Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
– Last Sunday was the final week for the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry collection.  There will be an announcement about the number of shoeboxes collected this year on Sunday morning.  Thank you to everyone who provided shoebox gifts for children around the world, and thanks to those who donated money for this ministry!  More information will be reported in the next Missions email.  
A SPECIAL THANKS to Ron Myers for making extraordinarily beautiful wooden crosses to include in each of the shoeboxes!
– Our church’s November Grace Resurrection Community Center’s Soup Kitchen was held on Wednesday Nov. 3rd.  78 lunches were served to Darke County residents.  The menu was meatballs in BBQ sauce, macaroni & cheese, corn, mixed fruit, and chocolate chip cookies.  Kitchen volunteers for the day were Dick Kinninger, Mark Mills, Donna Miller, Mickie Ary, Rhonda Kress, Jane Brown, and Pastor Marla Brown.  Cooks were Pam Yeomans and Cindy Emrick.  THANK YOU to all our volunteers!
– This Sunday November 7th we will collect our monthly Soup Kitchen offering.  The money collected is used to purchase the food we prepare and serve to the Soup Kitchen guests.  Our church has generously supported this Darke County ministry for many years.  Your gifts allow this ministry to continue.  Your gifts for the Soup Kitchen offering are tax deductible.
– Also this Sunday we will begin 2 other Christmas missions projects.  The first is for Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center in Richmond, Indiana.  I contacted Chris Parker, Wernle’s Church Relations Officer.  This is the 2021 Wernle Christmas Request List  that I received from him.  Please note that this list is very different from last year’s list.  Please use the 2021 list:
  • Men’s T-shirts Solid Color Size Small to X-Large
  • Men’s Sweatpants Solid Colors Size Small to X-Large
  • Men’s ANKLE Socks White or Black
  • Men’s Slider Shoes Sizes Small to X-Large  (Athletic open-toe sandals.  Many brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc.)
  • Women’s LONG SLEEVE T-shirts Solid Colors Size Extra Small to Large
  • Women’s Sweatpants Solid Colors Sizes Extra Small to Large
  • Women’s ANKLE SOCKS White, Black, or Crazy Colors
  • Women’s Slider Shoes Sizes Small to X-Large
  • Bottles of Lotion
  • $10 Gift Cards to THESE RESTAURANTS:   McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or Burger King
  • $20 or higher denomination gift cards to Walmart
There will be collection boxes on or under the table in the narthex for your  Wernle gifts.  Please place your gifts in the appropriately marked box (i.e. Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, etc.).  The last Sunday for the Wernle Home collection is Sunday Dec. 5th.
– The other Christmas missions project we will participate in for 2021 is for The Kids Learning Place (Head Start) in Greenville.  We will once again be collecting hats, mittens, gloves, and winter scarves to help keep the children warm this winter.  The Kids Learning Place has children aged infant, toddlers, and preschool.  Please be sure hats, gloves, and mittens will fit these age groups.  Hint – hat and glove sets or hat and mitten sets are very nice!  There will be a box marked “HEAD START” in the narthex for your donations for the Head Start children.  The last day for this collection will also be Sunday Dec. 5th. 
– Our November Food Pantry will be held at GRCC on Monday November 15, 2021.  Larry and Charlotte Mitchell are our church’s Team Leaders.  We need food packers and food carriers!  Please mark your calendars.  Food shortages increase as Darke County families feel the holiday and winter budget pinchers of holiday gift and winter heating expenses.  Please come and help your neighbors have a happier, less stressful holiday season! If you can help please arrive at GRCC at 5:30 pm.  If you are unable to be there by 5:30 we would still be happy to have you come as soon as you can!  Serving the community is from 6 to 7:30 pm.
        Have a blessed week and BE a blessing!
            Cindy Emrick, Missions Committee Chairperson

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.

St Matthew Lutheran Church ELCA Facebook Page

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!

Lutheran World Relief School Kits

Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits (health kits)

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!

Prayer Chain

Vacation Bible School