The heart for service and meeting needs runs deep in this congregation. Two seasonally appropriate areas where this has been most evident for me over the last two years in my position as the Community Ministry and Global Outreach Ministry Assistant have been in the Thanksgiving Baskets project and in providing Christmas gifts for the students at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. The bounty and enthusiasm of responses to these two ministry areas impress me every year.
The Thanksgiving Baskets project began in 1991. Over the course of the last twenty-four years, HPCUMC has provided 7877 baskets to families in need of meals for Thanksgiving and raised over $350,000 to help fund the provision of these meals. Each year, we set up an assembly line in the parking lot to pack, in this year’s case, over 550 baskets to be picked up by agencies around the Cincinnati area or delivered to individual’s homes. While the logistics and set up of this process have been refined over the years, the heart and desire to provide food for families who would otherwise not be able to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal together has remained constant.
The Thanksgiving Baskets assembly and delivery is taking place today! If you would like to be part of something bigger than yourself and provide for families in need this Thanksgiving season, join us in the back parking lot for assembling at 10:30 am and/or delivery at 12:00 pm. The more hands and hearts we have involved in this ministry, the more joy and blessing abound in both our lives and in the lives of those for which we provide food.
The second seasonal serving endeavor whose response never ceases to amaze me is that of providing Christmas gifts to the students at Rothenberg. For the last five years, we have helped to provide Christmas gifts to the grades which we mentor at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. This year, we have claimed responsibility for all of the 5th and 6th grade students – 95 in total. About one-third of these students have a mentor. The provision of the rest of these gifts falls to the congregation at HPCUMC, and you have yet to disappoint.
If you are interested in partnering with this ministry to provide gifts for the students at Rothenberg, please visit the Christmas tree in the Welcome Center. You will find ornaments with student’s names, gender, and wish list items (which should total around $20). Please take a (or multiple) ornament(s) from the tree, sign your name next to the student’s name(s) and provide contact information on the black board located to the right of the tree. Gifts are to be returned by December 6th to Sarah Putman in the main office. The joy on these student’s faces as we open gifts at our annual Christmas party with mentors and students is so encouraging.
Come be part of the joy that is given to families in our neighborhood and students in Over-the-Rhine. Help us continue to build a legacy of joy and provision to our neighbors.