GA Disciples Women’s Ministries Service Ideas

LOCAL SERVICE PROJECTS

Caring acts help to bring balance to our lives and enable us to respond to Christ’s call to “do unto others.”  There are amazing organizations in every community that need dedicated volunteers, funds, and enthusiastic supporters.  To learn more and connect people in your church and community with agencies in need of help, consider having a community services fair at your church. Invite a variety of organizations that serve various needs in your community.  Need help getting started?  Contact Jane Osborn, Service Coordinator, 229-630-0924, osbo1933@bellsouth.net.

If the women at your church have a local service project they would like to share, post it on our regional Disciples Women Facebook page or send the information to Betty Brewer-Calvert to be included in our quarterly email news.

REGIONAL SERVICE PROJECTS

Disciples Women’s Retreat Boutique

A Boutique or Silent Auction is held in alternating years to raise money for Women’s Ministries in the Region as well as selected Regional and IDWM mission projects.  2014 is a Boutique year, so please encourage the women of your congregation to put their creativity to work.  Suggested items are handmade crafts, jams and jellies, jewelry, note cards, knitted or crocheted items, or anything creative and fun you think women will enjoy.  Use your imagination and have fun!

Hands on Mission Project

There has been an interest expressed over the last couple of year in a hands-on mission project open to all women of the region.  The Commission has an open invitation for any women’s group at any church to host or plan this event.  Women may host an event in their own community to provide service for a local mission project, or plan an out-of-state or out-of-country mission project and invite women from around the region to join them.  If the women at your church want to take on this project, please contact Betty Brewer-Calvert at betty@gadisciples.org or Service Coordinator, Jane Osborn at osbo1933@bellsouth.net.

Local churches can support these organizations in their own community or participate in regional Disciples Women’s events supporting them:

ffForeverfamily

ForeverFamily began in 1987 when Executive Director/CEO Sandra Barnhill left her job as a public interest lawyer after becoming frustrated by the lack of support given to mothers sentenced to prison, not to mention the children and families left behind.

The organization she founded to address the need was originally known as Aid to Imprisoned Mothers.  In working with the mothers, AIM kept hearing “If you want to help me, help my children.”  Thus, the mission and ministry of the organization changed and deepened.  Now called “ForeverFamily,” the organization works to ensure that, no matter what the circumstances, all children have the opportunity to be surrounded by the love of family.  They focus efforts on some of the most marginalized children in our society – those with incarcerated parent or parents – and support them as they, their parents, caregivers and extended families work to remain a family.

Ministry Needs:

  • Summertime collection of backpacks and school supplies.
  • Christmas presents to brighten the season for the families.
  • Books for the library at the center.
  • Subscriptions for books and magazines for children and teens.
  • Volunteers to make sandwiches and escort children on prison visits.
  • Individuals or groups to help prepare a weekly dinner.
  • Drivers to provide transportation for the children for the weekly family dinner.
  • Financial gifts.
  • Other opportunities to give are listed on ForeverFamily’s website, www.foreverfam.org.

The National Office for ForeverFamily is located at 387 Joseph Lowery Blvd., 2nd Floor, Suite A, Atlanta GA 30310, 404-223-1200.  The center for ministry is located in southwest Atlanta and can be reached by phone at 404-658-9606.  The website is www.foreverfam.org.

Please note that Foreverfamily is the organization chosen for our 2013 retreat service project; see the separate list of needs related to retreat registration!

Sweet Dreams Pillowcases Ministry

sleeping-child

For several years, women have brought pillowcases to retreat to benefit the Cure Foundation.  If your church would like to continue to bring cheer and comfort to children away from home receiving medical treatment by supporting the Cure Foundation for Egleston-Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta, you may bring your pillowcases to fall retreat and they will be delivered.

The pillowcases must be:

  • New, standard size
  • Unwashed
  • Can be colorful and a variety of patterns for boys and girls (ie, cartoon characters)
  • Embroidered, but cannot have anything glued to them

All pillowcases will be ironed and labeled with the person or organization responsible for the donation.  A message will be included wishing the recipients sweet dreams and best wishes and informing the parents that the pillowcases are made of new, unwashed material.  The representative from the Cure Foundation will include the pillowcases in the admission kits that are given to each of the approximately 300 newly diagnosed cancer patients who are admitted to Egleston each year.

Ronald McDonald Houses

Ronald McDonald House Ronald McDonald Houses throughout Georgia aid families that have critically ill, seriously injured or medically fragile children being treated in hospitals.  The houses provide families a way to stay together in proximity to the treatment hospital and be comfortable and cared for during their stay.  You can be a part of this ministry in areas listed below:

  • Tabs (Drinks, soups, etc.)
  • New Toys:  board games, stuffed animals, dolls, books, puzzles, video games (rated E), movies (rated G), balls, and outdoor games
  • Canned goods and non-perishable food items
  • Bulk items: paper products (facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels), trash bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags, laundry detergent and fabric softener, cleaning products (sponges, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent)
  • Bath and bedroom items: towels, shower curtains, sheets and pillowcases
  • Personal care products: deodorant, dental floss, toothpaste, soap, shampoo,  conditioner
  • Entertainment products: games, movies, books, art supplies
  • Long-distance phone cards
  • Gift cards (for local grocery stores, department stores and gas stations)
  • Greeting cards and postage stamps
  • Transportation vouchers

You may have a Ronald McDonald House in your community!  If not, you are welcome to bring your donations to 2012 Women’s Fall Retreat for delivery to a Georgia Ronald McDonald House.  For more information, go to http://rmhc.org/.

Legislative Advocacy

A service everyone can perform is to learn the names of the elected officials in your area.  Write to them and keep them posted on what you think about current legislation, ordinances, and changes in the community.  In many towns, city council and county commission meetings are sparsely attended.  Be the citizen they know!

If you don’t know who your legislators are, visit the website http://www.legis.ga.gov and follow the links to locate your district and the name of your legislator.  Most now have email for quick contact.  If you prefer to write or call, mailing addresses and phone numbers are also posted.

Disciples Ministries for Children

Camp Balaam is a ministry of the Christian Church in Georgia held at Camp Christian.  It provides a summer camp experience for 3rd to 5th grade children from Wilkinson County who would not otherwise be able to attend.  It costs $20 per day for a child to attend the three-day Camp Balaam.  Please consider sponsoring a child.  Contributions can be made through the Christian Church in GA, 2370 Vineville Avenue, Macon, GA 31204.  For information, see www.gadisciples.org/Camp/balaam.asp.

Christmount has a new camp, Lakey Gap, for children and adults with autism.  This new ministry is in need of support.  To read about it, go to www.christmount.org/  

The Craddock Center at Cherry Log needs donations of books and resources to minister to the children who attend the Head Start programs in that area.  See www.craddockcenter.org/craddockcenter/programs.aspx.

IDWM AND WIDER CHURCH SERVICE PROJECTS

“Breaking the Chains” Campaign 2010-2014 Quadrennial Service Project

Chains Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which people, mostly women, very young girls and children, are abducted and/or forced to labor for someone else against their wishes.  Often they are deceived into believing the situations will improve their lives, when in reality they are being forced into servitude.  Human trafficking includes buying, selling and moving people from one location to another against their will, and it constitutes a grave violation of human rights.  Victims of human trafficking are people forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. This trafficking occurs in unregulated and unprotected areas all over the world including the United States of America.  Atlanta is one of the major centers for human trafficking in the U.S.  Every year traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits at the expense of victimizing millions of people around the world.

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone.  The number of US citizens trafficked within the country is even higher.  An estimated 200,000 American children are at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year.

Disciples Women are urged to take a stand and join leading the anti-trafficking movement forward to end the modern practice of slavery.

A passion for justice is a natural outgrowth of our love of God and neighbor. When we love God fully, we love all God’s children as neighbor. Our spirit recognizes each child of God as part of the true community we share in Christ, and we want for each the same wholeness of life that we want for ourselves.

As a movement for wholeness, let’s take action today to dry the tears of the women and men, boys and girls who are treated like commodities. Let’s reach out to them as beloved and precious children of God.

From a Statement on Human Trafficking for Freedom Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada

Church World Service Kits

CWSLogo2Church World Service Kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to people in need around the world.  CWS provides School Kits, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits, and Emergency Clean-up Buckets.  The contents of each kit have been selected with care based on years of experience to make them as useful as possible, wherever and whenever they are sent.  See www.churchworldservice.org.

Kits may be sent to Church World Service all year. Your continuing support of this program is very important and helps to ensure kits are available for immediate response after a disaster in another part of the world or here in the U.S.

In the face of natural disasters, violence, or grinding poverty, Hygiene Kits can mean the difference between sickness and health for struggling families.  So many kits have been needed for Haiti since the earthquake that Church World Service can scarcely keep up with the demand.

To assemble a Hygiene Kit you will need:

  • One hand towel measuring approximately 16" x 28" (no fingertip or bath towels)
  • One washcloth
  • One wide-tooth comb
  • One nail clipper
  • One bar of soap (bath size in wrapper)
  • One toothbrush (in original packaging)
  • Six standard size Band-Aids®

Place all items in a one-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure, remove excess air from bag, and seal. Please do not add toothpaste to the Hygiene Kit. Cartons of toothpaste that have an extended expiration date will be added to Hygiene Kit shipments just prior to shipment.

Hygiene Kit value: $10
Processing/Shipping Cost: $2 per kit

Packing and Shipping Kits

  • Pack CWS Kits in boxes with only one type of kit in each box.
  • Go to www.churchworldservice.org and follow the link to “kits” and then “hygiene kits” and “kits coupon.”  Print out a copy of the coupon to include in each box before shipping.
  • Don’t forget to include your $2.00 to help CWS with shipping.

2013-2014 Woman-to-Woman Worldwide Service Project

Woman-to-Woman is a travel opportunity which personalizes mission in the life of congregations and regions.  This program responds to the call for church women to experience solidarity with one another, to affirm the unity of the church in Jesus Christ, and to join the common struggle for justice and peace in the world today.  Each year, the delegation chooses one or more projects in the country on which to focus attention and fund raising efforts.  The mission emphasis this year comes from the 2012 experience of women traveling to China. 

The Minnie Vautrin China Fund (MVCF) is a memorial to her work and ministry in China. Your gifts will be used to fund projects for poor and marginalized women and girls from the rural areas in China, including education, support of the poor, medical care, and small loans for women starting small businesses through the Zhoukou Lay Training Program (Henan Province) and the YMCA in Shanghai.

For more information about this project, go to https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DW-WWW-2012-MVCF.pdf

A portion of our 2013 Women’s Retreat will support this project.  You may also send checks (payable to Global Ministries) to:  Global Ministries, Office for Resource Development, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986.  Please note on the gift the WWW 2012 China journey. More information is available at www.DisciplesWomen.org. wefund The Women’s Endowment Fund

The Women’s Endowment Fund

Provides an opportunity to contribute to a permanent fund that benefits the work of women in the church.  Funds are invested to keep pace with inflation and to produce a steady stream of income for spending.   The fund was created to provide for the needs of programs for women and to offer a legacy beyond one’s lifetime.  It is used to support leadership training, outreach ministries, and faith development.  The fund is administered by the Christian Church Foundation with allocation decisions made by a rotating committee which includes representatives from International Disciples Women’s Ministries and the Office of Disciples Women.

There are many ways to support this fund including named funds.  You may call the Christian Church Foundation for details on giving, 800-668-8016, and contact the Office of Disciples Women at (888) 346-2631 or odw@dhm.disciples.org for details on applying for a grant through this fund.  Grants for leadership training, outreach ministries, revitalization/transformation, scholarship support, and faith development for up to $5,000 are available.  Applications are accepted twice a year and forms are downloadable from www.disciplewomen.org.

  • Make a donation to the fund.
  • Honor someone in your church or region with a named fund.
  • Consider making a gift to the Women’s Endowment Fund in your will.
  • Apply for starter funds for a project, leader development, scholarships, and more.

Our Mission Partner in Kenya, Phyllis Byrd

Phyllis ByrdPlease pray for Rev. Byrd and all our Global Mission partners as they represent us around the globe in life-changing ministries of love and hope.  We are always blessed by Rev. Byrd’s visits to the region.  She is a dedicated teacher and pastor living and working in Nairobi, Kenya.

Projects in Kenya include: Bicycles for Pastors, the Garba Tulla Children's Home Outreach Ministries, the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), scholarships for women students, the St. Andrew’s Tumaini Children’s Home, and water wells in Kenya and East Africa. 

More information is available at http://globalministries.org/africa/countries/kenya/


Blessing Boxes

For more than 50 years, the women of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have had a special way to express our gratitude to God for the blessings we have received – the Blessing Box.  Created in 1953, the Blessing Box was the result of a dream of the women who founded Christian Women's Fellowship. Jessie Trout, CWF's co-founder and first executive secretary, developed the idea as an over-and- above way to help fund the wider mission of the church.

Since that time, Blessing Boxes have been kept in the homes and offices of women across the church to enable us to express our gratitude for everyday blessings by giving to others. Thanks is given for a sunny day, a birth, a reconciling experience, a welcome phone call, a child's smile, a beautiful snow fall, a flower in full bloom, relief from pain, a good book, a safe journey, and many other things.  For those who participate, it is a spiritual discipline even more than a financial one. It helps keep a focus on gratitude to God and on the responsibility to share blessings with others. The amount put in may be a dime, a quarter or more. The amount is not nearly as important as the discipline of regularly remembering God's goodness through the acts of dropping in coins and praying prayers of thanksgiving.

In addition to cultivating life-long habits of thanksgiving, the Blessing Box has generated millions of dollars in mission support. From 1999 to spring 2009, Blessing Boxes contributed a total of $2,663,882 for the mission of the church, with $311,814 of that going to support women's ministries. Since 2007, 50 percent of the donations go directly to the ministries carried out by the women of our church through International Disciples Women's Ministries. This makes a significant difference in the mission of the church at home and abroad.

You may send in your church’s blessing box offerings to the Regional Office periodically throughout the year (“Christian Church in GA” marked clearly for Blessing Boxes) or you may bring them to the Retreat!

BlessingBox

Church Women United

Church Women United LogoChurch Women United is a racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice.  Founded in 1941, Church Women United is:

  • a movement representing Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women;
  • biblically based, shared Christian faith;
  • organized into more than 1,200 local and state units working for peace and justice in the United States and Puerto Rico;
  • supported by constituents in state and local units and denominational women’s organizations
  • impassioned by the Holy Spirit to act on behalf of women and children throughout the world,
  • and recognized as a non-governmental organization by the United Nations.

Church Women United brings women together through World Day of Prayer (always the first Friday of March), May Friendship Day, World Community Day, and Human Rights Celebration (held on different dates; check your local chapter).

To learn more about Church Women United in your community or to find out how to start a chapter in your community, see www.churchwomen.org.

The International Fellowship of the Least Coin

Fellowship Least Coin This is a worldwide ecumenical movement of prayer for peace and reconciliation.  Persons in this movement make a commitment to spend time in prayer and to uphold in prayer others who are victims of jealousy, hatred, violence, and injustice to the family, community, nation, and world.  Every time one prays, she sets aside a “least coin” of her currency as a tangible token of her prayer.  Church Women United is the custodian for FLC offerings in the United States.  The money is used for projects around the world.  See http://flc.net.ph/ for more information.

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