Saturday, July 20, 2013

Challenge: A Shot into the Darkness

My still  developing philosophy on my new appointment is to chase darkness with light.  There is so much darkness around the two churches that the amount of need can seem overwhelming.  However, if we can truly make the churches "beacons" that we might be able to not only shine in the community, but more importantly, that we might share that light so that people take it back home with them; then we might really begin making a difference.

To those ends, we are preparing to fire our first concentrated shot into the darkness and I want to invite all of you along on this journey and into this ministry.  In speaking with the local elementary school, I was able to learn that the most immediate need with school right around the corner is school supplies; the kids just don't have them and I want to fix that.  To those ends we will be having "Back to School Celebrations" on August 17th at Grace UMC (11am) and Breath of Life UMC (1pm) where we will be handing out the supplies to the children along with a free cookout.

Now, let me be clear; this isn't just about a handout.  The two churches have been too quiet in the neighborhoods for too long (of course, from my perspective, five minutes is too long) and the people have forgotten that we're there.  I want to send a message into the darkness: we are here and things are going to be very different.  Secondly, this is about taking this "stress" off of these families.  If buying school supplies is creating angst and hard choices for families and we can help, then we have succeeded in chasing a little more darkness.  Lastly and most importantly, if these families are struggling to purchase school supplies, then these children already have the deck stacked against them.  How much better for the children if we can send them back to school properly equipped and as a result feeling better and more confident about school?  If we can send a disadvantaged child back to school feeling more confident and excited about school...we've not only chased immediate darkness in the neighborhood, but darkness has also been potentially chased from the futures of some of these children.  That right there is a pretty doggone big and powerful flashlight.

Who knew just simply buying a few dollars worth of school supplies could make such a difference?  With all the "back to school" sales going on at the stores, your investment is likely to never go farther.  I spent $10 dollars on school supplies yesterday and I came home with three bags of supplies.  So what can you do?  I'm glad you asked.  We need supplies!  The two churches have been challenged, but we are small (that'll be changing) and we need help.  And if we get too much?  I'll take them to the next school and then the next school and dare I hope, the next school?  This is an instance where it can be assured that whatever we get will 100% go to those in need.

So, what do we need?  Nothing major, just the bare basics:

-Spiral Notebooks (Wide or College)                                   
-Washable Markers                                                   
-Glue Sticks                                                               
-Hand Towels                                                            
-Hand Sanitizer
-Two Pocket Folders

How can you help?  Contact I will provide you with all of the information you might need.  (The phone service hasn't been installed in my office yet, but hopefully on Monday I'll be able to provide the office number as well)  And if you have time on the 17th and you want to come and hang out so you can get an up close and personal look at what we're doing, PLEASE by all means do so!!!  I would love to see you and to share the excitement (I have

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