Missions 2020 in Review February 2021
I think we will all agree that 2020 was a very different kind of year. In spite of Covid shutdown, the church continued to do mission work for the community, nation, and world. I have summed up the Mission work of Gordon Grace UMC/St. Matthew ELCA Partnership for 2020:
GRCC SOUP KITCHEN – served 15 times in 2020. # lunches served varied from 45 – 103. GRCC FOOD PANTRY – served 16 times in 2020. 26 – 61 families served each night.
CASTINE FOOD BANK – Picked up food from retailers and packed food for southern Darke coun-ty residents in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
SOUP KITCHEN OFFERING – collected on 1st Sunday of month (except Feb.)
OTHER SPECIAL OFFERINGS – Souper Bowl of Caring, UMCOR Tennessee Tornado Relief, UMCOR Covid-19 Relief, Lutheran Disaster Relief U.S. Wildfire Relief, Prayer Quilt Offering.
OTHER COLLECTIONS – School Kits and Health & Hygiene Kits (UMW/Lutheran Women’s project collected churchwide); Operation Christmas Child shoebox ministry; Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center collection of gift cards, clothing, and personal care items; Kids Learning Place (Head Start) collection of gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, and head wraps.
ONGOING PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR: MISSION ANGELS – lap robes, bowl cozies, breast care comfort pillows, walker bags, sensory muffs, clothing protectors, doll clothes, crocheted doll blankets, cloth doll. Items donated to nursing homes, Dr. offices and individuals who benefitted from these items. QUILTING GROUP – made prayer quilts throughout the year for the congregation and beyond. These quilts are handmade, dedicated through prayer, and hand-tied by the congregation. They also send quilts through Lutheran World Relief for foreign refugees. POP & SOUP TABS for Ronald McDonald House in Dayton. PLASTICS COLLECTION for local 4-H Club. CANNED & BOXED FOOD COLLECTION for Castine Food Bank.
THANK YOU to the many volunteers who actively served in Missions in 2020 and those who gave generously for special offerings and collections. As we begin 2021, let our hearts continue to be faithful in our mission work.
Prayer Quilt Ministry
The Prayer Quilt Ministry meets monthly to put together prayer quilts and LWR quilts. We have many quilts available for blessings and prayers. Please contact Jane Brown, Diane Richard or Pastor Marla, if you know someone who would be blessed by a prayer quilt.
The Quilting Group ladies have been hard at work creating prayer quilts for employees of Wayne Healthcare. Medical staff works hard at all times, but 2020 has been especially brutal for healthcare workers because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Understaffed and overworked, these dedi-cated men and women continue to report to work and give their patients outstanding physical care and emotional support. These quilts will serve as a reminder that they are appreciated and be-ing prayed for. If you are interested in joining the quilters, please see Jane Brown after the New Year. The quilters meet on Wednesdays at St. Matthew from 10 am to 2 pm. Quilting may also be done in the safety and comfort of your own home. The group will gladly accept donations anytime throughout the year to buy quilting supplies. Please make your check payable to ST. MATTHEW LUTHERAN CHURCH and mark “Quilters Group” on the memo line. Please use the Special Offer-ing envelopes provided at church or mail your donations to GRACE UMC; P.O. BOX 6; Arcanum, OH 45304; ATTN: ST. MATTHEW FINANCE. THANK YOU, Quilters for serving others!
Castine Area Food Bank – Tuesday Dec. 15th was preparation for the Castine Food Bank Christmas distribution. Volunteers from our church picking up food from Lewisburg Dollar General and Eikenbery’s IGA in Greenville were: Rhonda Kress (Castine Food Bank Officer), Pastor Marla and Len Brown, Ron Fasick, and Rick Emrick. Setting up from our church was Pam Yeomans. Later after food pickup, helpers joining Pam were Rhonda, Pastor Marla and Len, Ron, and Rick. Evening packers from GG/SM included Rhonda Kress, Faye Harman, and Rick and Cindy Emrick. Thanks to being so organized, packing went very quickly. Thanks to all who volunteered!
Grace Resurrection Community Center (GRCC) – SMLC hosts at the Soup Kitchen and the Food Bank
Wernle Youth & Family Treatment – We also had a tremendous response to Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center’s request. A wide array of personal items were donated: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, hand soap and sanitizer, toothbrushes, Spin brushes, toothpaste, dental floss, emery boards, cotton balls, lotion, lip balm, and 2 GALLON size jugs of shampoo/body wash. Gift cards donated totalled a value of $555.00 and were for Walmart, Kohl’s, McDonald’s, Waffle House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, AMC Theater, Arby’s, Wendy’s, Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Panera Bread. Neva and Terry Birt used a $250 gift card from Thrivent
to purchase PJs, colorful fun socks, sweatshirts, hats, gloves,
knitted girls’ headwraps, and scarves. These gifts were also
delivered on Mon. Dec. 14th and gratefully accepted by Chris Parker, Church Relations Officer at Wernle. He seemed quite pleased at our church’s generosity and thanked us for supporting Wernle Home.
Operation Christmas Child – Dec 2020 – Our church folks have been very busy this Christmas season! At this writing, I am thinking of the Opera-tion Christmas Child shoeboxes we packed. 103 children will be blessed to receive one of our shoeboxes. They will feel the LOVE of a stranger and perhaps wonder why someone they have never met cares so much about them. These blessed children will also receive an opportunity to learn about Christ and about salvation through Him. They will be able to share their faith with family, friends, and neighbors, leading them to Christ as well.
Head Start in Greenville – On Sunday, Dec. 13th we completed 2 more Christmas projects. We collected warm accessories for the children of Head Start in Greenville. I did not realize how expensive a child’s hat and mittens are nowadays until I began shopping for them this year. Our church donated 48 pairs of mittens, 30 hats, 1 winter knitted headband, 29 pairs of gloves, 2 scarves, 12 hat/glove sets and 14 hat/mitten sets. Some of the hats were beautiful handmade works of art! Many children will have warm heads and hands thanks to your extreme generosity!!! The picture of the Mitten Tree shows the tree gloriously decorated by YOU. This picture is only a representation of the items donated. The tree is decorated all the way around with some items under the tree, but there are additional like items not included in the picture. Our gifts were delivered on Monday, Dec. 14th in time for the Head Start staff to sort and distribute them by the last day of school before Christmas break. I am sure a lot of children and their parents will be very thankful for your generosity!
Vacation Bible School