It is with heavy hearts that we write to you today. Two soldiers of the cross from The Churches of Christ in Christian Union have now received their heavenly rewards. While we grieve here with their families, Rev. James Akers and Rev. Raymond McDaniel, Jr. are rejoicing as they have made it Home. Below you will see the information regarding their services. Please join us in prayer for the families of these men.
Jonathan Morgan (Faith Memorial)
Faith Memorial Church provided a free clothing giveaway that served 150 families (directed by Mrs. Bethany Herron), collected 1,900 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child (spearheaded by Michelle Williams), raised $7,000 for Samaritan's Purse, and will provide several missionary families with significant financial gifts for Christmas.
Faith also served as an Operation Christmas Child shoe box drop off center for the Lancaster area and received over 4,200 shoe boxes, and packed the boxes for shipment to a regional center. We had 31 volunteers staff the hours for drop off with many of those individuals participating for the first time in this effort.
As pastor, I am very proud of the ceaseless generosity demonstrated by the people of Faith!
Joe Stafford (Wesley Chapel)
One of the things we do is a "Giving Tree." We decorate a Christmas tree with cards of suggested gift items that would help make several family Christmas celebrations merrier. Our folks take the cards, purchase the items, bring them back and place them, unwrapped, under the tree. We then distribute them the week before Christmas.
Jeff Harlan (Homeland)
We will be having our Street Ministry Outreach at Inner City on December 23rd.
Marge Gibson (Daybreak)
Daybreak Etna and Newark sent 185 boxes to Operation Christian Child last week.
Randy Knece (Hedges Chapel Elder)/ Stephanie Lane (Hedges Chapel Missionary President)
We at Hedges Chapel are doing "Adopt-A-Blanket" where 200 blankets are up for adoption and will go to the children of those serviced by Ashville Food Pantry. The church, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts come together to make bags for the kids. We will give these out on Monday December 10th when the food pantry gives out the Christmas give away. Last year, we gave out over 100 blankets...this year we are prepared to give 200! Hedges Chapel is responsible for providing 130 boxes of cornbread, 130 boxes of stuffing and 65 cans of soup for Christmas Baskets for Ashville Food Pantry. Lastly, we have adopted three families with eight children for our annual Christmas tree.
Larry Lane (HMC Elder)/ Bruce Morrison (HMC Pastor)
Heritage is involved in the following outreaches at this Christmas season:
-Goal for this year is over 300 family Christmas Baskets
-Furniture ministry with a distribution of over one hundred pieces of furniture.
-Rose Avenue Community Center will reach over 7,000 people through meals, after school programming, and youth impact.
-Prison and Jail Ministry
-A Jesus Birthday Offering that will touch Papua New Guinea with a new shower house to reunited families; Provide two mobile classrooms for children in San Pedro Sula, Honduras Dump Ministry; --Support for Church on COMO; and Disaster Recovery with Advent Offering.
-God is Good… and faithful. We honor HIM with these outreaches!!
Evan Nunnally (Lifeline/Lifehouse)
-LL and LH sent about 70 shoe boxes from each church to Operation Christmas Child.
-Both churches provide meals for Project Hope, a homeless shelter in Painesville
-Both churches purchase a variety of items for the homeless shelter: gloves, toiletries, small food items and personal healthcare items, etc.
-We are prepared to help any family that is in need come Christmas time. Every year we have a large donation that is given to us by someone who supports our ministry. In the past they have given us $8000 to help as many families as we can with that money. We are given the freedom to help "in Jesus name" as we see fit.
-Message series from the pulpit for every family to go without this Christmas so that others might have this Christmas.
Bill Benner (Delaware)
-We put together Thanksgiving Food Boxes (complete Thanksgiving dinner for six) for folk who have been going through difficult situations the past year, simply as a way for our church folk to reach out to someone they know to let them know that they're not alone and that there are people who care and are praying for them. We included all our missionaries who are home on furlough.
-We've gotten involved for the first time church-wide, and have already sent out a number of Children's Christmas Boxes with Samaritan's Purse.
-We will be contacting our County Family Services Department (as we do each year) for a list of about 10 or 12 foster children that we will buy Christmas for.
-We're also sending a small cash gift ($50) to each of the missionaries that have shared with us in our services this last year.
-Finally, we just today gave $1,000 to a needy family to help with their bills and for Christmas for their children.
Gordon Ell (Sedalia)
Sedalia will be doing hats and gloves through the local help house this season.
We are not pastoring a church at this time but we are active in the community. We are helping with some needs that local people have in this area. There is much to do and wish we could do more. People need Jesus and we want to introduce them to Him. Sometimes we feel inadequate, but it is then then that we know it’s all about Jesus. It may take us out of our comfort zone but it is rewarding to bring joy to others. We give and help our community with food pantries and help in numerous ways to be God’s hand extended. We praise God for all He is doing to speak to us about others. People are hungry for love and support.
Bruce Sigman (Grace Community)
-Operation Christmas Child - Our children, teens, and adult helpers filled 70 shoeboxes and through garage sales & donations, raised more than enough to cover the $630 in postage.
-Food Boxes - We will be identifying needy families in the village and assisting them with Christmas dinner.
-Clothing for community shelters - We periodically donate meals and clothing items to the Bridges of Hope Shelter in Xenia.
-During the Christmas season we have a tree on display that we decorate with hats, gloves and mittens. In the past we have donated these to the Inner-City Mission but last year to the Bridges of Hope.
-Saturday December 1st from 4-7 p.m. is our 2nd Annual "Christmas in the Village" in South Solon. Father Christmas arrives on a fire truck with candy for the children and shares with them throughout the evening the true meaning of Christmas. We will have hayrides, "Reindeer Games", crafts, and story time as well as FREE chili, coffee and hot chocolate. The youth group also sponsors a cookie walk. Last year we had over 200 in attendance.
Keith Castle (Trinity Chapel)
-Trinity Chapel provided 140 boxes to Operation Christmas Child this year. We had several members contribute towards the $1200 postage.
-All donations of food and money from our recent harvest festival went to the Milford Center Food Pantry. We collect food monthly for this ministry and two weekends a month we provide bread items donated by Panera.
-Our worship team will be having a service during the Christmas season at West Central Correctional Community in Marysville, Ohio. We will provide worship music and a message for those incarcerated.
Tracy Dague (Plumwood)
Plumwood Church is doing a Christmas party with gifts for the families of the children in our youth group. We are presenting a meal, gifts of toys and games for the children and the Gift of the Gospel. We are excited to see our youth ministries growing. When I came here, there were no children at all and now we are consistently around 13. God is so good. Our teachers and youth personnel are happy and busy. I thank you and your family for your continued prayers and support.
Amos Carmichael (Zion Chapel)
Through November and December, we are helping local families and also First Choice of Madison.
Matt Leonard (Journey’s End)
The community outreach projects that we have at Journey's End Ministries for the Christmas season have already started. Although we won't be offering separate food boxes for Christmas, we are offering additional items along with our standard items for families that come in during the month of December. We have already begun the "Bell Ringing" to help raise emergency funds for individuals that need assistance with paying utility bills. Our goal this year is to raise $12,000. We are also involved in other community events such as the Polar Express, where children get to meet Santa, and enjoy an old fashioned train ride. On November 11th, we held the Annual Newcomerstown Community Thanksgiving dinner. We shared a total of 377 meals that evening. For Thanksgiving, we gave away a total of 200 turkeys to families here in town. I have been preaching at Wolf Church for the past year now, and I am very pleased that Wolf Church is now also helping to contribute to our efforts with Journey's End Ministries. The photo below shows some of the items that were given out as part of our effort to assist families during this Christmas season.
Joyce DeMint (Grace Ministries)
Grace Ministries will be giving to Como and we are purchasing items for several community families in need and food baskets as well.
Crystal Spriggs (Lighthouse Ministries)
Lighthouse gives Christmas boxes or bags to the local kids of our community rather than doing the traditional shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Some of these young people come to our Awana Club and others have parents who visit our food pantry.
Tom Young (Raymond)
Raymond CCCU did/is doing:
-Boxes for Operation Christmas Child, involving all Sunday school ages
-The ladies’ group prepared birthday cards for missionaries
-A donation was given to our Compassionate Ministries (formerly Inner City Mission)
-Invitation to unchurched parents for Children's Christmas Program
-Food boxes for holiday meals
-Caroling to shut ins and nursing homes
-Christmas Eve Service
Don Rentschler (St. John Family Worship Center, Bluffton, IN)
Our church has adopted a family from the community. We held a food drive and collected money for them, for a total of $525.00, plus a lot of food.
Alice Hughes (Jamestown)
We do a weekly food box distribution to local families in need, not just at the holidays.
Chris Newland (Marysville)
Marysville CCCU gave out hot chocolate, popcorn, and candy at the annual Christmas parade.
Tim Tabor (COMO)
-We’re seeing over 500 women a month at the drop in center and have helped seven women into treatment. Two are now in our program. The drop in center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon until 4:00 p.m.
-We are having a graduation early next year and presently have nine people in the program. We are also looking to expand next year to increase our capacity.
-For COMO we are putting together a development team to help raise monthly sustaining funds and have our annual Christmas dinner fundraiser this year for 100 people at Polaris church.
Karen Bennington (Joan Heights Chapel)
We are collecting food for boxes for those in need and are collecting clothes, blankets and coats for the Jordan Rieser Foundation. We are also going to have a Christmas service at a nursing home with our kids caroling and going to the same nursing home to play some Christmas carols for the patients. God has blessed us!
Anastasia Beavers (University Church)
For this Christmas season, University Church is focusing its efforts on both the community and the OCU students.
-We, as individuals in the church, have purchased over 40 gifts for local Ohio Heights kids.
-On the evening of December 2, we will be caroling at Ohio Heights and passing out the gifts.
-Following the December 2 caroling event we will be passing out hot cocoa/candy cane packs to all the OCU students in the residence halls. These include Merry Christmas tags from University church.
This, of course, is following our Thanksgiving University Church Giving event (back in November) where we invited the families of all our Joyful Noise kids and teens to come and eat with the UC family. It was a great success!