There may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. The word "Advent" is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectations and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ's birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there's more to Advent. Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these "last days" as God's people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ's coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation of the coming of Christ's kingdom when he returns for his people.
We are offering a variety of activities and events for all ages. See our calendar below for dates and times.
Stephen Ministry by Rodger Hardy
I had read that being told that one has cancer is a shocking event. In my case it was much more gradual; from something is not quite right, to something is definitely wrong, to it may be cancer, to the confirmation. Further- more, I had no idea how serious it was until the treatments became more and more drastic. At some point I realized I was in real trouble.
While I had submitted to all the recommended treatments and procedures, and taken all the (shockingly expen- sive) drugs prescribed there was a sinking feeling that it wasn’t enough, that things weren’t going well. I felt bad, not just physically, but also emotionally. Although I had been a Stephen Minister for several years I now realized that I needed a Stephen Minister for myself.
My first meeting with my Stephen Minister was a little like a magician sitting in the audience of a magic act, knowing there was a rabbit in the hat. But Stephen Ministry is not magic, it is just the care receiver talking and the care giver listening. As I walked away from our first session I thought to myself, “I don’t know what just happened, but I feel better.”
“The Micah Initiative has been supported by the Outreach budget for 14 years. At present there are 16 dedicated volunteers, and I venture to say we all have our stories to share. One of mine is about one of my kindergarteners. I normally go to John B. Cary on Mondays, but one week I was unable to go on Monday, so I went later in the week. As I was walking down the hall, one of the students stopped me and said, "You were supposed to be here Monday." This little girl let me know that they count on our presence. The Micah Program is all about being a constant in these children's lives. So many of them come from chaotic backgrounds and need someone they can rely on. Yes, we buy school supplies, tutor, mentor, and serve in many other ways. But most importantly, we are there to let them know we care, to be a constant in their lives.”
NEW PROJECT FOR THE FOOD PANTRY
The Food Pantry has recently added a new project. We have started composting!
Composting is the environmentally healthy practice of returning to the earth, in the form of enhanced dirt, non edible fruit and vegeta- bles. It is in line of what we are called to do as Christians.... to be good stewards of the earth and care for her creatures great and small.
The two drum composters at the church, outdoors by the Food Pan- try doors, are filled with cut up fruit and vegetables from Kroger that are not edible. Those items (green stuff) have been chopped up and added to the drums along with leaves (brown stuff) and dirt at a 1 to 3 ratio. Two of our volunteers have added worms to the mix to help with breaking down the products.
The compost is made by "cooking" the drums in the sun and turning them several times a week which advances the break down of the items inside. No meat or dairy products are added because they draw animals which we don't need or want. Depending on the sun and other factors, the compost is usually ready in 6-8 weeks, but that is not an exact science!
All compost made will be added to the existing gardens at the church and worked into the soil. It is a win-win situation for all of us, a simple, and right thing to do.
St. Matthias Outreach Fund supports Kairos Project, which helps women in prison with spiritual needs and redemption.
The beauty and relaxation that covered the women as we shared our stories and they had an opportunity, in small groups, to share their stories, the walls began to tumble down. Together, we sang, we prayed, we cried, we loved, we listened, and we loved and listened some more. At the end of every Kairos weekend the women have an opportunity to share with the greater Kairos community what the weekend has meant to them.: In what spiritual conditions they arrived, what they found, what they were taking away. Over the years the com- ments and transformations made are mind-boggling and affirming. When you hear women say that in the past three days I experienced more love than in the first 40 years of my life, or I received a bag of letters which are the first letters I received since I've been incarcerated, or I've learned to love myself, I've learned to forgive myself and others, I've learned how to have a relationship with God and I know now how much God loves me.
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