August 2022 News & Updates

Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $1 to the Food Pantry of each reusable shopping bag purchased ($2.50) at the Esperance store during the month of August. So if Hannaford is your store and you need a reusable bag, buying one will benefit food pantries in the area, including ours. 

Worship Committee meeting: August 25th

Middleburgh 4th Fridays sponsored by the businesses, August 26th. Mary Lou Ryan will be setting up a table for OCC. 

Summary of Consistory meeting on August 11th: 

  • Accepted the resignations of Jonathan Meredith and Maria Funiciello as Elders. We thank them for their time and service. 
  • Trash & Treasure Sale raised $1273; $1,000 will support purchasing gifts for our OCC packing party and $273 for local mission
  • The building will continue to be locked when no one is here. If you need regular access, key fobs are available.
  • Youth Christian Education is evaluating the needs for this Fall. 
  • Fellowship: Potluck after worship is scheduled for September 25th

July Financial Update
Plate Receipts: $5,205
   Total Income: $7,153
  Expenses: $8,276.87

Sign up for weekly reminders and prayer requests at the website: www.middleburghreformed.org

*  *    *   *  *     *   *       *

The Benevolence Fund is available to help with material needs. If you have a need or know of a need, contact a Deacon. 

The Middleburgh Ecumenical Food Pantry is open Saturdays 9-11 a.m. and by appointment, 518-827-7121. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Mwita’s Story

Mwita lives in Tanzania.  After his parents divorced, he was sent first to live with his grandmother and then an aunt. He rebelled against his family’s rules and began living on the street. He became a gang member and thief.  He also beat up other children.  One day he was kidnapped and taken into the forest where he was abandoned.  He began looking for help and found a church where he spent the night.  The next day was a Sunday, and the children were asked to remain after the service for a special program.  Tired from his ordeal and having no place to go, he stayed.  That day Mwita received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox and learned that Jesus wanted to be his friend! “When they talked about the Wonderful Friend I thought about how all my old friends had changed my life in a bad way,” Mwita said.  He wondered if Jesus could change his life in a good way.  Mwita decided to join The Greatest Journey classes to see if that could really be true.  “I learned that there is no better friend than Jesus.  After understanding this, I started changing.” Mwita never really knew his earthly parents, but today he knows he belongs to God’s family.  For the first time in his life, he is experiencing hope and peace.  He says “I want other orphans to find their hope in God.”  Now he leads children at his church, and God has given him a heart for other children like him.

School Supply Pledges

Summer is the best time to purchase school supplies to go in our shoeboxes.  There are pledge sheets in the foyer where you may indicate what you will purchase.  The simple school supplies we send make it possible for some children to attend school!

2022 Harvest Bazaar

Save the date of September 17 to serve with your church family to raise funds for the $10 donation to send our shoeboxes and the Good News to children around the world!  Here are some ways to be involved:

  • Donate “like new” holiday decorations, home décor, or collectibles.
  • Donate a basket of gifts or a gift certificate for the Basket Raffle.
  • Volunteer to be a part of setting up, running the bazaar, or cleaning up.
  • Provide soup or cookie bars for the Harvest Café.

Please see Mary Lou if you have questions or want to volunteer to serve.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

July News & Updates

Upcoming Sundays

July 3rd: Worship with the Lord’s Supper.  

July 10th: worship, 11 a.m.  potluck lunch after worship

July 17th: worship 11 a.m. 

July 24th: Community Worship Service on the Middleburgh High School Lawn, 11 a.m. Join others for a community worship service, music led by Kim Harris and Reggie Harris.

Adult Christian Education will pause for July and resume August 7th.  

Potluck Lunch following worship on July 10th, bring a dish to share, your own place settings, drinks provided. 

Consistory Meeting: July 14th, 6:30 pm.   

Trash & Treasure Sale– Saturday July 16th, 9 am-3 pm. 

Three ways to participate:

  1. Donate your stuff ahead of time starting after June 12th (see flyer for what is not welcome)
  2. Help Setup on Friday (7/15), anytime
  3. Help with the sale 8 am- 2 pm, then clean up.
    See flyer for more details. 

Band Concert Ice Cream Social: July 22nd. Help us host the community. See the signup sheet in the foyer or contact Donna Wynia with questions. 

Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $1 to the Food Pantry of each reusable shopping bag purchased ($2.50) at the Esperance store during the month of August. So if Hannaford is your store and you need a reusable bag, buying one will benefit food pantries in the area, including ours.

Pastor Jeff will be gone July 4-11 for vacation, and July 18-31 for a two-week break supported by the RCA, the 2nd week being a pastor’s retreat. 

Sign up for weekly reminders and prayer requests at the website: www.middleburghreformed.org

*  *   *  *  *  *   *  *

The Benevolence Fund is available to help with material needs. If you have a need or know of a need, contact a Deacon. 

The Middleburgh Ecumenical Food Pantry is open Saturdays 9-11 a.m. and by appointment, 518-827-7121. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Where to Find Great OCC Stories.

The OCC website is a wonderful resource for shoebox packers.  One of the things you will find there are stories of children whose lives were changed as a result of receiving a shoebox gift.  To find these stories, go to www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.  Scroll down to the bottom the page where you will find a number of headings.  Under “About,” click on “Latest Stories” or “Videos.”

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • 307 gift-filled shoeboxes
  •  “love note” to be included in each shoebox
  • a photo of our church family in each shoebox
  • variety of quality WOW gifts
  • sponsoring children who receive shoeboxes to take The Greatest Journey discipleship course*

*For a donation of $5 toward providing teaching materials and training for teachers and workbooks for students, your name will be entered in a drawing for a Christmas quilt!

School Supply Pledges

Summer is the best time to purchase school supplies to go in our shoeboxes.  There are pledge sheets in the foyer where you may indicate what you will purchase.  The simple school supplies we send make it possible for some children to attend school!

2022 Harvest Bazaar

Save the date of September 17 to serve with your church family to raise funds for the $10 donation to send our shoeboxes and the Good News to children around the world!  You may also participate in the bazaar by providing items to sell or by donating a basket filled with gifts for the Basket Raffle.  

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child with your prayers, resources, and talents!

June 2022 News & Updates

Thank you to everyone who has been helping with the property cleanup, weeding, and general maintenance!  

Upcoming Sundays

Youth Christian Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade.

Recognition Sunday: June 5th.

Celebrate with Sundaes after worshipJune 12th.

Last day of classes June 12th.

Adult Christian Education: June 19, 26. Book of RomansJoin us to study the letter as a whole; its structure, argument and big ideas. 6-8 weeks, so it will be a quick overview. All welcome, and come when you are able as notes from previous weeks will be made available. 

Ushering: would you like to help usher? Ask the current usher about the tasks (no heavy lifting required). 

                  there is also opportunities to serve by hosting coffee hour and reading Scripture. 

Consistory Meeting: June 16th, 6:30 pm. 

4th Fridays in Middleburgh: join us our table at the events: June 24th, August 26th, September 23. contact Maria Funiciello for details. 

Pastor Jeff will be gone June 9th-14th for the RCA General Synod meeting. If you have any pastoral needs contact an Elder. Contact a Deacon for any material needs. For property questions, Leslie Hooper or Tom Rogers can most likely help you.  

Trash & Treasure Sale– Saturday July 16th, 9 am-3 pm. 

              Three ways to participate:

  1. Donate your stuff ahead of time starting after June 12th (see flyer for what is not welcome)
  2. Help Setup on Friday (7/15), anytime
  3. Help with the sale 8 am- 2 pm, then clean up. 
    See flyer for more details. 

Band Concert Ice Cream Social: July 22nd. Help us host. See Donna Wynia.   

Sign up for weekly reminders and prayer requests at the website: www.middleburghreformed.org

*  *   *  *  *  *   *  *

Camp Scholarships- The Billy Brown Fund was established in memory of Billy Brown to send kids to a Christian camp. If you are interested in a scholarship for your camper this summer, see Pastor Jeff. We have also compiled a list of camps for you to check out.  

The Benevolence Fund is available to help with material needs. If you have a need or know of a need, contact a Deacon. The Middleburgh Ecumenical Food Pantry is open Saturdays 9-11 a.m. and by appointment, 518-827-7121. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse at Work in and Around Ukraine

                  Samaritan’s Purse is the parent organization of Operation Christmas Child.  Since early in the days of the Russian invasion, Samaritan’s Purse has been providing relief to the people of Ukraine in the Name of Jesus.  Field hospitals have been set up.  Medical supplies and food are being distributed.  Staff and volunteers are assisting refugees in neighboring countries.  Special backpacks filled with items such as winter caps, simple toys, sketchpads/notebooks, crayons, and small teddy bears stenciled with a message of God’s love written in Ukrainian are being given to displaced children along with booklets translated into Ukrainian—one containing encouraging words from Scripture and another, The Greatest Gift, telling the story of how God revealed His love for us through His Son.

                  You may wonder how an organization such as Samaritan’s Purse would begin to go about providing relief in a country at war.  They turned to their partner churches who share the gospel with Ukraine’s children through Operation Christmas Child.  This network of believers has been key in bringing Samaritan’s Purse and people in need together!  Please pray for the work of Samaritan’s Purse in Ukraine.

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • 307 gift-filled shoeboxes
  •  “love note” to be included in each shoebox
  • a photo of our church family in each shoebox
  • variety of quality WOW gifts
  • sponsoring children who receive shoeboxes to take The Greatest Journey discipleship course*

*For a donation of $5 toward providing teaching materials and training for teachers and workbooks for students, your name will be entered in a drawing for a Christmas quilt!

June Gift Suggestions

  • WOW gifts
  • Coloring books

School Supply Pledges

                  Summer is the best time to purchase school supplies to go in our shoeboxes.  There are pledge sheets in the foyer where you may indicate what you will purchase.  The simple school supplies we send make it possible for some children to attend school!

Giving with Gratitude  

$38 was collected in May to go toward the $10 donation** requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

** Due to growing project and ministry costs in providing evangelism and discipleship materials to shoebox recipients, the per shoebox suggested donation will increase from $9 to $10 in 2022. As economic and supply chain challenges continue, OCC is experiencing significant increases in many areas, specifically the printing of materials and overall transportation and shipping costs. 

OCC Crafting Day –  Monday, June 13 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall               

2022 Harvest Bazaar

                  Save the date of September 17 to serve with your church family to raise funds for the $10 donation to send our shoeboxes and the Good News to children around the world!  You may also participate in the bazaar by providing items to sell or by donating a basket filled with gifts for the Basket Raffle.  

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

May News & Updates 2022

Sunday May 15th– following Worship Service, covered dish Luncheon, potluck… bring your favorite dish to pass & bring your personal place settings. Beverages will be provided.

Parent Rally- Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be done on your own. Join us for a conversation and fellowship to encourage one another Saturday, May 21st, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. This time we’ll share resources around technology use (bring your own, too). The hope is that this will be a regular practice.  Pastries, coffee, and childcare provided. Please let Pastor Jeff know if you are coming. 

Family Game Night- time to be determined

Trash & Treasure Sale– Saturday July 16th, 9 am-3 pm. 
Three ways to participate:

  1. Donate your stuff (see flyer for what is not welcome)
  2. Help Setup on Friday (7/15), anytime
  3. Help with the sale 8 am- 2 pm, then clean up. 
    See flyer for more details. 

Camp Scholarships- The Billy Brown Fund was established in memory of Billy Brown to send kids to a Christian camp. If you are interested in a scholarship for your camper this summer, see Pastor Jeff. We have also compiled a list of camps for you to check out.  

Sundays
Youth Christian Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. 

Adult Christian Education: new series: Book of RomansJoin us to study the letter as a whole; its structure, argument. 6-8 weeks, so it will be a quick overview. All welcome, come when you are able and notes from previous weeks will be made available.   

Ushering: would you like to help usher? Ask the current usher about the tasks (no heavy lifting required). 

                  there is also opportunity to serve by hosting coffee hour and reading Scripture. 

The Benevolence Fund is available to help with material needs. If you have a need or know of a need contact a Deacon. 

The Middleburgh Ecumenical Food Pantry is open Saturdays 9-11 a.m. and by appointment, 518-827-7121. 

Consistory Meeting Thursday, 5/26, 6:30 pm. 

2022 Consistory
Elders: Jonathan Meredith, Mary Lou Ryan, Maria Funiciello 

Deacons: Leslie Hooper, Michele Becker

News from Operation Christmas Child

A Visit from Schimea Nguessan, Shoebox Ambassador  

                  Those who attended the Operation Christmas Child celebration on April 9 were blessed to meet Schimea Nguessan who shared his witness with the group.  Born the third son of a pastor, Schimea’s family was provided housing by the church.  Their life was one of relative security in their Ivory Coast community.  That changed when Schimea’s father unexpectedly passed away.

                  Struggling to earn a living, Schimea’s mother managed to make enough money to feed her children and rent a place to live.  There was nothing left for extras such as toys for the children.  Schimea was fascinated by cars and used to pretend that a shoe was a car that he would “drive” around the floor of his home.  When a shoe was not available, he would go outside and find a chunk of a tree branch to serve as his car.

                  It bothered Schimea when his friends would talk about their fathers, especially when they would tell about the gifts their fathers gave them.  Being raised in a Christian family, he knew something of his Heavenly Father and decided to pray to him for a toy car.  He found the desire of his heart when he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox and discovered a yellow racecar inside!

                  Schimea reached the lowest point of his spiritual life following another death, that of his brother.  As a teenager, he turned away from the church and became involved in sinful ways.  He realized that his life was spiraling downward and he needed to be rescued.  Schimea went to his mother and declared that he needed Jesus!  

                  Today, Schimea serves as an Operation Christmas Child spokesperson.  By sharing his story, he hopes to encourage others to pack shoeboxes to reach more children who need to know Jesus.  Schimea also serves in the US Navy and is stationed in Virginia. He is married and hopes to have his wife join him in the US very soon.

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • 307 gift-filled shoeboxesa
  •  “love note” to be included in each shoebox
  • a photo of our church family in each shoebox
  • variety of quality WOW gifts

May Gift Suggestions

  • T-shirts for :

2-4 year old girls

10-14 year old girls

10-14 year old boys

  • Stuffed animals 
  • Washcloths
  • WOW Gifts

Giving with Gratitude  

$36 was collected in April to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs. Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

OCC Crafting Days – Second and Fourth Mondays beginning at 9:00 a.m.  in the Fellowship Hall

                  We work on a variety of projects.  There is something for all skill levels and the fellowship is wonderful!  Hope to see you there!

                  Clean cotton T-shirts will be transformed into jumpropes.  A box is available in the foyer for your donation of T-shirts you no longer wear.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

April News & Update

Holy Week Worship

Palm Sunday: Worship led by youth, with coffee hour hosted by the youths. 

 April 14th: Maundy Thursday Worship, 7 p.m. celebrating the Lord’s Supper

Good Friday Community ‘Stations of the Cross’ walk– join us for a walk through the village with stops at landmarks along the way for prayer for our community. This is not the traditional stations of the crucifixion, rather a way to interceded for our world with others. Starting at Methodist Church at 12 pm and ending at our parking lot. 

Community Easter Dawn Worship at the Coltrain Funeral Home parking lot. 6:15 a.m. 

Easter Worship: 11 a.m. with coffee hour in the Fellowship Hall. 

Trash & Treasure Sale– Saturday July 16th, 9 am-3 pm. 

              Three ways to participate:

  1. Donate your stuff (see flyer for what is not welcome)
  2. Help Setup on Friday (7/15), anytime
  3. Help with the sale 8 am- 2 pm, then clean up. 
    See flyer for more details. 

Camp Scholarships- The Billy Brown Fund was established in memory of Billy Brown to send kids to a Christian camp. If you are interested in a scholarship for your camper this summer, see Pastor Jeff.  

Sundays

Youth Christian Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. 

The next Adult Education series is TBD. 

The Benevolence Fund is available to help with material needs. If you have a need or know of a need contact a Deacon. 

The Middleburgh Ecumenical Food Pantry is open Saturdays 9-11 a.m. and by appointment, 518-827-7121. 

Consistory Meeting Thursday, 4/28, 6:30 pm. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Hear from a Shoebox Recipient

                  The New York Greater Capital District Area Team of Operation Christmas Child is hosting an event on April 9 to celebrate how God used us in 2021 to collect more than 10.5 million shoeboxes worldwide.  Our guest speaker will be Schimea Nguessan, a young man who received a shoebox as a child.  The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall.

                  Our program will be geared for teenagers and adults.  Kindly let Mary Lou know by April 7 (518-827-4093 or rryan@midtel.net) if you will be attending.  We want to be sure to have enough muffins and chairs ready for our guests!

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • 307 gift-filled shoeboxes
  • a “love note” to be included in each shoebox
  • a photo of our church family in each shoebox
  • variety of quality WOW gifts

April Gift Suggestions

  • T-shirts for :

2-4 year old girls

10-14 year old girls

10-14 year old boys

  • Stuffed animals (You might find some bargains after Easter!)

Giving with Gratitude  

$20 was collected in March to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

OCC Crafting Days – Second and Fourth Mondays beginning at 9:00 a.m.  in the Fellowship Hall

                  We work on a variety of projects.  There is something for all skill levels and the fellowship is wonderful!  Hope to see you there!

                  Deveral Watson is leading our jump rope project this year.  Your old, clean, 100% cotton t-shirts will be transformed into toys for children!  Clean out your dresser drawers and donate the shirts you no longer wear.  You may leave them in the box provided in the foyer.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

March News & Updates

Not much to report but here are a few things-

Lent is a season to get us ready to celebrate the Good Friday and Easter. It’s a time to pay extra attention to our lives with realism and honestly. This is why it’s a penitential season that invites us to fast. Fasting reveals in us deeper truths about where we place our comfort and security. Seeing ourselves more truly allows us to deepen our love of God and others in our journey of discipleship. Consider what sort of fast from good things might benefit you. Traditionally it has been food, whether whole meals or certain foods. Perhaps a fast from the news cycle, social media, or other screens. Or maybe it’ll be a practice of engagement: more time devoted to prayer or friends. 

Looking ahead
Holy Week 
  April 14th: Maundy Thursday Worship, 7 p.m.
  (Community Easter Dawn Worship in the Coltrain Funeral Home parking lot (tentative))
  Easter Worship: 11 a.m. 

Youth Christian Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. 

Adult Christian Education: New 6-week session starting March 6thSundays, 10 a.m. Reading Scripture & Authority- Questions and Issues.   

Who do we read the Bible? Why do we call it scripture? How is it like other texts? And how is it different? Is Scripture accurate in all things? some things? Is it a record of humans attempt at god? Or is our reading the problem? We’ll wonder about how understand these issues in a time where trust in authority in general is shifting.

Consistory Meeting Thursday, 3/10, 6:30 pm. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse Update on Relief Efforts for Ukraine (Issued 2/28/2022) Samaritan’s Purse has deployed Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) specialists to Poland and Romania to prepare to help fleeing Ukrainians.  These teams are conducting rapid needs assessments in multiple countries neighboring Ukraine to determine how we can meet emergency needs.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and for our teams as they seek ways to help in Jesus’ Name.

Samaritan’s Purse works with over 3,000 churches across Ukraine.  In 2013 and 2018, some of our shoeboxes were sent to Ukraine.  It is our hope that the children who received our gifts and heard the Good News are clinging to Jesus as their very present help in their time of need.

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • 307 gift-filled shoeboxes
  • a “love note” to be included in each shoebox
  • a photo of our church family in each shoebox
  • variety of quality WOW gifts

March Gift Suggestions

  • Purchase or make a WOW gift such as:  soccer ball and pump, pillow case dress, doll, car or truck…. Check out clearance items for good deals!  Not sure what to buy?  Use these two criteria:
    • Does it fit in a shoebox along with other gifts?
    • Would my child/grandchild/niece/nephew like to have it?
  • washcloths

Giving with Gratitude 

$56 was collected in February to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

OCC Crafting Days – Second and Fourth Mondays beginning at 9:00 a.m.  in the Fellowship Hall

We work on a variety of projects.  There is something for all skill levels and the fellowship is wonderful!  Hope to see you there!

Deveral Watson is leading our jump rope project this year.  Your old, clean, 100% cotton t-shirts will be transformed into toys for children!  Clean out your dresser drawers and donate the shirts you no longer wear.  You may leave them in the box provided in the foyer.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Childwith your prayers, resources, and talents!

February (2022) News & Updates

Youth Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. Masks worn. Will not meet 2/20, 27

Adult Education: New 6-week session starting March 6th. Sundays, 10 a.m. Reading Scripture & Authority- Questions and Issues (or some such).  

Ushering: Would you like to help welcome people to worship? There is room to help on Sunday mornings. Come a few minutes early to open things up, welcome people and other fun things.  If you want to know more, see Pastor Jeff or a member of Consistory. 

2021 Financial Summary

Budget: $127,488
Income: $133,915.15
Total Budget Expenses: $139,110.79
does not include the three large capital projects: new roof, front drive paving, and door access system.

January Financial Summary

Income
Plate Receipts & Donations $10,629.00
Building Use $325.00 
Total $10,954.00

Expenses 
Payroll $8,653.39
Missions $50.00
Building & Grounds $1,088.26
Utilities $540.76
Worship & Fellowship $583.03
Total $10,915.44
Net $38.56

Other Set Asides 
Bequest for Sanctuary & Memorial Fund $25,100.00 
Sunday School Offering $29.00

Building Open: Doors are open 8 a.m.- 9 p.m. If you need to get in afterhours, contact Pastor Jeff. 

Worship Committee Meeting: 2/9, 7 p.m. at Joan Youman’s house. 

Consistory Meeting Thursday, 2/10, 6:30 pm. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

2021 Global Collection of Shoeboxes:  Praise God for 10,505,155 Gospel Opportunities!

Shoeboxes Change Lives in Honduras

The shoeboxes we packed last fall have been sent to Honduras.  It is our prayer that the gifts will meet some of the children’s needs and wants and will be an encouragement to them to know more about the Greatest Gift of All – Jesus!  The following is Yuri’s story and how a simple gift touched her life.  

Yuri Lopez grew up in 14 different orphanages in Honduras, after being separated from her family when she was 2 years old. Her life seemed hopeless. But when she was 6, Yuri received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift and “experienced hope for the very first time,” she said.

“Everything in my shoebox was special,” Yuri said. “But the most important thing was the picture and note from the little girl who sent that shoebox to me. Her note said, ‘Jesus loves you and I love you too.’ At that moment it made a big impact on me, and it continued to for many years.”

In fact, seven years later, Yuri took out the note the girl put in the shoebox and read it again when she questioned whether God really cared for her—and it made her realize that He did love her. “That day I embraced God’s love and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,” she said.

Shoebox Goals for 2022

  • Each year we set a goal of reaching one more child with a shoebox gift and the opportunity to hear about God’s immeasurable love for him/her.  This year we hope to fill 307 shoeboxes at our packing parties.
  • As you saw in Yuri’s story above, a simple note included in a shoebox carries great meaning.  Let’s see that we put one in every shoebox this year!
  • WOW gifts are larger, durable items that will long serve as reminders of our love and God’s for the child who receives them.  Let’s strive to purchase or make a variety of quality WOW gifts this year!

February Gift Suggestions

  • Purchase toothbrushes or make a donation toward the bulk purchase of toothbrushes. 
  • Purchase or make a WOW gift such as:  soccer ball and pump, pillow case dress, doll, car or truck…..  Look for clearance items for good deals!  Not sure what to buy?  Use these two criteria:

Does it fit in a shoebox along with other gifts?

Would my child/grandchild/niece/nephew like to have it?

  • Purchase small to medium sized stuffed animals on clearance after Valentine’s Day.

Giving with Gratitude  

$27 was collected in January to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

OCC Crafting Day – Feb. 14 beginning at 9:00 a.m.  in the Fellowship Hall

We will work on our love notes.  Bring colored pencils if you have them.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Childwith your prayers, resources, and talents!

January News & Updates

Sundays 

Youth Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. Masks worn. Will not meet 1/16

Adult EducationSundays, 10 a.m. next topic TBD, will not meet 1/16

Nursery: help create a safe and comfortable place for families during worship- volunteer to be in the nursery! We need two people (unrelated) each Sunday to provide the space starting after the 2nd hymn until the last. 

Ushering: Would you like to help welcome people to worship? There is room to help on Sunday mornings. If you want to know more, see Pastor Jeff or a member of Consistory. No age or height requirements. 

2022 Collect your Giving Envelopes in the foyer.

But what are they for? More than a way to keep giving a secret- they are a way to track giving for the year so the church can issue a year-end giving statement for tax purposes. 

   This is how it works: Each set of envelopes has a number that is assigned to a giver. That number is connected to your name by our Financial Secretary, Lewis Youmans. When you give, the envelope number and amount is recorded by whomever is counting that Sunday then passed on to Lewis. At the end of the year, a statement is given to you when you file taxes. Using the envelopes is not required for giving. 

Need a box assigned? pick up a box let Lewis Youmans know your name, address and the box number.

Building Open: We have a new door access system that will be operational Monday. Doors will be open 8 a.m.- 9 p.m. If you need to get in outside that time, contact Pastor Jeff (and you won’t have to use a window). 

Consistory Meeting Thursday, 1/13, 6:30 pm. 

2022 Consistory
Elders: Jonathan Meredith, Mary Lou Ryan, Maria Funiciello 

Deacons: Leslie Hooper, Michele Becker

News from Operation Christmas Child

Shoebox Destination

The shoeboxes we packed in 2021 have begun their journey to Honduras, the second poorest nation in Central America.  One out of five citizens of that country live in extreme poverty.  Violent crime is very high there.  Other societal problems are a weak government, citizen insecurity, lack of respect for human rights, inequitable access to economic opportunities and social services, and the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

            We can imagine the joy that will flood the hearts of the Honduran children who receive our gifts and those from other churches, community groups, and individuals.  We pray that they will be blessed with things they need and things that are fun to play with, and that they will want to know more about the Greatest Gift of All.  It is our hope that when they are invited to participate in The Greatest Journey course, they will be eager to learn more about Jesus and how He changes lives for eternity!

            Vanessa, now an adult, was a recipient of a shoebox at a past distribution in Honduras.  She remembers the struggles of her family during her childhood:  keeping their home, having enough food, paying for tuition for the children to stay in school. Her family did not attend church, but Vanessa was invited by a friend to go to Sunday school where she first learned of Jesus’ unconditional love.  Although her parents were against it, Vanessa continued to attend church, eager to know more about Jesus.  She prayed nightly for two years that her parents would come to know Jesus too.  Then her father broke his back in a car accident.  Members of the church visited Vanessa’s home and prayed for her father to be healed, and he was!  Vanessa’s parents realized that the healing came from God.  They accepted Jesus into their hearts, and the whole family began to attend church.  One Sunday there was a special surprise for the children.  Vanessa received her very own shoebox filled with gifts.  She remembers that everything was shiny and new!  Like many recipients, she wanted to know who would send her such wonderful gifts as stickers, beautiful pencils, and fluffy socks.  Her mother answered, “Jesus!”  Vanessa’s shoebox was an affirmation of God’s love and of her worth to Him.  It filled her with hope.  Vanessa is a woman of strong faith today who serves her Lord and Savior with GREAT JOY!

Please pray that a new generation of disciples will be raised up from this year’s shoebox recipients!  

Giving with Gratitude  

$33 was collected in December to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

Please Save

  • Christmas cards with religious pictures 
  • calendars (used or new) with nature scenes or pictures of animals or flowers

You may leave your contributions in the OCC box on the table in the foyer.  Thank you!

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

December News & Updates

Annual Meeting! December 5th after worship. Come enjoy a light lunch together, hear reports and hopes for the upcoming year! Everyone welcome (even not-yet-members).

Sundays 
Advent Begins November 28th. Advent is a time of anticipation of celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ. So in the count-down, so there will be a chance to lead the Advent wreath readings. They are a part of our ‘Call to Worship’ and may be led by one or many. 
Join us for 

Coffee & Fellowship before and after Sunday worship. And you are invited to sign up to set out coffee and whatever elseSee Pastor Jeff if you have questions. 

Youth Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. Masks worn. 

Will not meet 12/26, 1/2

Bible Study/ Adult EducationSundays, 10 a.m. 6 weeks on Ezra-Nehemiah.  Will not meet on 12/26, 1/2

Nursery: help create a safe and comfortable place for families during worship- volunteer to be in the nursery! We need two people (unrelated) each Sunday to provide the space starting after the 2nd hymn until the last. 

To read Scripture during worship sign up on foyer the Table. Christmas Eve Worship, 7 p.m. 

Consistory Meeting, 12/9 6:30 p.m. 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Tabitha’s Story

Tabitha, a 14-year-old girl from a small agricultural town in Kenya received a shoebox gift and was invited to join the follow-up discipleship course called The Greatest Journey.  Tabitha lives with four siblings and her parents.  She shared that even though the family has a Christian background and sometimes attends church, “None of my family members, including my parents, had been born again, and I was not a good girl.”

Tabitha loved what she was learning in The Greatest Journey lessons and began sharing what she was learning with her family.  She started to attend church and encouraged the rest of her family to attend with her.  

One day Tabitha shared one of her memory verses from TGJ. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”  She explained the verse as her teacher had, and it touched the hearts of her family.  According to Tabitha, “My parents have stopped fighting and we are all now committed to learning the Word of God and have given our lives to Christ.”

Tabitha reports that they are now a happy family and committed to attending church.  She is very grateful to her teachers and the donors of The Greatest Journey books.  “The twelve lessons have transformed me, my family, and my friends.  I have learned that I am important to Christ as well as everyone around me.  I promise I will keep on sharing the gospel as the Bible commands, ‘Go ye into the world and make disciples.’  I want the world to hear and know Christ.”

Giving with Gratitude

$20.50 was collected in November to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!  If you wish to join this effort, collection containers for coins are by the offering plate.

The numbers are in!

     412 shoeboxes from MRC

     1,477 shoeboxes collected at our drop-off site

     10,895 shoeboxes collected at the central drop-off

Each shoebox represents one child who will be blessed with a shoebox and the opportunity to hear about Jesus.  Lives will be changed for eternity!  

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

November News & Updates

Sundays 
Join us for Coffee & Fellowship before and after Sunday worship. And you are invited to sign up to set out coffee and whatever elseSee Pastor Jeff if you have questions. 

Youth Education – 10 a.m. Classes PreK-Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-12th grade. Masks required.  Will not meet on 11/28

Bible Study/ Adult EducationSundays, 10 a.m. 6 weeks on Ezra-Nehemiah.  Will not meet on 11/28. 

Nursery: help create a safe and comfortable place for families during worship- volunteer to be in the nursery! We need two people (unrelated) each Sunday to provide the space starting after the 2nd hymn until the last. 

To read Scripture during worship sign up on foyer the Table. 

Advent Begins November 28th. Advent is a time of anticipation of celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ. So in the count-down, so there will be a chance to lead the Advent wreath readings. They are a part of our ‘Call to Worship’ and may be led by one or many.  

Thanksgiving Tree- You are invited to add to the thanksgiving tree with whatever brings you joy or are grateful for. In the hallway in the Hall you’ll find pens to help add your leaf. Challenge: add one each Sunday. 

Community Thanksgiving Eve Service at the Middleburgh United Methodist Church, 7 p.m. (11/24). 

            (Pastor Jeff will be away the afternoon of the 23rd-morning of the 25th). 

Annual Meeting! December 5th after worship. Come to hear about a recap of the year and the hopes for the new one to come! We’ll enjoy a light lunch together and hear from areas of our life together, vote on new Consistory member and consider a budget. (everyone welcome, regardless of membership status). 

2021 Consistory
Elders: Sarah Bramer, Jonathan Meredith, Mary Lou Ryan
Deacons: Allison Coons, Leslie Hooper 

Trace Anteman and Kathy Jenkins have needed to resign from their remaining terms as deacons due for health reasons. We thank them for their service. They have been great catalysts for our congregation and leadership for change around mission work. They’ll continue to participate as they can in the life of our congregation and we look forward to a time 

News from Operation Christmas Child

Karobo’s Story

Karobo is a young man who grew up in Lesotho, one of the world’s poorest countries.  His story tells us about the great impact an OCC shoebox had on his life.  “I still carry a brown comb in my pocket that I received in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift when I was 11. It’s more than just a practical help, it reassures me of God’s faithfulness every time I look at it.  It is a reminder that God knows my needs, even the little things—and that brings me joy.”

            Karobo experienced heartbreaking loss early in life.  His father died when Karobo was only 5.  Then his mother left him in the care of his grandmother.  As a young boy, Karobo helped  his grandmother  by hunting for food and tending to the garden and chickens. He walked four miles each way to fetch and carry well water. 

Karobo experienced more heartbreak when his grandmother died.  He went to live with an uncle in the city where his missed his country life.  A year later, Karobo’s mother died taking away the hope that she would one day return for him.

Karobo describes receiving his shoebox at an outreach event at a church as “the beginning of me reopening my heart that I had protected so long from loss and heartache and entrusting it to Christ.”  Karobo was astonished to learn that everything in the shoebox was for him!  Receiving a gift packed by a stranger filled Karobo with hope and a desire to know more about God.  

In Karobo’s words,  “Today, I have eternal life in Jesus Christ—because of His love for me.  After all the things that God has seen me through, I’ve had a lot of people tell me I am lucky—but I say I am chosen. They say it’s a coincidence, and I say it’s a blessing. That’s the difference between the one who has seen the light of God and one who has not.”

Giving with Gratitude  

$22 was collected in October to go toward the $9 donation requested for each shoebox to be used for shipping and ministry costs.  Thank you for GIVING WITH GRATITUDE!

Praise God for His Provision!

            OCC fund raising has gone so well this year we will be able to sponsor some children to be enrolled in The Greatest Journey course.  

2021 Collection Week

There are opportunities for volunteers to serve at the drop-off site we host for collection week, Nov. 15-22.  Snacks for volunteers and donors are also needed.  Please see Mary Lou if you can give some of your time to receive shoeboxes and pack them in shipping cartons or provide some goodies.

Thank you for supporting Operation Christmas Child

with your prayers, resources, and talents!

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