APRIL Communion Offering
Our April Communion offering will go our Third Saturday Meal. We serve a hearty meal on the third Saturday of the month to our wider community. [Other churches are serving a meal on the other Saturdays. Meals are regularly served at the Salvation Army during the week.] Our church people are invited to enjoy the meal. Having said this it is important to underscore that many of the people who come to this meal have real needs. These people work at balancing resources for food and other family needs (think - rent, medicine, heat) on tight budgets. A faithful group in our church takes leadership in planning and cooking. Others of you have volunteered as servers and provide welcome. Now all of us are invited to assist in funding. It costs about $150 each community meal served. All our gifts for this offering are important.
Our Easter offering will be divided between UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and Promise Neighborhood, a community center in SE St. Cloud.
UMCOR reaches out for us to help people who experience disaster whether natural or from human conflict. Some of these disasters get reported in the wider news, others are known locally. But they all are a threat to the well-being of children, men and women. Drought and conflict disasters often require long term assistance. Some people have to leave their homes and communities to survive, become refugees, and need help on their journey toward a new place to live. Through UMCOR we are reaching out to help in many ways with all these kinds of needs.
UMCOR is our instrument to reach out in the name of God who loves all persons in all their circumstances. UMCOR maintains warehouses of supplies or knows where they are available for immediate or long term help. UMCOR has knowledgeable people ready to step up for us, whether in the U.S. or across the world. These persons are working now! They work with local people, often with churches, in their outreach. The various relief agencies, non-profit or governmental, cooperate with each other as needed to be the most effective.
So when you learn in the news that disasters are occurring, your gifts to UMCOR will be at work for you are the hands of Christ.
Promise Neighborhood was created and resourced by our various local faith congregations, including FUMC, and community groups, and is located in a city park in SE St. Cloud. They shared this report with us: “In 2018 we served a hundred families with the following programs: math and reading club, back to school supplies and clothing, one-on-one and group mentoring, girls group, five week Summer Academy, three-week and walk-in camp, classroom support, transportation, basic job skills, and experiential learning. In 2019 we are adding a new Early Learning Program for parents of children 2-4 years old. We are adding some advocacy training.”
Adam Whitten and Diana Klisch from our congregation are active in the Math and Reading Club to help youth gain proficiency in these areas. They have a community garden where youth are learning about gardening and eating vegetables.