We had a wonderful Sunday school year. We had many interesting and fun-filled Sundays. One Sunday Scott Vollmer and John Vance visited us to talk about the prison ministry. We asked if they were scared, what did they eat, who got to come to their weekends. Best of all we made 2 new friends. We talked a lot about our St Matthias Family. We even took pictures and put them on a poster in our room. We did foot washing during Lent. And we had our own communion in the classroom with apple juice and wafers. We went into the church and baptized a baby doll and worked on finding passages in the Bible. We learned the Lord’s Prayer and what it meant. But most importantly we learned to trust God because he is our friend and loves us unconditionally. Hope all the children have a wonderful summer!
Somewhere in Midlothian today, a car broke down, a glass shattered, a house caught on fire, someone died suddenly, someone went for alcoholism rehabilitation, a child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, a computer's entire data base was lost, someone declared bankruptcy---all in a day somewhere in Midlothian, VA - oh, and probably more than just these things.
When these things happen especially to us - our first impulse is to go into fix it or hide from it mode. We don't want to acknowledge that it ever happened. We try to gloss over the difficulty and stay positive. Always stay positive! Even when the truth of it all is, its not positive. This methodology can lead us, ironically, into destructive and potentially dangerous habits. When we tend towards Pollyanna-ism, what we are doing is placing ourselves in a state of denial or outright delusion. We say, no!, I will not see this as it really is! And, we miss the process: we miss the process of healing. We miss the process of learning. We miss Resurrection. We miss part of the essence of our journey in faith.
Of course, we need to sweep up the glass and get the car running again. But if thats all we do, we will never learn how the car broke down or the glass got broken. Well never see how leaving the stove on and walking away is not a good idea. Well stop drinking for a few weeks or months, but never address our alcoholism.
And, theres something else well avoid like the plague. In ignoring and denying the places in our lives where we are broken, we will also avoid any opportunity to use the experiences of our foibles to help others in their journeys of similar experience. We will miss our opportunities for blessing.
Our blessings are found through our interrelatedness- our connections- our ability to relate to each other. When I share my brokenness with you (not for you to fix me or in a needy sort of way), you can find someone who understands as others will not.
It is in our brokenness, our vulnerability, that we as a people can relate to each other. It is not, nor will it ever be, through how perfectly put together we appear. So, let us not rush to quick fixes and band-aid approaches that deny us true healing and blessing.
The body of Christ was broken for us that we might find healing and wholeness that we might be one forever with God. As Christs disciples, we are called to follow Jesus. We are called to offer our brokenness in the healing of others- and so find blessing as well.
Your Sister in Christ,
As your Micah representative and volunteer coordinator for the Micah Initiative, I would like to give you a report for the 2017-2018 school year.
Founded in 2003, the Micah Initiative is an association of faith communities in Metropolitan Richmond committed to working with the teachers and staff of Richmond Public Schools. Currently, there are approximately 130 churches and 1600 volunteers. We, at St. Matthias, sponsor John B. Cary Elementary School. At present we have 16 wonderful volunteers; some assist in the classroom, some mentor a student, and others tutor on a one-to-one basis.
In conjunction with Area 10 City Church, Second Baptist, and Saint Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox, we started off the year with a welcome breakfast for teachers and staff.
In the Fall here at St. Matthias there was a "tree with red apples" in the Commons. Each apple named a specific need that teachers desired. Thanks to the generosity of our members, the drive was highly successful.
For Christmas, every child received a book provided by our volunteers. We outfitted the Spanish teacher's classroom with supplies. The Art teacher requested and received sketch pads for all the students. We helped provide treats for students on Dr. Seuss Day and lemon treats for the reading of a book Lemonade Wars which was read city-wide in all Richmond Elementary Schools. We helped the fifth-grade class take a field trip to Luray Caverns by contributing money. The school nurse was provided with extra clothing in case of student emergencies. We also provided money towards putting new carpet in the Teachers' Lounge. Finally, we ended this year when we hosted a Teacher's Appreciation luncheon for teachers and staff.
All in all, it has been a terrific year. We could not have done all this without the generous support of the congregation through the Outreach Program. We are looking for more volunteers so come September, please think about joining us.
Many of us will be away during the upcoming summer weeks, enjoying time with family and friends. However, those who are struggling to feed their families, continue to need our help.
Summer breaks give our food pantry ministry a number of challenges.
Because many who bring food donations every Sunday to restock our pantry shelves are away at various times during the summer, the shelves can become empty very quickly.
Here are some suggestions of how you can help:
1) If you plan to away on Sunday, consider bringing an extra item of non-perishable food before you leave. Ideas are protein items, like pasta, pasta sauce, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned tuna, fruit or vegetables and healthy cereals.
2) Even if you are not away, consider adding an extra item to your usual donation to make up for the summer shortfall.
3) Do you have 2 hours/month to volunteer in the pantry? Could that possibly be a calling for you? There are lots of opportunities Monday - Thursday each week. Many of our dedicated volunteers will be taking vacation time in the next few months, as well.
We will continue to assist families from Carver and Greenfield during the summer, and plans are being developed to help children in need that are in the Chesterfield County Summer School program at Midlothian Middle School this year.
Added to that are families in our own community who are in need of help with food. As always, on behalf of all the families we continue to serve, a heartfelt thank you for your continuing support of the Food Pantry here at St. Matthias. We couldn’t do what we do without your help......and the faithfulness of many wonderful volunteers.
If you are interested in being involved with the Food Pantry ministry, please contact:
We are the “Hands and Feet of Christ”
July 26—August 2, 2019
We have planned another Wonder Voyage trip for the summer of 2019.
“The splendor of the Grand Tetons makes one abundantly aware that God is omnificent – unlimited in creative power. Join us on a missions trip or pilgrimage that includes meeting God in His “outdoor sanctuary.” Miles of trails and opportunities to view interesting wildlife, birds, plants, and flowers make this journey a feast for all of the senses. Experience how the Lord has put the “great” in the Great Outdoors, a journey toward splendor.”
Youth enrolled in 9th through 12th grade during the 18/19 school year will be able to attend and be offered financial assistance through fundraising and scholarships if needed. Please see Crista directly for scholarship information which is awarded to youth who have not experienced a Wonder Voyage trip previously. Fundraising participation will be mandatory for all youth attending the trip and funds will be divided equally between them.
Adults who are interested are welcome to join the group as well. You are expected to pay in full and will not benefit from fundraisers done by the youth. Although there may be times a leader may ask for your assistance in something, you are there as a participant of the voyage and not expected to have any responsibilities pertaining to planning or execution of the trip.
During the time of registration, which will begin in June, a $100 non-refundable deposit will be taken to secure your spot. Registration will remain open through September at which point we will move forward with our final numbers and planning for flights and accommodations during our travel. Final costs have not been determined yet, but that information will be more on track in the next couple of months. I will publish the information as soon as possible.
The area of Grand Tetons is a thriving community and the mission need is very different from other areas in the country. We won’t be in soup kitchens or homeless shelters, but we will focus more on preservation and environment in any service work that is needed. This voyage will be a spiritual journey like no other. Be prepared to find the wonder of God’s mighty hand everywhere you turn during the week and take home what the Holy Spirit gives you with each moment.
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