Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yuletide Sweat-Socks

From the January Newsletter:

To everyone who helped us this Christmas, we say thank you. We were honestly overwhelmed by the outpouring of donations. When we set out to provide Christmas stockings for the kids at the local Boys and Girls Club, our goal was to raise five-hundred dollars. That amount would provide a respectable stocking for fifty or so kids. When all was said and done, we raised over one-thousand dollars for this project. For us, that meant three things. First, it meant that we could upgrade the stockings themselves. Instead of the classic, sad stocking with a moldy orange and a fractured candy-cane stuffed way down in the toe, we were able to stuff these Yule-tide sweat-socks with items that children might actually enjoy. In short, we stuffed them full of candy and other goodies, and then threw in a toothbrush to ease our guilt.

Second, it meant that we could assist some families who had recently fallen on hard times. These families were in crisis, and were it not for an abundance of generosity, we may not have been able to help. We consider these folks our friends, and we sincerely thank you for helping to make their Christmas a whole lot merrier.

And thirdly, the huge response means for us that people have our back. It lets us know that we are not the only ones who care, and that our ministry is not dependent on our own resourcefulness. It means that there are people with whom we share the load. Honestly, when we initially asked for five-hundred big ones at Christmas time, I was a bit pessimistic. Please accept my apology for underestimating you, and feel free to keep surprising me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

a couple of things...

Question: How do you get four-hundred people together on a Thursday night, many of whom represent diverse economic and social backgrounds? Answer: Smoke a turkey. On Thursday November 18th, that’s just what we did. Actually, we smoked five of them. This was our fourth year participating in the EastSide Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Thanks to the neighborhood churches, and a lot of help from Foster Street Wesleyan Church, we all had a memorable evening together. A special thank you goes out to Juan Stimpson who stayed up all night smoking turkeys and hams. Thanks to you Juan, I can never eat a baked turkey again.

On a somewhat/completely unrelated note, I need you to help me pray about something. Lately I’ve felt a little out of position. God has called me to pastor and preach, and those are two things I don’t always get to do a lot of. Don’t get me wrong, I feel deeply honored to be working with the people that God has called me to. I’m just not sure if I’m relating to them in the right capacity. As the leader of a community organization, I’m looked to mostly as a provider of resources. At times, I spend the bulk of my energy planning events and raising funds. Some of you who know me are probably frightened at the thought of me planning events. I share your trepidation. As a community organizer with a pastors heart, I feel like I’m offering every solution but the one I know will work. Ultimately, we pray for God’s will to be done, whatever that looks like. Will you help us pray?