We want to thank the 30 people who showed up to donate their blood, the 27 people who were able to donate, the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing the equipment, the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the drive on Saturday, June 2. We are grateful that we can host such an important life-preserving event for our community! In addition, we use some of our local mission budget to support the Red Cross programs.
On Saturday, May 5th, nine volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Since it is early in the month, “only” about 40 people showed up to be served a meal; the number grows as they run out of food money later in each month. Our volunteers find this an especially meaningful outreach in seeing the need and feeling like they are doing something very important.
On April 21, nine volunteers from our church went to serve at the Shelter of Flint. We organized their attic storage, cleaned one of their apartments, and cleaned and waxed their dining room floor. We helped them make a difference in our world using our time, talents and treasure (we use some of the mission budget to support their essential services).
The Shelter of Flint has several essential programs that serve more than 1000 adults and children each day!
- They provide emergency shelter for the homeless
- They provide transitional and permanent housing
- They provide comprehensive housing placement services in Genesee County
- They provide the Homeless Outreach program a point of entry into services for Genesee County including street outreach, wrap around services that partner with other community agencies, and information and referrals for needed services
Members from our church as well as the community met on Sunday evening, January 21, 2018 to discuss human trafficking in our county and what we can do about it. In its various forms, it amounts to slavery in our times! More than 75% of the victims in the US were born and raised here. Approximately 1 million men, women and children are victims. Approximately $40 billion a year is generated from human slave trading.
Mr. Steve Kramer from the Michigan State Police described how prevalent it is, how easily it occurs and how vigilant we need to be. If you know someone is in immediate danger, call 911. The national human trafficking hotline is always available to request help or find services: 1-888-373-7888.
Ms. Amy Rouleau described her personal story as well as the plans to construct a Restoration Place to house and help heal up to 12 girls at a time. They have purchased the land and are about half-way to obtaining enough funds to build the home. We are encouraged to assist in their fund-raising efforts by: (a) donating your loose change in a jam jar and returning it to our church by February 25 or (b) making a donation via their website (www.RestorationPlace.org) or via mail (P.O. Box 37, Swartz Creek, MI 48473) or in person.
Mrs. Polly Sheppard, an elder in our church and on numerous relevant boards in Genesee County, described the many facets of the efforts in Genesee County to address this huge problem. Polly described how we can be part of the solution. Please let Polly know how you would be willing to help.
Our members shared their Christmas Joy with the community and helped the Salvation Army raise some money so that more local families could enjoy Christmas. Our members smiled, sang Christmas carols and greeted shoppers at VG’s on Silver Lake Parkway as well as at WalMart on Saturday, December 9. We were again impressed with the generosity of our community through their donations to the red kettle. The mission committee wants to sincerely thank the many volunteers for making a difference in our community!
Great weather and a great appointment schedule made for another great blood drive! The Red Cross really kept the process moving very efficiently all day. We want to thank the 47 people who showed up to donate their blood, the 45 people who were able to donate, the Boy Scouts who helped set up and tear down, the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the drive on Saturday, December 2. The downtown was very busy on Saturday with the JingleFest events.
Over 100 people from Fenton churches showed up to walk in the 2017 CROP Walk on October 1 including about twenty people from our church. This was Fenton’s 37th annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area. Walkers proceeded past various stations within Bush Park designed to raise hunger awareness as well as around downtown Fenton. Alternately, participants could sit and rock at one location or could do Jazzercise at another.
Approximately $14,000 is raised each year through this walk to “end hunger one step at a time.” One-fourth of the money raised will be used to support three local hunger programs: FISH (Food Pantry) in Linden, St. Jude’s School Lunch Program and the Fenton UMC Food Bank.
On Saturday, September 17, twenty-two volunteers from our church had a wonderful time assisting Adopt-a-Pet on a perfect fall day. We socialized their animals, cleaned the kennels and rooms, covered a stairway wall with protective plastic sheeting, planted a tree, cleared brush from the side of their drive, weeded their planting areas and cut down a large pine tree. Since 2006, Adopt-a-Pet has found homes for over 3000 cats and dogs and funded veterinary care for some very sick animals. Their objective is “to find loving homes for homeless dogs and cats as well as assist people in the community to find homes for their personal animals.”
We are happy to report that our Read & Feed program was a great success for our sixth year! We registered 40 second and third grade readers from area elementary schools who had been identified as needing assistance with reading. We hoped to “jump start” their fall schooling by providing them with six mornings of reading experiences as well as food for breakfast and lunch.
With the larger number of students, we split them into four groups of 10 and added a fourth experience making each experience only 1/2 hour long. We think this worked out much better for everyone! We used most of our church to have the students read to us or to trained dogs, to have us read to them, to play word games, to sing songs and play games using music, to create various arts and craft projects, and to have lots of fun! We used our new kitchen to serve them breakfast and lunch the days they were here. We sent food home for them and their siblings for the remainder of the two weeks. We also sent them home with books that were contributed by the congregation. On the last day, the deacons sent home our back-to-school bookbags and new school clothes with the families that had indicated a need/interest.
Parents were overwhelmingly positive about the program. All of the students were excited and enthused to participate. The reading specialists at the various elementary schools have indicated that we are making a positive difference!
We want to thank the MANY volunteers from our church and St. Jude’s who made this outreach possible. Thank you to our congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We also want to thank Home Depot for supplying craft projects as well as volunteers to assist in their assembly. We want to thank Jet’s Pizza and Uncle Ray’s Dairyland for contributing the food for our final lunch; it was a huge hit with the students!!
Five young ladies from youth group were assisted by Pastor Robbie, Tina Ritchie, Bobby Clark and Jenny Gibb in leading worship on Sunday, August 6. The theme was “All Together Now” from the Massanetta Middle School Conference based on Galatians 3:28-29. To open worship, they dressed the communion table, then invited everyone into worship by singing a cappella “Spirit, Fall On Us.” Youth in middle school shared what they learned at the Massanetta Conference and youth in high school shared experiences and lessons from the Feet-to-Faith mission trip in Ohio. With a depth beyond their ages, they talked about what it means to be together and yet not the same, loving everyone as Christ loves us.
After worship the girls also went shopping to purchase clothes for our Deacon’s Back-to-School project. They shopped for five children with money donated by church members. This is the second year members of youth group have had the opportunity to shop for this project, learning how to be good stewards of money while purchasing fashionable and quality items for children in the Fenton area.
Below are pictures of 4 of the girls who participated showing the posters used in worship (the backsides say “Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, female), and the girls after our shopping trip to Target.