This year, we hope to begin a new tradition here at Central United Methodist Church. Our goal is to reach out and assist families in our church during the holiday season through the Central Discretionary Fund. These gifts will mean different things to different families. In some cases, it may well mean there will be food on the table. For others, it may mean the heat can be turned on, or presents from Santa can be placed under the tree. This need has always been present in our church, but as economic circumstances have worsened, it has only grown.
This year, Pat, Fred and I will be blessed to visit with families in need and share with them the “glad tidings” of the Christmas message—one that is not just proclaimed in the familiar words of the season, but in real deeds. Over the course of a year, your church staff becomes aware of situations within our church family where Central can make a difference; where there is a real hardship. But as we visit among our families, we know that we are not alone, that God will be going before us, preparing hearts to respond to the need.
And so we invite you to help with this ministry—either as individuals or as a group such as a Bible Study or Sunday school class. Any gift will be appreciated. Just mark your check or gift to the "Central Discretionary Fund." All funds received from Thanksgiving to the Sunday before Christmas will be used for this special outreach.
The assistance that we render as a congregation will be treated in complete confidence. That is because we believe here at Central how we value each other, how we extend the love of Christ to one another without partiality, how we reach out and feed hungry people, provide shelter and clothing to those who have none, how we serve “the least of these” is the true test of our faith.
In the coming weeks, we will be retelling the Christmas story of a babe born in a manger, who would one day give us a new commandment: “As I have loved you, so must you love one another.” May Central be a place where the Christmas story is not just told, but practiced as well!
~ Pastor Terry