Today, a couple of stories about an opportunity we at EPUMC have in the month of October to be Big Enough to Make a Difference.
Last night while I was sitting around at the Huddle talking with someone, Lois Hyde came by and said a hello. Lois has this way of smiling that says she has some great news to tell you. So Lois smiles at me and says something like, “I just heard that in just the month of September, our garden harvested over 900 pounds of vegetables for PROP.” That is great news, it’s half of our yearly goal harvested in one month. But the harvest is not yet over; hands are still needed.
Second story. A week ago our Worship Design Team was talking about our October worship. One of the things we will be doing is something we call “Servant Sunday.” On Oct. 30 we are going to have a brief time in the sanctuary and then move out of the pews and do a few service projects. The major project we are going to do is assemble Cleaning Buckets to send to our United Methodist Committee on Relief. I love doing projects for what we call UMCOR because every bit of our work goes directly to the need.
“Cleaning Buckets” used to be called “Flood Buckets.” They contain supplies that help in the aftermath of disasters. Today I’m concerned about the aftermath of the floods in Louisiana and the coming need as waters rise in Iowa and a hurricane passes over the Caribbean and parts of the East Coast. We are going to assemble at least 15 Cleaning Buckets….This will cost approximately $1,000. Our Worship design team is asking you, in addition to your other gifts to EPUMC, to give towards this need.
We’ll have special envelopes out next week in worship or you can mail in a donation. Sara Maloney and I will go shopping with the money we raise and purchase the things that are needed. And then on Sunday, Oct. 30, as a part of Servant Sunday, we’ll assemble the buckets. Sara and I will buy enough stuff to fill however many buckets we can, let’s make sure it’s at least 15 of them and…with some money left over to cover the cost of shipping those buckets to wherever they are needed.
Third story…After the Worship Design Team and the Leadership team gave the Okey Dokey to the Cleaning Bucket idea, I got worried about what this might mean for our monthly collection for PROP. Sometimes in a church of our size, you do one thing at the expense of the other, and so I called Karen DeYoung of our Social Action team to talk to her about rather or not we should do this. Karen was great; she said something like: “Social Action doesn’t have the corner of the market on what we should be doing to help people.”
I love that attitude… it is a “Both/And attitude.” “A Both/And attitude” says that at EPUMC, we can have one month in which we collect both enough supplies for PROP and $1,000 or more for Cleaning Buckets. This month the products for PROP are toilet paper and canned fruit.
Fourth Story….So then I come into the office today and turn on my computer, and first thing came across this picture. It’s the Adult Mission team at work up at a camp near Park Rapids called…Northern Pines. They are helping repair and maintain some cabins.
In addition to that today we have to decide what is going to be on the “commitment section” of the bulletin. This week it’s a little easier because both Feed My Starving Children and Serving at Simpson will be on there. What I hear is that the Feed My Starving Children crew is always big enough; however, the serving at Simpson crew is getting a little thin for the need. We usually have enough food prepared, but we need to keep at it. And we need some new folks to go down to be on site serving. We’ll have a video coming on this after the new year.
Crops for PROP, Cleaning Buckets, Monthly PROP Supplies, Northern Pines Camp, Feed my Starving Children, Simpson Shelter….all that is a lot to ask for in one month for a church of our size. I believe that at EPUMC we are Big Enough to Make a Difference. We have enough people, enough resources, enough desire to be doing all of these works of mission and mercy, not just adequately, but well.
Keep the Faith,