Have you ever . . .
. . . heard someone say something at church of which you were totally unaware? Was your response, "I DIDN'T KNOW THAT"?
That seems to be a regular occurrence here in the church office, so we decided it was important to get all this wonderful information out there somehow.
Welcome to "I Didn't Know That", a communications blog to tell the stories, show the pictures, and get the word out that Valpo FUMC is doing WONDERFUL thing!
Are you or your group doing wonderful things? Do you have human interest stories you'd like to share on this blog? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org to get things started.
There are some precious folks in our church who are actively involved in low-key ministries, quietly going about their business meeting the needs of others with absolutely no interest in making a name for themselves, but rather faithfully giving their time and talents to show others the love of Christ. We don’t hear much about their accomplishments because they aren’t a large group of people and they don’t require much room to do what they do best. Let me tell you about several of these ministries that are headed up by Judy Bornstein.
We all know that Judy visits the lonely, sick, and dying in area nursing homes and hospitals. She even wrote a book about it! But many don’t know some of the other things Judy, and those I like to call her “Partners in Time”, are involved with.
Judy heads up the Note Writers’ Ministry. This small group of people send cards and notes to those in our church experiencing a time of illness, loss, or those that can't physically get to church any longer. In fact, my husband recently was a recipient of a beautifully hand-written note when he had his recent knee replacement. That note meant so much to him!
I bet you had no idea that the Note Writer’s Ministry sent out 239 cards and notes in 2017. And I bet you’d be really shocked to know that since 2009, the Note Writers have sent out 3,756 hand-written cards and notes to people in our church! Just think of all the people who were touched by the love and care they received through this ministry! No fanfare, no parades, just a small group of faithful people quietly going about their business showing the love of Christ to those who are hurting.
Another ministry Judy is involved with is the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Another small group of ladies meet regularly at Judy’s house to knit and crochet prayer shawls to give to those going through a difficult time in their lives. There are also some women who simply make prayer shawls privately and donate them to the Prayer Shawl Ministry. As each shawl is made, the maker prays for the as-yet unknown recipient, asking God to bring the new owner comfort in their time of need. In 2017, 25 prayer shawls were given away, ministering to the emotional and spiritual needs of the recipients. In fact, since 2008, 411 prayer shawls have been hand-made and handed out. Again, this group receives no fanfare, no parties, no announcements. They simply go about their business, quietly and faithfully ministering to the needs of those that need to get through various difficulties.
Many of you have probably read or heard call-outs for hand-made scarves to be distributed at Christmas, but are you aware of what happens to those scarves? Again, Judy Bornstein heads up a group of knitters and crocheters in our church that quietly go about creating hand-made scarves throughout the year, turning them in to the Welcome Desk when they are finished. Judy has been spotted at various church meetings with needles or hooks flying like the wind as she works on one of the many scarves she produces throughout the year. In fact, Judy mentioned once that her daughter finishes ONE SCARF EVERY DAY! Amazing! Each scarf then gets a printed prayer attached to it, reminding the future recipient that the thoughts and prayers of our Valpo FUMC church family will be praying for them over the holidays and throughout the winter.
These scarves are then given to 17 different agencies and non-profits in the Valpo area including four counties in Northwest Indiana. These agencies are: The Caring Place, DaySpring, Hilltop Breakfast Club, Hilltop Food Pantry, Hilltop Walt’s Place, Housing Opportunities, Porter FUMC, Salvation Army, Spring Valley, United Way, Valpo FUMC Foyer (handed out to those coming inside to get out of the cold), The Christian Food Pantry, Valpo FUMC Mitten Tree, Valpo FUMC Rays of Hope, Valpo FUMC Resale Shop, Men’s Homeless Shelter, and First Contact.
In 2017, a total of 1,531 scarves were hand-made and distributed! If that isn’t amazing enough, take in this statistic: since 2012, 5,949 scarves have been hand-made and distributed! Again, there is no fanfare, nobody is shouting this out from the rooftops, nobody is announcing this with megaphones. Those involved are just quietly and faithfully making scarves one at a time, showing the love of Christ to the needy in our community in a real and practical way.
The people involved in these ministries are no different than you or me. Some are elderly. Some work. Some have physical ailments. Some are running around with small children. Some are not as busy as you or I, but some are even busier than we are. Yet, they are all taking some of their precious time to knit scarves, crochet shawls and write notes. All these folks have one thing in common: they love the Lord so much they are willing to give of their time and talents to show others the love of Christ.
If you would like to join these faithful “Partners in Time”, contact Judy Bornstein at email@example.com. There are no meetings to attend: Judy will simply give you the information you need, provide materials if you need them,and help get you started in a meaningful, joyful ministry.
If you have been on the receiving end of one of these ministries, we would love to hear your story. Tell us how you were touched by these faithful people by sending an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “What, No Fanfair?”
Together in Him,Pamela GonzalezDirector of CommunicationsFirst United Methodist Church of Valparaiso