. This is an organization that helps underdeveloped countries with the means to better themselves. World Vision is similar to our project last year where we were able to purchase livestock for families. The one exception is that World Vision introduces the missing component of faith. It's just not an entrepreneurial endeavor but a help in the faith journey of many. We are again asking you to throw your loose change in a container during the Lenten season. Every Sunday School student will be given a bag, which was monogrammed by the SHINE students, to throw their nickels and dimes in. There will be more information on World Vision throughout Lent. Last year we collected over $900. This year we're shooting for $1,000!!!
The Mission Team has decided to include a mission envelope in the bulletin starting March 11-12 and continue the second weekend of the month. This envelope will enable you to give to the mission that speaks to your heart. Those missions include: ASELSI which is a Guatemalan mission that provides milk for infants and medical assistance for the people; Code Blue which offers a sanctuary to homeless individuals during freezing weather; CRU which works with college students in their faith journey; Mission for Haiti which assists school children with the necessary tools to get a good education; Jack and Jill Christian Nursery School; Pioneers spreads the word to those of a different faith; and, SHINE. We hope that you will be able to support your mission faithfully. God Bless, Mission Team