Matthew 25:37-40 “Then the righteous will answer him saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you: And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Feeding the Hungry through involvement with the O’Fallon Food Pantry:
This month’s bulletin board theme is Feeding the Hungry. We are highlighting three ways in which our church is helping to feed others in need. One way is through our involvement with the O’Fallon Food Pantry. Our church members have been very supportive of the food pantry by volunteering as well as making donations of food and money. Last year, our mission committee and individual church members donated a total of $9,830.00. Additionally, each Sunday, members of the congregation drop off food in our donation box (located in the Helping Hallway).
The pantry is blessed with dedicated volunteers from the church. Many church members work at the pantry by serving clients, picking up bread from the local Schnucks, doing the weekly shopping for perishables (milk, eggs, meat), and by stocking the shelves of food. The average monthly food purchase by the Food Pantry for 2015 was $10,420.31. During the summer months some church members grow vegetables they donate to the pantry. Additionally, our volunteers help by sorting the food collected at the Scouting for Food and Postal food drives. The food pantry could not operate without all of these amazing, dedicated volunteers. At last count, we had 18 members from the church volunteering at the pantry. Our own Patty Strube is the vice president and coordinator of the Food Pantry and Larry Strube is the treasurer. The Food Pantry is a supplemental food source and clients are allowed to use the services once every 30 days.The pantry is located at the O’Fallon Township Building at 801 State Street and is open Monday from 9am-12pm, Tuesday/Friday 9am-3pm. They welcome new volunteers to work one (or more) 3 hour shifts a month or to assist with the weekly shopping for perishable food. You may contact the Food Pantry directly at 618-624-7040 to volunteer.
Helping the Children through involvement with Feed My Lambs:
Another fantastic FUMC mission is that of the Feed My Lambs program which is coordinated by Linda Kahley. This will be the third summer of “taking it to the streets ” of O’Fallon/ Shiloh. Our church partners with a group of seven other churches to deliver sack lunches to needy/hungry children in the summer. Linda Kahley coordinates with the local school administrators to identify the highest need areas. A group of approximately 25 dedicated FUMC volunteers make and deliver an average of 110 lunches each Thursday during the summer. The program is advertised through the local elementary and Jr High schools and at the Food Pantry. Volunteers assemble the lunches at the church and then deliver them to stops on two routes. Throughout the summer, we also share hygiene bags with donated travel size toiletries. The Skyline Church, one of our partners, uses our kitchen to prepare lunches each Monday. Thanks to funds from the Mission Committee and other generous donations, and our outstanding volunteers we are able to provide this local mission outreach. Volunteers are always welcomed in this mission and may contact Linda Kahley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promoting Peace through involvement with Peace with Justice Sunday:
Finally, in May, we are recognizing Peace with Justice Sunday (May 22) which is celebrated by United Methodists world wide. Arizona border communities are facing social challenges causing them to be dramatically divided. In Liberian villages, citizens’ human rights are being violated. In local U.S. communities, women and girls are being bought and sold against their will. Moved by Christ’s love of every individual, and his mandate for us to love one another, the United Methodist Church is unwilling to turn a blind eye to injustice. Although we may lack the resources alone to effect change in a broken world, our giving to Peace with Justice is vital for the UMC to continue its global ministries of reconciliation. Because of the Peace with Justice Sunday offering, the people of The United Methodist Church are able to make a difference together by sowing seeds—and yielding fruit!—of peace.
When we give on Peace with Justice Sunday, our gift makes possible UMC’s critical kingdom work in the world. Because we give:
- Methodists spearhead a peace ministry uniting Arizona border communities
- United Methodists in Liberia are being equipped to implement the denomination’s Social Principles to address social-justice issue
- Pennsylvania students are educating their community about sex-trafficking at home and abroad
These initiatives, and hundreds of other ones, are possible because of our donations.
Our Giving Makes Possible the Proclamation of Christ’s Peace.
The mission committee will be disbursing a donation to Peace with Justice. If you would like to make an additional personal donation on Peace with Justice Sunday, May 22, you may do so by writing “Peace with Justice” on your envelope, along with the amount and then dropping it in the collection basket.
I feel so blessed to be a part of this church with the kind hearted people so willing to give of themselves and their resources to help others. This love is what Christ wanted us to share.