From Church, Society & Mission
The C, S &M committee members have been thinking a lot this past month, about all those directly impacted most, by COVID 19. There are countless people struggling financially, and among them are those already facing hunger or food insecurity. We realized that many people may be looking for places to make donations at this time, so we decided, with Session approval, to hold a “Virtual Food Drive” for Gleaners or ask members to contribute to the Morse Elementary School Bridge the Gap project. If you find that your circumstances are such that your “stimulus check” is truly a bonus that you want to share, here’s the information on how to do that below:
delivers food to 500 various shelters, food banks/pantries and other agencies serving Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. They distribute 1.3 million pounds of food annually and spend $.92 of each dollar donated to food and food programs. Go to the link here, then under Donor Information, a drop-down menu will appear; click on to Northminster Presbyterian for your donation to go towards our total. http://feed.gcfb.org/virtual-food-drive
You can also help by delivering any of the items listed to the MORSE ELEMENTARY food bank. The Drive Thru Drop Off accepts any of the items listed to the right, or they can always use financial donations at www.tinyurl.com/TSDcares
To get started on Zoom on a computer, click on the link provided by the host.
You can still serve others while in quarantine. If you are looking for a way to safely help from home, below are clickable links to a few of the programs or projects Northminster has supported, as well those recommended to us.
Song & Spirit Institute for Peace in Royal Oak collects and delivers 3 tons of food each month through their Care-avan Outreach project. We heard from food coordinator Greg Allen last year in church, regarding the CarePax we collected in a collaborative effort with Troy First Presbyterian Church. The need is for money to fill these packs, the SnackPax to go to children, or the HatPax, as well as the food needed for the Care-avan.
Baldwin center of Pontiac provides many programs, including a food kitchen + food, clothing, household goods pantry. Click onto the general Baldwin website to learn more about how you can help.
Lighthouse, now partnering with SOS the need to provide food and housing, is greater than ever. Currently, SOS clients are being housed at Lighthouse, nearby motels and more. In addition, Lighthouse also has hunger programs, food distribution, financial help for rent & utilities, and so much more, which you can learn about on their website.
Troy People Concerned provides financial assistance or help in securing it, for rent, utilities, food. They also direct people to the area food pantries and more. Donate link is on their main page.
Recommended from Northminster members:
Cass Community Social Services provides food (serving 700,000 meals a year), housing services (warming centers, emergency shelter, rotating shelters in area churches), jobs support (Green Industries, making numerous items using re-cycled materials), and health services in their free clinic.
Covenant House Michigan is a faith-based nonprofit organization that provides hope to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 18-24, as well as shelter, educational and vocational programs, and other support services to help overcome hurdles such as homelessness, unemployment, inadequate education, violence, drugs and gangs. Their goal is to redirect people onto a path toward meaningful and successful adulthood.
Donating home-made masks: If you are interested in sewing face masks, or donating directly to hospitals for Personal Protection Equipment or other items needed.
Are you going stir crazy at home, or did you have to cancel your travel plans? You are invited to join our Parish Council Partners, Kirk in the Hills, for a virtual "Around the World in Five Weeks".
On Sundays at 12:15 p.m., simply sit down with your lunch at home, click here to join the Zoom meeting, and hear how people around the world are coping with the pandemic and how it intersects with their faith.
Upcoming meetings are below:
Satara Ferreira from South Africa (teacher)
Hyeyoung and Kurt Esslinger from Korea – Asia (missionaries)
Mary Elizabeth and Dave Prentice-Hyers from Scotland – Europe (pastors)
A message from Chris Kondak, Stewardship & Finance Committee Chairperson
It seems we will likely be continuing the "Shelter in place" for some time, so I want to address the financial aspect of this to the church.
Most of the expenses the church incurs, remain, even when the building is mostly empty. Lower utility usage for sure, but the fixed expenses such as staff salary remain. These are the highest portion of our expenses.
At the same time, we recognize that our members are financially affected both directly and indirectly by this pandemic. Some of our members have been laid off, or significantly reduced in their earnings. Many of us are simply worried about the future, and possible coming unknowns.
For those who can, we ask that you continue to support the church as you have, or even more if possible. Making your offering at a similar cadence to your practices before this situation arose can help to bring a level of normalcy. For some, that could mean writing out a check at the close of online worship and getting it ready to mail to the church on Monday.
A always, we step out in faith when we give our offerings to the church. Times such as these may affect us in many ways, but we can be assured that our God, in whom we put our faith, is the same today as before all of this, and will be the same in the future.
The church does not yet have a simple method for online payment of offering, but we are working on a plan that would allow that.
In the meantime, most banks do offer an online “bill pay” method to request a check that is sent directly from your bank to a payee and do not charge for the check or the stamp. You can add Northminster as a payee (see our address on the back of this newsletter). Please be free to reach out to myself or Treasurer Sarah Leight if you have questions or a unique situation you'd like to discuss.
Similarly, the Raise the Roof pledge drive to repay the loan to repair our roof is still active. Members do continue to submit payments to meet the amount pledged, as well as some who have generously donated above and beyond their pledge.
We received a large number of Hilka Brown's paintings, drawings, and prints from her estate. Hilka and Harold's children asked that we sell the artwork, with the proceeds directly supporting the Raise the Roof fund. I am grateful for this wonderful donation, and we will be working to find opportunities to sell the works as far and wide as we can. Look for more news about the mechanics of this as we proceed forward.
Northminster Presbyterian Church
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