Monday, September 25, 2006

Catch up

I spoke too soon, in previous posts I have talked about how it has been kind of slow. I need to learn when times are slower, that is God giving me a rest. Life has been so full that I have not had time at all to blog. While I can't fill you in on everything. Too much has happened. Here are the highlights:

  • Bikes still coming in and going out
  • 700 pounds of gleaned potatoes passed out
  • Sidewalk Sunday School started at Pine Valley in the last two weeks we have reached about 30 children
  • Sidewalk Sunday School and dinner on Sunday Night have been a huge success. The first week there were about 70 dinners and 44 children in Sidewalk Sunday School and 9 in youth group
  • Last night we served closer to 90 dinner with about 48 in sidewalk Sunday school and 18 in youth group(some older boys left but they started out in the group)
  • Grace United Methodist Church is purchasing carpet for the new children's area so the children will not have to sit on the floor
  • The new children's area has opened with a fresh coat of paint and colorful decorations provided by Mary Ingle
  • I am writing an Advent devotional that is called, "Life on the Porch", they are stories about those in the neighborhood who spend a great deal of time on their porches
  • We have been averaging over 40 in church and since Mary Ingle started teaching Sunday school our children's Sunday School has gone from 3 or 4 to 8 or 9.
  • Mary and I visit every child that attends sidewalk Sunday school at both locations. We called on about 30 families
  • I have had two funerals and after this Saturday two weddings in the past 2 weeks
  • Then there have been meetings, lunches, Bible studies, sermons to prepare and a whole bunch of other stuff
I am thankful for:
  • my wife and family who are supportive
  • the many, many volunteers
  • volunteers helping me during the week keeping the church building open and entering data in the computer
  • God for answering prayers and giving strength
  • for the church I serve that is soooo supportive
Current Prayer Concerns:
  • Pray for a volunteer to work with middle school boys. It would be great to have an African-American Male to work with this sports minded group of African-American boys. I fear if we don't get them now they will get in major trouble, they already cause minor trouble through the neighborhood. However, they show up at the church to eat and to see if have someone to do something with them. We have a great worker that is willing to work with the 8-10 middle school s but 18 or more teens are too much for one person.
  • Pray for food(cans of food) we are very, very low(we have zero)
  • Pray for continued volunteers on Saturday and Sunday nights
  • Pray for people that we be good at weekly visitation
That's it for now. I will try to update more often.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Week in Review

Saturday(Sept. 2) - Spent much of the day mowing grass. It had rained for days. A neighbor mowed my yard while a church member and myself spent about 4 hours caring for the church yard. In the midst of that I was able to spend the morning with my friend David who was here from North Judson, as well a friend from Lowell in the evening. At noon I picked up the first bike. It was given to a guy who just got a job and had no transportation.

Sunday(Sept. 3) - Worship went well. We had more kids than usual. Mary Ingle our new Volunteer Director of Children's Outreach, for KUO, had her first Sunday in church with us, she is now our Sunday School Teacher. She left her church to become a missionary here. A noon we had a family meal with my brother and sister's in law. Of course we had our cookout, our last hotdog cookout for the season. This Sunday a church is providing a fried chicken picnic. On the 17th we bring the children back in. After the cookout we went to a birthday party for a great friend and spent the evening relaxing and laughing with friends.

Monday(Sept. 4) - Patric and Laura spent Labor Day with us. Took the day off.

Tuesday ( Sept. 5) Went to my weekly breakfast meeting at Panera Bread. Spoke at "Added Grace" the senior age group from Grace UMC at noon and got caught up on some office work.

Wednesday (Sept. 6) Went to "Youth Workers Cafe" a place where those who work with youth gather to share ideas and to network. It was an eclectic group: School Superintendent, mental health workers, social workers, police officer, non profit folk like me, about 30 people. At night led our regular Bible Study group we had 12 there a very good group.

Thursday (Sept. 7) More bikes came in we are up to 12 with more on the way. Produce came from the Community Garden and about everything is gone except some squash and some beets. I spent the morning working on a story for a devotional booklet that I hope to have completed for Advent. It will be called Life on the Porch. The booklet will be made up of positive stories of people that live in the apartments that are being the hands and feet of Jesus. There are more stories than one would think. Mowed our yard again.

Friday (Sept. 8) Today's agenda: mow church yard, meet with accountability partner, attend a noon prayer meeting, praying for those who suffer, writing some thank you notes, have a meeting at 4:00, unloading bread that arrives this afternoon and finishing bulletin an sermon for Sunday. This Friday not nearly as slow as last Friday.

Thanks for the prayers Jeff