On Saturday, July 11, 2015, our church supported the Bastille Day Race in downtown Fenton. Each year, this race has generated over $18,000 for the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity chapter and brought thousands of visitors into Fenton. This year the race course was modified due to the downtown construction with the StreetScape project. The 15k race began at 7:45 am while the 5k run/walk began at 8:00 am. Both races were wrapping up by 10:00 am. Food and entertainment were available at the O’Donnell Park.
Our church supplied nine volunteers who assisted with traffic control at five neighborhood corners. Thank you to the volunteers for assisting in this worthwhile cause. Everyone had a great time!
About 30 of us joined in fellowship and went Christmas caroling to our downtown neighbors on Sunday, December 21. With 4 teams, we covered about 15 blocks in a little more than an hour and handed out 83 invitations to our Christmas Eve services, along with a brochure on our children and youth programs. Warm sentiment was shared as we brightened many people’s day, spreading God’s love and joy throughout our town! We all had a great time, and enjoyed hot chocolate and donuts after the fun 🙂 Merry Christmas to all!
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 13. 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 warming the Advent Season in our community!
We want to thank the 60 people who showed up to donate their blood, the 52 people who were able to donate, the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing up the equipment, the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the blood drive on Saturday, December 6. The Red Cross was very encouraged by the number of appointments that were made to donate blood; they have promised to bring more staff to make the donation process quicker.
Over 110 people from the Fenton churches showed up to walk in the 2014 CROP Walk on October 5 including 14 people from our church. This was Fenton’s 34th annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area. Approximately $14,300 was raised through this walk to “end hunger one step at a time”. One-fourth of the money raised this year will be used to support three local agencies: FISH (Food Pantry) in Linden, St. Jude’s School Lunch Program and Fenton UMC Food Bank. The picture below captures our church’s walkers:
In 2013, 251,670 people or more than 1 in 6 people lived in food insecure households within the 22 counties served by the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Through our pledges to our church’s program, the Mission committee makes donations to the Food Bank to assist in their mission outreach. In addition, our members have supported their Empty Bowls fund raiser in September as well as volunteering our hands to assist the Food Bank in sorting food for distribution. On October 25, 11 volunteers from our church spent the morning sorting Halloween candy. The Mission committee wants to thank our members for their numerous methods of supporting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan!
Sixteen volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint on Saturday, September 27, to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Larry Zimbler again headed up our meal preparation by deciding on a menu, obtaining the food and organizing our volunteers. We served spaghetti with meatballs, tossed salad, grapes, garlic bread and assorted desserts to about 135 people. Everyone really liked the meal and we enjoyed their company.
30 August ended this year’s Deacon’s Back to School project. Twenty-eight children received a bag of clothes, $40.00 for shoes donated by the Fenton Kiwanis and a backpack that included school supplies.
The congregation responded with characteristic zeal to a very short timeline as this year the names of needy children were not available until the beginning of August.
The participants in the project included the Fenton First Presbyterian Church congregation and the Fenton Kiwanis.
We are happy to report that our Read & Feed program was a great success for our third year! We hosted 24 second and third grade students from area 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. 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 craft and science projects, and to have lots of fun! We sent food home for them and their siblings for the remainder of the two weeks. Volunteers created a book bag for each student; we used these bags each day and then sent them home filled with books that were contributed. Parents and students were excited and enthused about the program.
We want to thank the nearly 50 volunteers from our church and St. Jude’s who made this outreach possible as well as to the two congregations who paid for this program out of their mission budgets. We also want to thank Home Depot for supplying bird feeders and pencil box kits 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!