Missions Committee News

2017, March-June

Supporting the Greenfield Family Inn Shelter Wow! This congregation went all out to gather personal care products so the Greenfield Family Inn can greet their new arrivals with a collection of essentials to get them settled in. Someone got extra creative and put together two tubs worth of kits. Thanks to your generosity, we delivered $130 in CVS gift cards and 435 personal care items. When you consider that each item was at least two dollars in value and probably more, that’s a lot of value and care. Nicely packaged in clear tubs, labeled, and ready for easy access, our contributions were gratefully received. Well done! 

2017, Jan-February
Rethinking missions Claudia Gere followed up on her February 12 sermon in which she described missions as done in the past, which ones are proposed to continue, and suggested new directions with more local emphasis. Stepped up coordination with the Greenfield Family Inn, Amherst Survival Center, North Leverett Baptist Church food pantry and health clinic, Franklin Area Survival Center in Turners Falls, The Stone Soup Café in Greenfield were all mentioned for new or continuing support. Rich Connelly and Barbara Tiner have aided in the missions fact-finding and soul searching. 

2016, Christmas Season

December is always a busy time for giving, and while we can feel overwhelmed, the collective power of even small donations can have a big impact within our neighboring and world communities.

Family in Need This year we are seeking contributions to support a Franklin County family in need, identified through our contact at the Community Network for Children. This is a family in jeopardy — parents with children — that has a very difficult time reaching out for support. To best meet their core needs of clothing and household items we are asking for Walmart gift cards. Giving even small amounts, our congregation can have a big impact on this one family in this Christmas season. So please contribute gift cards redeemable at Walmart (only), cash, or checks payable to the Leverett Congregational Church with “Family” on the memo line. We will collect for this family on December 4 and 11. This major undertaking takes the place of food "pounding" drives we have done in the past.

Christmas Fund In the month of December, we collect for the United Church of Christ special missions Christmas Fund. This fund helps retired as well as serving clergy and laypersons by supplementing health premiums and small annuities that (Continued on page

2015
Christmas Season, 2015—Giving Season

Pounding update  
In an inspired turn of events our December “pounding” donations went to four needy Leverett families. All those cans and boxes meant to provide bounteous holiday meals were augmented by supermarket gift cards and turkeys donated by Diemand Farm. A Union 28 staffer identified the anonymous recipients and delivered the goods. Generous cash gifts from the congregation went toward the supermarket gift cards, with the church kicking in only $15 to make up nice round numbers. Barbara Tiner brokered the arrangement. 

Baptism celebrated  On Sunday, January 24, the church community joined in celebrating the baptism of Henry Gaasch. Pastor Lee Barstow officiated and was assisted by Mary Raboin of the Church Council. Henry, age 8, was accompanied by his parents Elise Mott and Hugh Gaasch, and many family members, coming from eastern Massachusetts and Maine. A nor’easter snow storm kept to the southeast and did not hamper their travel. Lunch at the Town Hall followed, featuring the menu highlight, Henry’s favorite mac and cheese. Henry’s family and the Social Activities Committee joined in offering a feast of hearty fun and food. Henry is Lee Barstow’s grandnephew. 

 

Linens ’n stuff collection January 31
This year we will support the Greenfield Family Inn with twin bed sheets, towels, pillows, or pots and pans, useful necessities that families can take with them as they transition to their new homes. We will deliver these items the first week in February, so kindly bring them to the church by Sunday, January 31. This new project replaces, for this year, our past practice of adopting a family with its specific gift wants and wishes at Christmas, as well as our traditional Souper Bowl event.

Christmas Fund, Meals on Wheels
The Christmas Fund collection raised $210 to honor clergy and other staff who have given service to the church. The fund supplements pension and health insurance premiums as well as giving emergency assistance. The Meals on Wheels collection at the Candlelight Service raised $222, supporting at-home meal delivery to homebound people.

Coats for the Lakotas
Nancy Paulin reports that we all donated 93 pounds of warm coats, now shipped to the Lakota Native Americans in South Dakota. A great selection of coats filled two very large boxes. This was a new project this year, swiftly undertaken following the suggestion of a church visitor.

Christmas Fund The Christmas Fund, once known as Veterans of the Cross, helps us honor those who have given service to the church. The fund supplements pension and health insurance premiums for low-income retirees, and provides emergency assistance to clergy and lay employees and their families throughout the year. We will collect for the Christmas Fund on Sundays December 13 and 20. Please make checks payable to the Leverett Congregational Church and enter Christmas Fund on the memo line.

Still “pounding”
We continue to collect nonperishable food items for the Amherst Survival Center. This annual "pounding" project helps provide families with all the "fixings" for a holiday meal. See the shopping list below and find more copies in the back of the church. Or, monetary donations can be made by check to the Leverett Congregational Church, noting that it is for the Amherst Survival Center. You can also donate a gift card to Stop and Shop or Big Y. The donations will be boxed up and delivered before the Christmas holidays.

Warm the Lakotas
A recent guest in our church asked for donations of winter coats for Lakota Native Americans in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We’re fellow people of the north who know cold; we’re all in. Find a box in the foyer to contribute your gently used winter jackets or coats for adults or kids. The collection will be December 5 and 13 at the church, or you may drop them off at Nancy Paulin's house, npaulin@aol.com, 548-9644.

Meals on Wheels
By tradition at our beautiful candlelight service we ask for donations for Meals on Wheels, an organization that provides at-home meal delivery to homebound people.

October 18th
Crop Walk! To be held in Greenfield, MA this year.

September 19th.
Farmers Market and Tag sale 9 a.m.—1 p.m. A beautfiul day and lots of baked goods were enjoyed by all!

2014
October:

The Neighbors in Need collection, October 5, netted $398. The NIN ministry, throughthe United Church of Christ, supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.

CROP Walkers Kim Mohler, Tracey Field, Carrie Burke and Nancy Paulin enjoyed a beautiful fall's day walk in Montague Center Sunday, October 19. The annual CROP Walk is sponsored by Church World Service to help the hungry around the world - 25% of our donations assist locally through organizations such as Community Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. This year $365 was collected.

Thanks to all for your continued generous donations!

April:OGHS Thank you for donations totaling $335 to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering in March. Your support goes toward providing disaster relief, clean water, food, medicines, shelter, health care and education both nationally and internationally. 

MOW Betty Wilson is participating in Franklin County's Meals on Wheels Walkathon on Saturday, May 3, 2014 and would appreciate your support. It is not too late! Betty reports that she had already taken in $200 before setting foot to pavement. (Contact Betty to sign up as her sponsor.) Meals on Wheels is a program that provides meals and well-being checks to housebound seniors Monday through Friday. 

2013

November-December

We will take our annual collection for UCC's Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund. This fund helps provide pension and health premium supplements to lower-income retired church workers, emergency assistance to clergy or lay church employees in need, and Christmas "Thank you" gift checks to hundreds of annuitants.

The collection will be taken on December 22nd. Special envelopes will be provided in advance, or you can pick up an envelope on that day.

October
October Missions giving You supported the October Neighbors in Need collection with $338 in donations. Kim Mohlar reports that her participation in the Franklin County CROP Hunger Walk raised $225.

January:  Whew! You gave and gave December was a busy month for you and for Missions. Your overwhelming generosity kept frenzied pace with Hurricane Sandy buckets, Greenfield Family Inn gifts, and collections for “pounding” food, Christmas Fund (Veterans of the Cross), Meals on Wheels, following upon November’s Neighbors in Need.
Thank you all: givers, youth group who packaged and delivered.

2012 

December: Give, give and give In the midst of our familiar seasonal giving, we added “buckets” for victims of  Hurricane Sandy. Nancy Paulin and Rich Connelly organized 5-gallon buckets with useful contents (from, yes, a bucket list), most assembly done by a jolly group at Nancy’s house Sunday afternoon, November 25. Dick and Mary Hankinson offered to drive the buckets to the Ludlow gathering point. The project is sponsored by Church World Service. At last count, we contributed 16 buckets at an estimated cost of $50 each. 
Thank you, you amazing, always generous, church members.

Here are our giving opportunities:

• Sandy Buckets see above

• Greenfield Family Inn gifts for two small, but needy families: Prepare to help Bianca, Brittney, Isabella, Sieanna and Tommy

• Christmas Fund/Veterans of the Cross for retired minsters

• Pounding for survival center Christmas dinners (see list, below)

MORE MISSIONS: contributed $449 for Neighbors in Need, supporting ministries of justice and compassion in the United States. Thank you, everyone.

Holiday "pounding" project begins

In the past few years our congregation has devised its own take on a tradition called "pounding." The practice originated in times when everyone brought a pound of something for new neighbors or families in distress. 

In our church we are invited to bring specific food items, each of which contribute to a traditional Christmas dinner. Starting Sunday, November 3, there will be boxes in the  back of the church for you to leave your items. After December 15, the Youth Group will package up the goods and deliver them to the Amherst Survival Center to be distributed to families in need.

You are most welcome to follow the schedule below for bringing items, but rest assured that you are also welcome to bring any item any time between now and December 15. Thanks to all for your outstanding generosity.

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Pounding Shopping List

Nov. 4      large box of stuffing, 2 cans of gravy

Nov. 11    box of instant potatoes, lg can sweet potatoes

Nov. 18    cake mix & icing, or brownie mix

Nov. 25    2 large cans of green vegetables, 2 cans of broth

Dec. 2     can of cranberry sauce; can of corn

Dec. 9     box of bread mix; or corn meal mix

Dec. 16    cash donation for turkey