My name is Madeline Johnson, I am a member of your Vestry and I have a story for you. (See YouTube version.)
Five weeks ago, on a Saturday, all Vestry members got an email from Father Howie saying that we would be having an emergency vestry meeting the next day, between services, on Zoom. There was a rumor that the state of Delaware would be receiving some migrants from one of the southern states and we needed to make a plan for how to take care of God’s children. This is one of the many reasons I LOVE this church – no drama, no politics, just do what Jesus would have us do. At the meeting, we surveyed the resources that we have at St. Thomas’s: air mattresses, blankets, a big sleeping-space, nice bathrooms, a big kitchen and lots of good cooks in our parish. Next, we brainstormed other agencies that might help us: Red Cross, Respond DE (for which our own Jill Jensen is a volunteer nurse, when they need her), and Jewish Family Services (the only agency in Delaware that is authorized to settle refugees) and whom we helped last Fall, as we settled Afghan refugees in Newark!
The next morning, Jill got a call from Respond DE that 33 migrants were coming into Georgetown, DE – would she come down and help? She jumped in her car and started driving down to Georgetown. Before she got all the way there, they called her back and told her to slow down – they hadn’t received confirmation that the migrants had actually taken off yet. Later, they called again and told her it had been cancelled. We were ready, however, with our plan.
St. Thomas’s is “practiced” at caring for God’s children. We have Blue Hen Bounty (BHB), a service for food-insecure students: cupboards full of food, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. for students who may have an academic scholarship that does not include room and board. We participate in Code Purple every winter for our homeless population in Newark. We host them for overnights that go below 20 degrees, for dinner, a safe, warm place to sleep and breakfast the next morning. We participate with other Newark churches to serve at Hope Dining Room, once a month and we make “Go Bags ” for the Newark Empowerment Center. About 8 weeks ago, I got an email from the Empowerment Center, saying they were almost out of “Go Bags”. I passed it on to all of you and by Monday morning, we had 2 HUGE cardboard boxes overflowing with “Go Bags”. I delivered 68 “Go Bags” to the Newark Empowerment Center that day – FROM YOU!!! THANK YOU ALL for your support of our outreach ministries!!! The recipients of your time, talents and treasure thank you too.
Annual Giving will take financial commitments from each of us. An opportunity before us is examining how much we give, and whether we can do more. Please prayerfully consider how you can give back for that with which God has blessed you. Won’t you please pledge your gifts using our pledge form and return it by October 30, 2022? Pledges may be left in the box in the church lobby or mailed using the self- addressed, stamped envelope included in the packet you received.
BLESS YOU ALL,