This is a new year with all of the challenges and possibilities presented by a new slate. We will be welcoming new Deacons on January 26th after their ordination on January 19th, and we all anticipate their new viewpoints and energy.
The past year has been a busy one as you will see in the annual report. The Food Pantry continues to grow, and the various ministries and services we offer have been supported by you, the congregation. We will be dedicating the Deacons’ offering (to be collected in February) to the Food Pantry, as food justice remains one of our greatest concerns. Our clients are extremely grateful for the once-monthly distribution of diapers, and the Christmas pantry saw lines beginning to form well before sun-up for not only food but also for the Toys for Tots distribution so ably managed by Kathy Winsted, family and volunteers. There were over 1600 toys, which were brought in from Toys for Tots on Friday and sorted by church members and scout troops, which meant that 541 children in 137 families received approximately three gifts each. In the meantime, Todd Child discovered that the Food Bank was closed, and had to find creative means to make up bags for this large pantry with the required fruits, vegetables and protein (which included turkeys and chickens) to distribute to our clients. This reporter was on the “bag production line”, and it was quite a challenge, calmly met by Todd and crew! We don’t think any of our clients saw the scrambling. They received toys, food, hats and mittens with grateful thanks. Their smiles are our reward, and let us know that we are doing the Lord’s work.
We have a dedicated group of Deacons and volunteers who visit the homebound, and make sure that congregants who are unable to attend worship services are lovingly contacted and kept in the church family. This ministry is complimented by Deacons who manage both emergency transportation requests and the Loaves and Fishes ministry. Additionally, cards are sent to members upon occasion of joy or sadness, and to those who need encouragement during illness or difficult times.
We are a busy group, and the gift of being a Deacon is that whatever we give is returned tenfold in smiles and thanks and appreciation.
May your new year begin with the joy of anticipation of good things to come, knowing that God is there to catch you if you stumble and to right you if you fall. Blessings to all.
Angelyn Forbes-Freeze for the Deacons