Food Pantry Weekly-2015 Feb 25th

Greetings Foodies! Tonight was a very busy night. We served 78 households, plus one more during the week. That’s the second largest ever, behind our record week of 85 last July, and only the sixth time we’ve been at or over 70. As I always like to remind people, if we give out two of an item, such as canned fruit or vegetables, that’s 13 dozen of that one item. God is faithful and continues to provide; but He provides through His children. So please tell your friends and neighbors to continue to support the food pantry! And speaking of neighbors, today we found 65 pounds of groceries waiting for us along with the following note:  Dear Church – Saw your sign about Food Pantry days & times. Here’s our donation. God bless you all!  From some “Milwood Neighbors.”  Many days it seems like the world is going down the drain. But I have evidence that there are still lots of good folks! Each Tuesday, Nancy King and Janna O’Neal drive to Capital Area Food Bank, load our large weekly order into an SUV or pick-up truck and bring it back to the food pantry. Janna will be leaving Austin soon (booo-hoooo!!!), so we need someone to take over her part of that job. Please give prayerful consideration to this ministry. More info is below under Volunteer Opportunities. Blessings to you all. Please pray for all our clients. Carl Needs list, for persons wanting to donate food:  canned fruit, peanut butter, mac & cheese This week’s numbers: – # of volunteers: 19 – # households served: 79 – # individuals served: 235 – # first-timers:  19 Volunteer opportunities — We have...
Remember

Remember

I have been keeping a small blog to recap my Sunday sermons and Wednesday worship, but I had not published it anywhere except the church website. I am working on pulling it all together; you can read the story of how it came to be on the first blog post. I wanted to post it all here because we’re revamping the website and if any of you join in on the discussion of the Hebrew alphabet, it won’t make sense to start reading in the middle of the alphabet; you’ll want to go back. (At least I hope you will.) I thought I’d also include Ash Wednesday’s notes. Since I had been an associate pastor, I never got to preach an Ash Wednesday service and it was really powerful to get to lead a congregation through this observation. Early in the morning and at the noon hour, I prayed with people in the sanctuary and offered ashes, the symbol of our mortality and dependence on God. The food pantry people suggested I come down there and offer ashes in the prayer room, too. What a day! I came in brokenhearted because my son is having struggles in school, and I felt like I was watching someone drown. Throughout the day, when I asked, “For what shall we pray,” people often answered, “for my son,” or “for my daughter,” or “for my grandchild,” and decribed to me their feelings of worry, frustration and sadness. What a blessing to know we are not alone and we don’t need to hide. I decided to focus the evening’s worship on letting go of...

Ban the Busy: Be Patient

We are beings trapped in time. We worry and obsess over what we have to do, and we are haunted by the evil spirit of busyness. This week in worship, I challenged you to ban the word from your vocabulary. No more, “I’m so busy;” instead, stop, pay attention, and listen. The seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, zayin, reminds us of that. Zayin begins the word for time, zman, as well as the word “remember,” zachar. Time and time again, when God’s people were given a law, statue, or commandment, they were told o remember the whys of it – be kind to the slave among you, remember you were a slave in Egypt; provide for the alien among you, remember that you were an alien in the land. God has compassion for us, enslaved in time, and we are to have it for others, to be patient with them and to be kind . We remember, for when we lose inner memory, we lose our sense of being and our purpose. On Sunday, we observed Transfiguration Day. We recalled that Jesus revealed himself in full, glorious light to his inner circle of disciples. H allowed them to step out of time with him, in a sense, to prepare them for the journey to the cross that was ahead of them. We, too, remember the full glory of Christ and the fullness of his grace before we being the walk into the dark time of reflection that from early church times has been called lent, from the Latin word for Spring; lentus. When we know spring is coming...
Be Fully Alive

Be Fully Alive

“L’chaim! To Life!” It’s a Hebrew expression familiar to many of us, thanks to the popular play, Fiddler on the Roof. The word chai, means life, and the Hebrew letter, Chet, is associated with life, health and vitality. This week in worship, we see Jesus demonstrating for us what it means to be a human fully alive – he reflects the life-giving nature of our creator as he teaches and heals, bringing justice and calling people into the fullness of who they are created to be. People are drawn to him, and one asks, “What is the secret to eternal life? How to I obtain it?” Jesus responds that the law leads to life, and tells the man he is to love his neighbor as himself, which prompts the man to ask, “Who is my neighbor?” This week in worship, the children lead us into lent, retelling the story of the Good Samaritan, and inviting us to love one another, the key to life. Meditate on the things that give you life this week as you consider the letter of life,...

Food Pantry Weekly

Greetings Foodies! It was a light night tonight – just 59 households, representing 189 individuals. But it was a special evening just the same. A few clients came with ashes on their faces, but most did not. However, Pastor Stella “brought” Ash Wednesday to the Food Pantry! (In case you didn’t know, Stella recently transformed the old library room into a warm, inviting prayer room, complete with comfortable chairs and other furniture, low lighting, wall hangings and soothing colors.) Tonight, Stella was in the prayer room, offering the imposition of ashes and prayers to all who wanted. And several wanted! It was great. Thanks so much Pastor for your involvement, support and encouragement – it means a lot! Blessings to you all. Please pray for all our clients. Carl Needs list, for persons wanting to donate food:  Cereal, canned fruit This week’s numbers: – # of volunteers: 20 – # households served: 59 – # individuals served: 189 – # first-timers:  7 Volunteer opportunities If you’d like to be part of our awesome team and serve the poor in Austin, we always welcome volunteers on Wednesday nights between 5:00 and 7:00 when the pantry is open.  Spanish speakers are especially valuable. To volunteer, donate, or for more information, please contact Carl Wilson...