August Monthly Mission
Christmas Boxes for Project Agape in Armenia
All Saints' UMC Mission of the Month for August will be preparing Christmas Boxes for Project Agape, a NC Conference UMC Ministry. Project Agape serves an area of Armenia devastated in recent decades by earthquakes, genocide, the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, land disputes with neighboring Azerbaijan, and extreme poverty. More recently, Armenia has been flooded with refugees from war-torn Syria. Christmas Boxes assembled in August will be shipped by the Conference to Armenia in time for Christmas distribution to needy Armenian and refugee children from Syria. Families, individuals, Common Tables, Youth & Children’s ministry are encouraged to participate. Packing lists and drop-off instructions are available here. For more information, you also may contact Nancy Van Antwerp.
The 2017 Agape Christmas Boxes Packing List linked above provides detailed instructions on how to prepare an Agape Christmas Box. The contents for the boxes (6 quart plastic boxes with a lid) are age and gender specific: (Infant 0-3; Male 3-6; Female 3-6; Male 7-12; Female 7-12; Male 13-18; and Female 13-18). Each box should include all the items on the list of the age/gender of the child selected. A personal note of greeting and picture of yourself or family/group may be enclosed but nothing additional. Donors are asked to enclose $5 cash or a check (made out to NC Conference with Agape Christmas boxes in the memo line) to help cover transportation costs. Boxes are not wrapped or sealed, as they all must be checked for contents prior to shipping.
Ways Members and Friends of ASUMC Might Participate:
- Individual families may prepare one or more Christmas boxes for the age/sex child of their choice.
- Common Tables may go in together to purchase the items and assemble multiple Christmas boxes.
- The Vacation Bible School children may want to collect items for and assemble Christmas boxes.
- The Youth Group may want to collect items for and assemble Christmas boxes.
- Individuals might want to donate funds to go towards the purchase of items on the packing list.
- Individuals might volunteer to shop for items on the list, for others to assemble later.
- People may volunteer to deliver completed boxes to the Durham drop-off site, yet to be determined.
Storage of Completed Christmas Boxes
ASUMC will temporarily store Christmas Boxes at the Ministry Center beginning Monday, August 14, until they can be delivered to the Durham drop-off site. Christmas boxes may be dropped off at the Ministry Center on Sunday's and on Monday through Thursday when the Ministry Center is open. We will need volunteers to transport the Christmas Boxes to the drop off location in Durham, when the location and drop off dates are announced (most likely in September).
Read more about Project Agape here.
July 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In July, we collected food and packaged it for Backpack Buddies at Brier Creek Elementary School during the year-round school session in which the Interfaith Food Shuttle does not provide the backpacks. We also served lunch and ate with our friends at Open Table Ministry in downtown Durham.
June 2017 Monthly Mission Update
As the traditional school year closed out, we provided lots of books for children at Spring Valley Elementary School to take home to encourage their reading over the summer.
May 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In May, All Saints' helped with repair efforts at Branch St. United Methodist Church, a congregation that was flooded out of their buildings after Hurricane Matthew. We give thanks for the opportunity to serve alongside these brothers and sisters and look forward to serving with them again in the fall. Contact Tim Cuellar (email@example.com) for more information.
April 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In April, All Saints' learned about the refugees in RTP and gathered items like tea kettles, laundry detergent and gift cards that will help these neighbors to settle in to our community. To learn more about connecting with refugee ministries, contact Brittany White (firstname.lastname@example.org).
March 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In March, All Saints' members purchased food, prepared and served tacos to food insecure individuals at Urban Ministries Durham. Thank you to Urban Ministries for offering this opportunity to care for and eat with our neighbors.
February 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In February, All Saints' members learned about Open Table Ministry, which partners with those who are unsheltered in Durham. In addition to learning more, we were able to prepare, serve and eat a meal with those who visit Open Table's weekly Monday luncheon.
January 2017 Monthly Mission Update
In January, All Saints' members were blessed to serve alongside our sisters and brothers at Branch St. UMC, whose church buildings were severely damaged by Hurricane Matthew. We were able to paint several classrooms, share a meal together and hear how God is sustaining this community as they recover.
Bethesda UMC Endowment
Thanks to the merger with Bethesda UMC we now have an Endowment Fund with annual earnings to give away to qualified uses. The use of the funds according to the Bethesda Endowment mandate is “for outreach ministries in the local church, community, and beyond the local community that extend beyond the annual operating budget and enable the church to extend its ministry of caring and serving.” Further interpretation of that mandate sets forth that these endowment funds are to be used as seed money for a new, emerging or enhanced/renewed mission/outreach within or beyond All Saints’ UMC. In allocating these funds, emphasis will be given to mission/outreach that extends beyond current mission projects. These endowment funds are not to take the place of annual budget funds for mission.
A new Endowment Committee of 5 church members has been established to oversee the administration of these funds and to make a recommendation to the Church Council as to disbursement of these funds. Contact the Church Office for more information.
Watch this video to see how All Saints' served in mission with Habitat for Humanity in 2016: