Spotlighting Our Local, National & International Outreach
Tis the season. That means the Missions Committee has selected the recipients for this years Christmas Offering. Per tradition, the offering will be split evenly between three organizations: one local, one national and one international.
Our selection for international recipient is Pura Vida. In February, members of the congregation will be traveling to Guatemala to help construct a house for Juana C and her family. Your offering will help with construction costs. Any money in excess of costs will go to Pura Vida's many efforts such as their Unsponsored Student Fund or their Milk Program.
With the fallout of national disasters such as Hurricane Ian, we selected UMCOR, an arm of the United Methodist Church, which provides emergency and sustained relief when disaster strikes. The UMCOR US Disaster and Response and Recovery fund is currently focused on Hurricanes Nicole and Ian. "With this year’s storms, UMCOR’s legacy of being 'early in, last out' means that United Methodists will be there to accompany recovering communities for years to come."
Our local recipient is Homeward Alliance which "operates a continuum of programs and initiatives for families, adults, and seniors, such as basic needs, housing-focused case management, and employment services".
To donate to the Christmas Offering, send or drop off a check with "Christmas Offering" on the memo line. Or to donate online at the FUMC Loveland website, go to the Give & Support tab, click the donate button and include "Christmas Offering" on the "Write a note (Optional)" line when filling out payment information. Thank you for supporting these worthy organizations.
Thank you to all who selected a child from the Angel Tree. The program helps brighten the holidays for children of incarcerated parents. A childs age, sex and wish list is found on each Angel. Gifts need to be returned by Dec 4th so that they can be delivered on Saturday Dec 10th.
You may have noticed that Angels disappeared quickly. Unfortunately, the program was more difficult to manage this year. Prison Fellowship outsourced this program to another group who did a less than adequate job compiling children's names and contact information. There were duplications and other problems, but thanks to Terry Gindlesparger and Pam Erickson, things were sorted out so that 31 children will receive gifts from FUMC this year.
Christmas Gift Baskets
Once again, FUMC will be sending holiday gift baskets to residents of the Harvest Pointe retirement community. This year, more than 50 residents have requested a gift basket. Betsy Elliott will be assembling the baskets which will include gift cards funded by monies received from King Soopers and Safeway purchases and funds held over from last year. We will be giving gift cards valued at $100 which is much higher than last year but with inflation we felt it is appropriate. We hope to bring Joy to those residents of Harvest Pointe this Christmas season.
Truscott Teacher Conferences
When there weren't any parents signed up to provide dinner for the teachers at Truscott Elementary during parent/teacher conferences, the principal turned to FUMC for help. Missions Committee member, Betsy Elliott, compiled a list of dishes on a sheet and the congregation was asked to signup. The response was outstanding. Not only was the signup list filled in no time, some used the empty space to indicate they'd bring something as well.
On the afternoon of October 18th, dishes were delivered to the kitchen in Coy Hall. A few Missions Committee members loaded the feast into a wagon and walked it over to the school. The food was arranged on a counter in the teacher's kitchen ready for them when they could take a break for dinner. Principal Karen Hanford and the Truscott teachers were all very appreciative.
As the church finds its way through leaner times, the decision was made to support a single Covenent Partnership in 2023. Normally there is $7500 in the church's annual budget to support three partnerships at $2500 each, however, after hinting around that they were looking for cuts, the Finance Committee made the formal request at the end of October that this line item be removed for the next fiscal year. Up until that point, the Missions Committee had been considering potential candidates to replace the retired Burgerts. Immediately, the conversation changed to how many partnerships we could support using funds from The Foundation as suggested by the Finance Committee. Since Donna Chaat Pewo had moved on from her work with the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, it was decided to cut ties with that program and move forward with the single remaining Covenent Partnership in the coming year.
The Foundation is supported by your legacy giving. It is an entity separate from the church that manages a portfolio of investments that can be drawn on to benefit the church and community. Our request for $2500 from The Foundation to continue support of Emmanuel and Florence Mefor in their work in Zimbabwe was approved thanks in large part to Keith Flaming's work. And when our church's financial outlook brightens, the Mission Committee will be looking forward to adding back new Covenent Partnerships.
Recently, there has been a growing trend of people showing up at our church on Sunday mornings looking for assistance. There hasn't been a policy in place to deal with these requests. This issue was raised in September's Church Council meeting and it was decided to task the Missions Committee to develop a strategy for helping those who stop by.
When committee members were informed by email about this mission, several were eager to suggest concrete solutions such as gift or gas cards that our ushers could hand out. And at first blush, these types of options were embraced when they were discussed at our November meeting, but then discussion shifted to the repercussions of such a policy. It was acknowledged that giveaways would most likely turn our church into a magnet for people looking for a handout. As first and second hand stories of these requests for help were shared, the persistent, bordering on aggressive nature of some of these encounters was revealed. Ultimately, consensus shifted to a policy devoid of monetary aid.
Fortunately, Loveland and the surrounding area have resources to help those in need. It was decided that in lieu of money, our church could provide a list of those agencies that would be able to help. The hope is that those agencies would better serve their needs over the long run. Our church, in turn, will support the agencies where possible as exemplified by the selection of Homeward Alliance as local recipient of this years Christmas Offering.
After discussion coalesced into a strategy to address requests for assistance, a subcommittee was formed to draft a document: FUMC Emergency Assistance Policy. Thanks to subcommittee members Barry Wehrle, Marc Messervey and Kay Neckel, the policy was quickly composed and ready for review. After member feedback from the committee as a whole and a few revision iterations, the policy was ready to go to the Church Council for approval at their meeting in November. Approval was received, so be on the lookout for the policy and resources to show up in the coming weeks.
Highlights of the FUMC Emergency Assistance Policy
First and formost, it is the policy of this church that no cash or gift cards be given for any reason.
For safety, a minimum of two people should engage in a public space with those seeking help. If you see someone on their own dealing with a request, don't hesitate to interject yourself into the conversation.
Publications will be made widely available for distribution to people looking for aid. This will include a brochure identifying agencies in the area and their hours, a map of the area, and the policy itself. The policy will be in both English and Spanish and a summary will be available on 5x7 cards.
Help Here or There
you can't make it to Guatemala next February, you can still participate
virtually to help provide a home for a needy family. This year's
hybrid Pura Vida Mission Trip combines in-person and virtual team
members. To sign up as a virtual member, visit https://www.puravida.org/virtual-trip.html?trip_id=102 and
fill in the blue box. If you'd simply like to make a donation to help
with construction costs, fill in the yellow box. To escape the cold and
visit sunny Guatemala in February, submit an application by clicking the link found in the green box. There
is still space available on the "Chicken Bus", but you'll have to make
your own airline reservations. For more information, contact Keith
Flaming 970.223.1600. Looking forward to seeing you join the team!
Our church will again be a drop-off point for the 2nd Annual Lovelanders For The Love - Homeless for the Holidays Drive. This drive is soliciting new and gently used winter gear for the unhoused in the Loveland area. Donations can be dropped off at the church on Sundays starting Dec 4th. To find other drop-off locations, visit the For The Love website. Donations will be collected up until Dec 20th
Please donate any clothing and supplies that you can.
Specifically Requested items
Winter gloves and mittens -
small, medium, large for both men and women
Camping Tarps (Sizes 4x6, 6x8, 8x10)
Winter ski mask/face covering for men/women
Men’s winter Jackets L, XL, 2XL
Women’s winter jackets M, L, XL
Men’s snow pants or coveralls (Med, Large, XL)
Women’s snow pants or coveralls (Small, Med, Large)
Men and Women’s Hoodies – Small, Med, Large
Thermal underwear size Small, Med, Large for women
Thermal underwear size Med, Large, XL for men
Men’s boxers sizes Med, Large, XL
Women’s underwear sizes 5, 6, 7
Flashlights and AA/AAA batteries
First United Methodist Church
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