Category Archives: Mission and Outreach

Little Free Pantry Collection This Sunday

This coming Sunday (January 6, 2019) is the first Sunday of the month, the Sunday we collect items for the little free pantry. Here are a few needs if you want to contribute: canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned soup, and canned meat; cereal, breakfast, and granola bars; macaroni and cheese, ramen, spaghetti (and sauce); peanut butter and jelly, crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut butter and jelly on); add water only pancake mix and syrup; and fruit snacks.

A few final encouragements: ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing and remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.

The Least of These

As I read the news, I keep thinking about the time when Jesus said:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” — Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)

What we do (or don’t do) for “the least of these” matters. I didn’t want “the least of these” to remain anonymous in this post, I wanted to name names, but there are too many. I’ll just name the one most on my mind: Jakelin Caal Maquin. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. If you want to help feed the hungry, the Little Free Pantry would welcome your donations. I’m going to start putting some water in there as well.

Hat and Mitten Tree

This year the Mission and Outreach Team is again sponsoring a “Hat and Mitten Tree” in the narthex (lobby). We’re collecting hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, underwear, and socks in all sizes from pre-k to high school senior. (Underwear and socks go under the tree!) We’ll turn these items over to the Abilene School System.

Little Free Pantry

Last Sunday I encouraged you to bring items to restock the Little Free Pantry this coming Sunday (November 11, 2018). A few needs: canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned soup, and canned meat; cereal, breakfast, and granola bars; macaroni and cheese, ramen, spaghetti (and sauce); peanut butter and jelly, crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut butter and jelly on); add water only pancake mix and syrup; and fruit snacks.

A few final encouragements: ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing and remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.

Little Free Pantry Update

A quick thank you to everyone who brought items for the Little Free Pantry. The backup pantry that we use to stock the Little Free Pantry is filled to overflowing (we’re going to half to get more shelves). In addition to your contributions, Jenny and I were both approached with donations from people who weren’t part of the congregation today. It’s great to have the larger community involved in a mission project!

May is Food Pantry Month

May is the month First UMC traditionally provides food and funds for the operation of the Food Pantry which helps supply food and utility funds for those less fortunate. The following is a list of the immediate needs of the food pantry:

  • Baking Supplies: cake and muffin mixes, frosting, oil, flour, sugar
  • Canned Foods: fruit, vegetables, soup, condiments, meat substitutes
  • Cereal: hot cereal, cold cereal, cereal and breakfast bars
  • Cleaning Supplies: laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap
  • Paper Goods: toilet tissue, paper towels, napkins, facial tissue
  • Pasta: macaroni, noodles, spaghetti
  • Personal Hygiene: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, women’s feminine products, disposable diapers, men’s shaving supplies, hand and body lotions, and creams
  • Meats: any kind of canned meat and fish, especially tuna
  • Miscellaneous: peanut butter, jelly, coffee, tea, ramen noodles, rice, dry beans, crackers, juice, syrup, instant potatoes, hamburger helpers, spices, salt and pepper, jello and pudding mixes

Grocery bags (complete with a list of needs attached) will be available on Sunday mornings beginning next Sunday (April 29, 2018) and then throughout the month of May to take home with you and fill, and then return the following Sunday or to the church office during the week. This year we’ll be splitting the contributions between the community-wide Food Pantry downtown and the Little Free Pantry here at the church.

Two more things: 1. If you can bring back unused hotel toiletries, we’ll disperse those through the little free pantry. 2 If you have extra points on your West’s Country Mart cards that you would be willing to convert to a gift card and give to the church for distribution through the church office that would be very much appreciated.

 

UMCOR Sunday is Coming Up

This next Sunday (March 11, 2018) is UMCOR Sunday and we’ll be taking up a special offering. UMCOR stands for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and it is the church’s disaster response arm. They do great work in the United States and around the world. Below is a short video about UMCOR’s work in response to the Syrian refugee crisis (which First UMC generously participated in).