May 7, 2017
Our older Sunday School students and their parents and teachers participated in a Breakfast Run to New York City on Sunday, May 7. In addition to breakfast, we provided the homeless with a backpack containing a new short sleeve dark colored tee shirt; new men’s crew socks as well as toiletry items including: travel toothpaste, individually wrapped toothbrushes, combs, travel shampoo and new washcloths. It was a wonderful experience for all.
May 6, 2017
On Saturday, May 6th, our confirmands and chaperones attended the Bishop’s Confirmation Rally at Poughkeepsie UMC. It began with an inspirational time of worship with the band Pursuing JC. It was a blessing to praise our God together with youth from NY and CT.
There were breakout sessions, beginning with Q & A with Bishop Bickerton. Did you know that our Bishop is the chairperson of the United Methodist Committee on Relief? (For more info, visit www.umcor.org). We enjoyed assembling Health Kits which will be distributed to those in need of relief care.
We also learned about the social principles of the United Methodist Church and its’ organizational structure. After a delicious lunch, we ended the rally with communion and praise & worship led by the amazing Pursuing JC youth band! The confirmands and adults had a great time at the rally!
On April 9, Palm Sunday, we celebrated a Christian Seder after Worship. There it was explained to us the many symbols of the Seder Meal that point to Jesus Christ. A wonderful time was had by all!
On Sunday, March 19th, the confirmation class of UMCSO hosted a “Hungry Dinner” to raise awareness of hunger within our country and on a global scale. The children delivered facts, statistics and scripture readings urging the congregation to understand this need exists in our own backyard. Those who attended the dinner were then split into different groups, that represented the division of wealth in the world: 1% upper class, 15% middle class, 33% working class and 61% poverty level. These groups were given an idea of what kind of meal they could expect among their class. Two of the children, Laura DeMartino and James Pinto gave a brief presentation on ways that we can get involved as well as a preliminary idea for a mini food pantry through our church. They are still working out details for how to make this pantry a possibility, but the non-perishable donations received during the Hungry Dinner will go to great use in the near future.
A Lenten Bonfire
On March 5, 2017, UMCSO held a Lenten Bonfire. Many of us wrote things about ourselves on a piece of paper that we believe are not from God. These papers were burned in the symbolic bonfire so Christ could help us let go of these sin
A Puppet Show on Forgiveness
Our Middle School Class wrote, directed and performed a wonderful puppet show about Forgiveness during Worship in February. Everyone learned that this is something we all must do, no matter how old we are.
To Begin 2017
We kicked off the New Year with a New Year’s Brunch and on Sunday, January 8th, everyone enjoyed watching the movie, “Miracles from Heaven” together.
Trim a Tree Party
We started the Christmas Season off with a wonderful time of making and decorating our Sanctuary Christmas Tree while we sang carols and Christmas songs.
Operation Christmas Child
Shoebox Packing, Family Night Event
Saturday, November 19
We participated in wrapping and filling shoe boxes for needy children throughout the world. We filled the boxes as an intergenerational family night on Saturday evening November 19th from 6:00 to 8:00pm starting with a pot trust dinner. The boxes were dedicated in church on Sunday November 20th before starting their journey.
Thanks to all for sharing and caring!
Ding Dong Ditch
October 30, 2016
The Ding Dong Ditch event was a successful and fun afternoon. The weather held out enough for our confirmation kids to meet at the DeMartino residence and comb the neighborhood to collect can goods and food. After ringing door bells leaving instructions and ditching, we then returned to retrieve the packages and boxes they were so gracious to leave. These will be forwarded to Holy Spirit Food Pantry in Cortlandt Manor NY.
Midnight Run Into
New York City
October 14, 2016
We had another very successful Midnight Run on October 14th. We left with 3 vans full of items; 18 youth and adults went on the run. This is just the group on the run. There are so many people behind the scenes that were crucial to our successful run – whether it was donating clothing, donating food items, money donations, sorting clothes, making sandwiches. THANK YOU!!!
We gave out 100 lunches, 96 hot dogs plus chicken rice soup. We had 61 toiletries bags and all were given out. We only came home with a few clothing items.
It is so wonderful to see our church in action!!
UM Army Mission Trip
July 10-16, 2016
The UM Army is a youth project that involves Junior and Senior High School students from the Northeast. It is designed to bring Christian youth together to help local communities with the assistance of volunteer adults. The youth work hard to restore homes in need of repair and to help the residents.
When one of our adults joined them this month at a home in Connecticut, he was so pleased to see how the youth and the home owner grew in faith and bonded as an extended family.
By the end of the week, many of the youth had given personal testimonies about how this event changed their lives and the new friends they had made. What a blessing this trip was to everyone involved. We are hoping to have more youth and adult volunteers go again in July of 2017. For more information, see Pastor Iwy or Doug Gaylor.
Appalachian Service Project
In late June, 2016, Les Hazelton and I joined the Katonah Appalachian Service Project (ASP) on a mission trip to Hinton West Virginia. ASP is a Christian based, non-denominational ministry that aids those in rural Appalachia who cannot afford to repair their homes. This area has a very high unemployment rate and many people who are disabled. They can barely survive no less keep their homes in repair. Each year hundreds of families submit applications with the hope that they will be chosen. Many times the repairs that they request will make the difference between families staying together or social services removing the children from the home.
Their motto: Safer, Drier, Warmer.
Our group was 62 strong, ready to help those in Appalachia who were in need of repairs to their homes. After months of preparation, flooding ravaged nearby counties and threatened to change the course of our trip. Through God’s grace we were able to continue on as planned and the experience was nothing short of life changing. While the work we did was necessary, it was more important to share God’s love with the family we were there to help. Our work groups bonded with each other and the families in ways that are hard to put into words. To see the dedication and concern of the young people striving to make a difference, to the tears in the homeowners’ eyes as they shared that this is the happiest they have been in 10 years. It changes you. It makes you look at everything we have and everything we do in a different light, God’s light. There was a peace that I have never known. Russ Reynolds
If you would like some more information about ASP I would encourage you to visit their website: https://www.asphome.org/
For those of you on Facebook, you can view the Katonah group’s projects. Search : Appalachia Service Project: Summers County, West Virginia