Archive for Pastor’s Blog – Page 2

AR and Fred Pointer: 2014 Hunger Fighters of the Year!

“… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me….” Matthew 25:35

AR and Fred Pointer, longtime leaders of Watsonville First United Methodist Church, have been chosen by Second Harvest Food Bank as 2014 Hunger Fighters of the year. Congratulations! AR and Fred have been passionate about fighting hunger for as long as I have known them. They spearhead the efforts of our church to support hungry people in every way we can.

Second Harvest Food Bank Annual Awards DINNER Announcement for  (Small)As members of the Advisory Committee of the South County Winter Shelter Program, AR and Fred have been active participants in the weekly winter meal program provided by the City of Watsonville through the Salvation Army. They set up and maintain our yearly schedule, obtain food, organize the food storage area, pantry and kitchen, and coordinate volunteer teams of cooks and helpers from our church, as well as from other organizations in our community, to cook and serve meals every Saturday night. Wow!

AR & Fred have also volunteered directly at Second Harvest for years. They have been instrumental in getting the Food For Children program into our neighborhood, where we provide Second Harvest food and fresh produce in our back parking lot on the first Thursday of the month for up to 80 families. They meet with the families, obtain necessary paperwork and identification, and then help individuals carry the food to their cars.

AR and Fred Pointer have dedicated themselves to helping those in need, especially the hungry and the homeless. Working with Second Harvest Food Bank, they inspire our church and community to become the hunger fighters God calls us to be.

Truly, AR & Fred Pointer have been instrumental in making our mission to serve others a reality! What a blessing. I hope you’ll consider attending their awards dinner in Santa Cruz on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Call the church office for more details, or online.

 

 

 

SOUPER Bowl of Caring // SOUPER Bowl de Cuidado

Tackle Hunger on Sunday, February 2nd

Following Jesus is never a sport for sissies. It fact it can be pretty hard sometimes! To me, following Jesus means doing something more than just sitting for an hour in church on Sunday morning. Jesus calls us to live out our faith in concrete ways with people we haven’t even met yet.

Of course, that’s precisely why we enjoy changing a football game into the Souper Bowl—spell it with me now—S-O-U-P-E-R Bowl of caring, Souper Bowl de Cuidado.

We support the kids (and others!) holding up soup pots for donations after worship, because it gives us an opportunity to give and give generously. We know how important Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County is to Watsonville, and we want to show how much we care right here and right now.

Why do we do it? We want to do what Jesus said to do!  Join us in celebrating the SOUPER Bowl of Caring on Sunday, February 2nd!

P.S. Donations gratefully received year round!!  Designate your check SOUPER BOWL or bring your donated food items and help us fill our food barrels for Second Harvest Food Bank.

Gabby tackles hunger

Gabby tackles hunger

Christmas is almost here!

 “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6

Christmas is almost here!  What is most on our minds?  For many of us, the holiday season is full of too much eating, too much entertaining, too much spending, and too much of the gimmies!  What’s a believer to do?  

“On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest storm to ever reach land, devastated parts of the Philippines.  Ahead of the storm, the United Methodist Committee on Relief had teams in the Philippines laying the groundwork for a quick response.  UMCOR is now coordinating a long-term plan. Denise Honeycutt, Deputy General Secretary of UMCOR, says “UMCOR is really the local church at work in the world.”  UMCOR asks that prayers and dollars keep coming.”   www.umc.org/philippines-typhoon

IMG_6488 (Mobile)

Maybe we need to get back to basics.  A little child shall lead us. 

Recently, we celebrated Filipino Sunday.  On that day during blessings, a little eight-year-old girl in our church came forward.  She explained that she wanted to help the people hurt by the Typhoon.  With the support of her family, she’d made bracelets out of tiny rubber bands the colors of the flag of the Philippines. 

Inspired by her example, a special offering was taken.  After worship, other children pitched in to help. 

Girls (Mobile)

The following weekend other leaders in our church held a yard sale on the front lawn of the church.  Friends and members donated used items to sell, and folks spent hours getting ready.  All funds collected were given to UMCOR.

Continue to pray!  And if you haven’t given yet, please donate to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, to support UMCOR Philippines staff and volunteers as they work tirelessly to provide assistance to those in need. Please write checks to Watsonville First United Methodist Church, designated to Advance #982450, or go online to donate: www.umcor.org   You can also text the word UMCOR to 80888 to give an immediate $10 donation.

 

Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving

“I give thanks to the Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify God’s name forever!”
Psalm 86:12

Here at Watsonville First United Methodist Church, we believe that healthy stewardship is not concerned with how much money we have, but with what we do with what we have. Extravagant generosity is always at the heart of giving.

Speaking of generosity reminds me of one day at church, when the ushers came down the aisle to take up the offering. Little Kathy asked her mom what was happening. “They’re taking the offering and when they get here you can put your dollar in the offering plate,” her mother answered. Anxiously, Kathy replied, “But this dollar is for Jesus.”

Mom explained how, by putting her dollar in the plate she was giving it to Jesus, because of the many ways in which her gift would be used to spread God’s Word. As the plate came down her row, Kathy carefully placed her dollar in the plate, then turned to her mother and asked, “If that money is for Jesus, why wasn’t there more in the plate?” Why indeed?

Stewardship is a polite way of talking about something we don’t like to talk about, and that’s our money. When it comes to giving, we say sure, I want to be generous, but cold hard cash is another matter. The question is, are we really generous? I think it’s harder for most of us to give from the heart than we’d care to admit.

And what is generosity, anyway?

We know God wants us to live together with one heart and soul, and that means being generous, with our time, our talents and our financial gifts. Generosity starts with humility, along with a healthy dose of thankfulness and love. Generosity is putting our love into action. Or to put it another way, is this our church, or God’s church? Is it my bank account, my car, and all my stuff, mine and all mine? Or should I see it differently than that?

Generosity is the opposite of selfishness, self-centeredness, and greed. We all want to live a devout, righteous life, a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy, giving generously in the name of the Lord to our beloved church. We ask that you prayerfully consider your giving.  Please sign a 2014 Pledge Card and return it to church on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 24th, or mail it in if you’ll be away.  We thank God for your commitment!

Shalom,

Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson
Pastor