Missions & Social Responsibility Commission for the 21st Century (MSRC)

Castleton Crop Hunger Walk 2017

Castleton Crop Hunger Walk 2017

Crop Walk October 15, 2017

On October 15th, seven adults and eight youth from our church completed the 2017 Castleton Crop Walk, raising $1343 to feed hungry people in our community, the nation and world. What will $1343 cover? To give you an idea, Church World Service advises us that $1,000 builds a water pump for clean drinking water and community training for long-term success, $100 provides 200 chicks for families, as a self-propagating food source, $25 supplies seeds and tools for a community garden to improve nutrition. Thank you to all of our supporters and congratulations to our walkers: Janet and Logan Bradshaw, Libby and Hannah Daly, Rachel and Jack Giso, Erica, Ella and Kyle Hebler, Susan, Matthew and Zachary Heyman, John Schmidt, and Kevin and Cindy Conley.

A Visit to St. Paul's Center

Change the World Sunday

St. Paul’s Center…a safe sanctuary…a place to learn and begin to rebuild lives. St. Paul’s Center is a beautifully renovated church on 3rd Street in Rensselaer that has provided an emergency shelter for homeless mothers and their children for eleven years now. Carrie Larson, Kevin Conley and John Schmidt of MSR-21 (Missions and Social Responsibility for the 21st Century) recently visited the Center and were warmly welcomed by Executive Director Tracy Pitcher. We shared donuts and coffee in their newly renovated dining area. Last June, the Missions Team approved a donation of $1600. for four new commercial-grade tables at the Center. We learned of the plight of homeless young women and their children. We met dedicated staff members Damara, Charlee, Emily, Jeneen and Eileen who help mothers learn to cook, learn about community resources, help their children feel safe and cared for, help obtain medical services for those who have no medical home and help locate housing for these young families. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Tracy at the Center at (518) 689-2083.

Feeding the Homeless

On the last Sunday in June, Kevin and Cindy Conley and John and Janet Schmidt served dinner to 25 residents of Joseph's House shelter for homeless individuals and families. It was a pleasant day in Troy so many shelter residents chose to skip the meal and enjoy the sunshine. Several residents offered thanks and compliments for the meal of southwester barbecued pork loin, baby green beans, potato salad and cantaloupe. We had plenty of food left over, so we prepared meals for three church families who are experiencing some hard times and left enough food to feed some of the Joseph's House graduates who are now in supported housing.  With the shopping assistance of Susie Calyer, we were able to serve a nutritious meal at a cost of less than $1.60 per person!

.     

Kevin and Cindy Conley and John and  Janet Schmidt preparing pork loin dinner for residents of Joseph's House shelter

Giving Thanks

On July 2, about twenty-five members of our congregation and several friends welcomed a teacher from Qholaqhoe High School, in Lesotho, a small country entirely surrounded by South Africa. Joseph Lengala was anxious to express his thanks for our support of his students. This was Joseph’s first visit to the United States and he also shared some of his impressions and observations. He was joined by frequent visitor Lynn Minderman, board member of Qholaqhoe Mountain Connections. QMC’s mission is to enhance educational opportunities for students who attend Qholaqhoe High School. Our church has been supporting this mission for six years now, and sponsors about ten students with scholarships. For more information and to learn more about QMC, please visit www.qmconnect.org.

Joseph LengalaJoseph Lengala and Lynn MindermanJoseph Lengala giving presentation

Long-Term Family Assistance

Missions: Gods Heartbeat Our Heartbeat

There are events that happen in life beyond our control that sometimes leave us wondering how we will pay the rent, buy food, purchase medicines and survive until tomorrow. During the past year we have helped one family in their time of need, a family new to the US and a family fighting for survival. Others in our church family may be in crisis, quietly struggling, proud and immensely worried. We can bake, offer spiritual and emotional support, and now we can offer financial help in times of great need. There are two programs (funds) in our church to help those in our church community in crisis. One is the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund (PDF) to which we contribute at the end of each month in the little envelopes, and now, the recently established Long Term Family Assistance Fund (LTFAF). This latest ministry has been designed to meet emergency long-term needs. We are excited about both funds and the opportunity to provide much-needed financial assistance to those in crisis. More information, including copies of the new policy are available. Please contact Pastor Sundar, Art Sanderson, Len Finke, Carrie Larson or John Schmidt.