Missions Committee

        MISSION MINISTRY NEWS
 
From Missions Ministry Chairperson, Anne Woodson:
 
     Do you ever wonder how the funds are used from the profits of the SERRV items you purchase at our annual Alternative Christmas Market? Here are some of the ways the money was used in 2016:
  • SERRV co-designed more than 400 new products and worked closely with 55 fair trade artisan and farmer organizations in 25 countries.
  • In India, SERRV helped fund a community school by Tara Projects in a Delhi slum that serves more than 60 students, mostly girls.
  • SERRV donated funds to help refurbish a rural school for 200 children in Nepal that was rebuilt with SERRV funding after the 2015 earthquakes. Before this support, children were sitting on the floor without any supplies.
  • Following Hurricane Matthew’s trail of destruction, we sent emergency relief funds for artisans with our partner CAH in Haiti.
  • Children of employees who work with our partner Turqle Trading in South Africa can attend school with funds that we donated.
SERRV was able to accomplish all this and much more because of your support. Our Missions Committee thanks you for supporting our Alternative Christmas Market. You can order with SERRV online throughout the year.
 
And…closer to home:
 
     On January 15, members and teachers of our elementary and youth Sunday School delivered 63 wrapped holiday gift boxes to our neighbors at the Seafarers’ Center, 221 20th Street. These boxes will be distributed to seafarers whose ships dock at the Galveston port and who spend 30 to 90 days, including the holidays, away from their homes and families. Melissa Clarke, manager of the Center, kindly took the time to give our group a short tour and history of the Center.

      As always, providing these boxes requires broad support from our congregation. Thanks to all who donated boxes, gift items, and cash. Thanks to Lynn Smith who assisted with shopping for and sorting the gift items. Thanks to our elementary Sunday School kids (Cadee, Jack, Ronan and Hayden) and Heather who expertly and efficiently packed the boxes, Thanks to Heather, Les, Abbi, and Stephanie who wrapped the boxes in record time, and Thanks to Heather, Les, Cadee, Ronan, Hayden, Jack the younger and Jack the elder who delivered the boxes.

MISSION MINISTRY NEWS
                                  
Thank you to all who ordered from our Alternative Christmas Market. All proceeds go directly to mission projects. You will be contacted when the orders arrive.

 

 OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT FPC MISSION PROJECTS
 
                     SALVATION ARMY SEASONAL VOLUNTEER NEEDS
                               
 
Angel Tree
Assist with Registration/Intake at Galveston Center of Hope (601 51st Street) October 11-13, as families come to register to be recipients.
Participate in FPC’s Angel Tree adoption/gift drive November – December 5
Help wth sorting of gifts Dec. 5-19, and distribution of gifts Dec. 20 at Salvation Army’s Texas City Center
Red Kettle
Ring a bell at a Kettle location
Organize a group/Adopt a Kettle
Become an online Red Kettle fundraiser
 Serve or Deliver Meals
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
  For more information or to volunteer, contact Holly McDonald (409-763-1691, Extension 75313, or email her at:

There are also volunteer forms located on the information table in Fellowship Hall.

 
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SEAFARERS’ CHRISMAS GIFT BOXES – 2016
According to the Seafarers Center, most needed items are:
 Toothpaste (foreign sailors really like American toothpaste, so large sizes are good)
dental floss
chap stick
shampoo
shaving foam or gel
lotion
nail clippers
puzzle books
playing cards
undershirts
knitted hats
They say “surprises are also fun!” – which could
include souvenirs, pocket calendars, key chains, etc.
Remember, 99% of people we deliver to are men.
The Seafarers’ Center is also taking non-perishable snacks/treats such as wrapped candy, and microwave popcorn. These will NOT be included in the boxes but sent along as a “gift bag”for each ship. We will however, mostly concentrate on (and prefer) the non-edible items above.
We need empty shoe boxes. Currently we have enough wrapping paper left over from last year.
The center says “A Christmas card or note included in your gift makes it extra special.” We also place printed inserts in the boxes that say “This gift is from the First Presbyterian Church of Galveston, Texas.”
Please place your donations in the designated box in Fellowship Hall by the first week of January, 2017.We will assemble, wrap, and deliver boxes sometime in January.

PEACE AND GLOBAL WITNESS OFFERING
     This year the Peace & Global Witness special offering will be collected on October 2 (World Communion Sunday) and October 9.
     The idea of World Communion Sunday was conceived in 1930 by Dr. Hugh Thompson Kerr, pastor at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. He felt it was a way to recognize and celebrate the connection between the local congregation and the wider Christian community – a connection he felt was best commemorated at the communion table. The idea did not gain wide participation until the Second World War as people all over the world experienced war, conflict and evil, and recognized that World Communion symbolized the striving for peace and unity in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
     Today with our 24/7 media stream, we view daily the violence and division in our world, our country, our community. As we bring our gifts, we gather with other worshiping communities to strengthen Christ’s work for peace through our church.
If you wish to make a donation, you may give cash or check to FPC with the notation “Peace Offering”.
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UPCMING OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT FPC MISSION PROJECTS
 
                     SALVATION ARMY SEASONAL          
                               VOLUNTEER NEEDS
                               
 
Angel Tree
 
  1. Assist with Registration/Intake at Galveston Center of Hope (601 51st Street) October 11-13, as families come to register to be recipients.
  2. Participate in FPC’s Angel Tree adoption/gift drive November – December 5
  3. Help wth sorting of gifts Dec. 5-19, and distribution of gifts Dec. 20 at Salvation Army’s Texas City Center
Red Kettle
 
  1. Ring a bell at a Kettle location
  2. Organize a group/Adopt a Kettle
  3. Become an online Red Kettle fundraiser
 
Serve or Deliver Meals
 
  1. Thanksgiving Day
  2. Christmas Day
 
For more information or to volunteer, contact Holly McDonald (409-763-1691, Extension 75313, or email her at:
            holly.mcdonald@uss.salvationarmy.org
 
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                 ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MARKET
We will be holding our annual Alternative Christmas Market during the month of October. This is your opportunity to support Fair Trade initiatives or donation gifts.
            On Sunday October 2, several SERRV catalogs will be available to look at. SERRV is a nonprofit organization committed to fighting poverty through alternative trade since 1949.  On Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30 we will have a table set up and a Missions ministry representative available to take your order.  Orders will be turned in early November, and items should arrive by late November to early December.    
            For those who want to make a donation in lieu of giving a gift, we will also have information available on giving donations through Heifer Project and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.
 
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SEAFARERS’ CHRISMAS GIFT BOXES
    It’s not too early to start picking up sale items for Seafarers’ Center holiday boxes!  Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, razors, socks, souvenirs, shampoo, lotion, combs are all welcome.  More information next month.
 

                REPORT FROM MISSION CO-CHAIR,
             ANNE WOODSON’S TRIP TO VIETNAM
 
Many of you contributed to Anne Woodson’s recent mission trip to Vietnam. Below is a report from Anne with a couple of photos below.
 
                  Report on Vietnam Mission Trip
          A big Thank You to all who supported the “Helping Hand Vietnam” trip (August 19-29).  20 Team members travelled to Vietnam where we were joined by local translators and other volunteers. Our team of doctors, dentists, therapists, pharmacists, and construction specialists stayed and worked in a province east of Saigon. We worked at a nursing home for women, a shelter for handicapped children and adults, a Buddhist orphanage, a medically underserved rural village, and an orphanage for special needs children. Most of the residents at all of these locations were seen by at least one team member. As a member of the therapy team, I am proud of what we accomplished in a short period of time. We focused on training and encouraging the very overworked caregivers in small ways to improve the lives of the residents.
      All contributions were well used: the beautiful cloth bags were distributed in the rural village and received with joy; the OTC drugs supplemented our pharmacy; the toiletry supplies were wonderful gifts for adult residents and the school supplies/toys were much needed enhancements for the orphanages. A portion of the donated money was spent before the trip on therapy supplies – gait belts, materials to construct special chairs and activity structures for special needs children, toys, musical instruments, simple exercise equipment. While in Vietnam, we were able to purchase some special positioning chairs and bolsters. The remaining funds (a combination of FPC donations and those from other sources) were to be distributed as follows:
Paying to create an outdoor playground space at the orphanage
Paying for health care insurance for residents of the nursing home ($45/yr. each). Although Vietnam has a communist government, anything beyond the most basic of health care or education must be paid for.
     Supplementing the pay for the 11 caregivers at the St. Francis Center who work very hard but are paid very little – turnover is high resulting in lower quality of care for severely disabled residents.
While it would be easy to look back on this mission and feel discouraged about all we were NOT able to do or change, I know in many small ways we did make a difference. For me the most meaningful endorsement came in a handwritten note from the young woman who served as my translator: “Thank you for coming and helping the people in my country. . . What you did and taught them just gave me the hope that they will somehow overcome the difficulties and get better some day.”
     I thank God for the opportunity to visit this friendly, vibrant, generous, hopeful country. I thank all of you for your donations, your prayers and good wishes.
For more information and lots of photos, visit our Facebook page:
Ban Tay Nhan Ai – A helping hand
SALVATION ARMY INFORMATION
  Bysalvation army Anne Woodson
Those of you who volunteer at the Salvation Army may have noticed new faces. Holly McDonald, new Director of Development, sent the following:  We are very excited about our new leadership here in Galveston. Every 3 to 5 years, The Salvation Army rotates officers among its different locations. Captains Patrick and Jennifer Jones started on June 26, coming to us from the Dallas area. Lieutenant Kenny Jones (no relation) was transferred from El Paso. Lt. Jones has extensive retail ad design experience which was needed for our Family Store, but even more interesting is that he came to The Salvation Army as a client many years ago. This gives him a unique perspective on the psyche and needs of those experiencing homelessness for whatever reason. He has instituted a more structured Life Skills program and a longer shelter stay period, transforming the shelter into a transitional program for those who choose to participate.”
Ms. McDonald has also shared information about Christmas Volunteer opportunities this year at the Salvation Army:
Angel Tree
  1. Assist with Registration/Intake at Galveston Center of Hope (601 51st Street) October 11-13, as families come to register to be recipients.
  2. Participate in FPC’s Angel Tree adoption/gift drive November – December 5
  3. Help wth sorting of gifts Dec. 5-19, and distribution of gifts Dec. 20 at Salvation Army’s Texas City Center

Red Kettle

  1. Ring a bell at a Kettle location
  2. Organize a group
  3. Adopt a Kettle
  4. Become an online Red Kettle fundraiser

 Serve or Deliver Meals

  1. Thanksgiving Day
  2. Christmas Day

For more information or to volunteer, contact Holly McDonald (409-763-1691, Extension 75313, or email her at:  holly.mcdonald@uss.salvationarmy.org

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