Grace United Methodist Church Newport News, VA
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Celebrating God's love, seeking God's direction together.

Outreach

  Monthly food donations:

The theme for food donations for the month of October is SOUPHowever, all non-perishable food donations are welcome. Please place them in the cubbies in the Narthex and chapel hallway. The donations this month go to Good Samaritan.

     Would you like to be part of the Outreach Committee’s planning for mission projects?  We would love to have you join us!  Talk to any of our members: Kim Rumsey, Jeri Davenport, Chuck Root, Sandy Fisher, Gloria Moore, Cindy Brakman, or Susan DeVane (757-930-0233) for more information - or just come to our next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, at 4:00 p.m. (in the church library near the chapel). 

WNAG is a very familiar acronym for some and maybe just totally unfamiliar to others. WNAG is an opportunity for members of Grace and their family and friends to come together for a wonderful meal, fellowship and to hear a presentation by members of a Grace committee or a guest presenter or maybe dinner will be followed by a special program. 

The next WNAG will be on 17 October, so mark your calendar. Your dinner will be hosted by the Outreach Committee. We will be serving a delicious meal with a fantastic dessert (look for the menu in Sunday’s bulletins).  Dinner will be followed by a presentation from our guest speaker Lynne Finding from LINK of Hampton Roads. LINK was founded in 1990 in Newport News by leaders from the interfaith, civic and business community with a vision to break the cycle of poverty.

The WNAG dinner starts at 6 pm and the program begins at 6:30.  Just think, you will get to have a home-cooked meal (well, church-cooked), listen to a very informative presentation, and you won’t have to wash the dishes. RSVP by using your CONNECT CARD inserts in the Sunday Bulletins.  If you have any questions please contact members of the Outreach Committee.

Homelessness in America

Millions of Americans are homeless each year.  While the general impression is that they are primarily the chronically-homeless, unfortunate individuals often seen living on the streets in the downtown areas of our cities, the fact is that the homeless also include families with children.  Low wages and the lack of affordable housing are difficult factors to overcome,especially for those who have no support from extended family.  Often families have been thrust into homelessness by a life altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for.

 Homelessness can be caused by tragic life occurrences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes. Other impairments such as depression, untreated mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical disabilities are also responsible for a large portion of the homeless.  Many factors push people into living on the street.

For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, an "everyday" life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. A broken-down vehicle can cause the loss of a job. The unexpected loss of jobs due to layoffs and resulting foreclosures are causes of homelessness.

Divorce costs and the associated lowering of a family's total income can cause one or more family members to become homeless. For families that can hardly pay their bills, a serious illness or disabling accident may deplete their funds and push them out onto the street. Natural disasters often cause current housing situations to become untenable and costly repairs are often simply not possible.

Although the causes of homelessness in America are complex and difficult to overcome, there are a number of organizations locally and nationally who address the problem in various ways.  Grace supports 2 local agencies, THRIVE and LINK, who not only provide immediate assistance such as food and emergency shelter to those in need, but also have programs to remedy some of the root causes with counseling and other forms of assistance.  

We know that Jesus instructs us to provide aid to those in need.  We can do that by donating items such as food and clothes, making monetary donations, and also by giving of our time.  THRIVE has a number of ways that volunteers can help (Contact Mary: 757-877-6211 x2). 

Also, you can learn more about ways to help LINK serve the homeless by coming to Wednesday Night at Grace on Oct. 17th.  Our congregation will be helping LINK minister to the homeless at the PORT overnight shelter soon after Thanksgiving (tentatively Nov. 30th, and also in February).  SIGN UP FOR PORT will be available on Sundays beginning Oct. 28th .

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

Have you started to think about your Christmas shopping yet?  Christmas decorations started showing up in stores in July!  While Advent doesn’t start for two more months, in the U.S. parents often start thinking about Christmas shopping much earlier. 

Unfortunately for many parents around the world, there may be so little income that providing even the basics of food and shelter are a daily struggle with little help in sight.  This month our congregation will again have the chance to participate in Operation Christmas Child to bring joy to children around the world (and on Native American reservations in the U.S.) who live in circumstances of dire poverty and limited opportunities.  Many of these children have never received a gift of any kind.  Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, an international, nondenominational, Christian relief and evangelism organization.  More information about Operation Christmas Child is available at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child .

Each person or family who wishes to participate will pick up a special shoe box (or 2) at church and fill it with simple gifts for a child.  These boxes will be available throughout the month of October.  The Outreach Committee will provide detailed directions for filling the boxes (please pay particular attention to items which cannot be shipped).  The directions state:  Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball (deflated) with pump, or stuffed animal.  Fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.  You may include a personal note and photo.  A donation of $9.00 is critical to cover shipping and other project costs. 

In addition to bringing the box and donation to church, the $9.00 donation can also be made online at the Samaritan’s Purse website to receive a tracking label to follow your box. Attach the label to your shoebox, and you can use the online Look-Up Tool to find out the country where your box will be delivered with the message of Christ’s love. To donate online go to https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/follow-your-box/ 

The shoeboxes are to be returned to Grace by Sunday, Nov. 4th, so that the Outreach Committee can then deliver them to the local collection center.  For questions please call Susan DeVane at 930-0233.

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Don't forget our on-going collections:
*Travel-size toiletries
*Coupons for the Good Samaritan Fund
*Shoes for THRIVE
*Magazines for the Berkeley Community
*BINGO prizes
*Eyeglasses for the Lion's Club
We also have a prayer blanket ministry.  Those who are facing surgery or serious illness may request a prayer blanket (forms located outside of the church office). 

Each knot in a prayer blanket represents a prayer said for the individual.

Please see our monthly newsletter under "Resources" for Missions updates.