OUR EVANGELISM TEAM is sponsoring a Christmas Eve cookie giveaway. Members will bake cookies and bring them to Christmas eve services. After worship, other members will pick up the cookies and deliver them to workers at area hospitals, police and fire departments as a way to show gratitude and God's love in a practical way. We call this one of our Practical Acts of Christianity.
Central UMC will also provide gifts for 60 children whose parents are incarcerated. We will help an Athens church with a party for the children from their county and provide shoes for 30 children in Kentucky. We filled shoe boxes with gifts for Operation Christmas Child, and our Central Girlfriends Group is partnering with a local elementary school to provide gifts for students in need.
-- Rev. Betsy Switzer, Central UMC
MOUNT HERMON UMC will take two special offerings for Jubilee Project during Advent. We will receive a monetary offering as well as an offering of clothing and toiletry items. During each Sunday in Advent, worshippers will be invited to place their gifts of nonperishable food under the Chrismon tree, in support of the Heiskell Food Pantry at the Gathering Place.
--Rev. Gregg Bostick, Mt. Hermon UMC
TWELVE MONTHS AGO, New Tazewell UMC Missions, Outreach and Evangelism Committee began a food project to fill a local community need and show God’s love. The Claiborne Hunger Ministry provided a list of 40 families in need of a Thanksgiving food basket. Each basket was to include a $25 gift card for a turkey and other perishable items. Church members provided canned vegetables, potatoes, chicken stock, cranberry sauce, dressing mix, cornmeal, apples, rolls, and pumpkin pies for each family’s Thanksgiving meal. The Seekers Sunday school class provided Bibles for each basket. In 2008, our church supplied 50 families with these baskets.
As 2009 began, committee members felt a need to continue the food outreach project. Invitation fliers were distributed at the Claiborne Hunger Ministry, and on the second Thursday evening in March, the church held its first Community Supper. Each second Thursday of the month is now designated as Community Supper night. The November Community Supper was our largest ever, with 77 persons attending. Each supper features a hot meal and drawings for food gift cards, a food gift basket, a hygiene gift basket, and a household cleaning gift basket.
This November, we distributed 105 Thanksgiving food baskets to families attending our Community Supper, as well as a few others. This month, we will provide Christmas food baskets for those same families. Our December Community Supper will include a visit from Santa and fruit treat bags for the children, a hot supper, and other gifts as we show God’s love during the Christmas season.
-- Elizabeth Reed & Rev. Charles Mattson, New Tazewell UMC