Many of you know that our congregation has embarked upon a process of revitalization called Fanning the Flame, and it is my privilege as a team member to be the Spiritual Gifts coordinator for St. Paul’s. This means I have been providing members with a spiritual gifts assessment to work through and then discussing the results with each person. It’s led to some interesting ideas about what direction our ministry might take.
We have many members who are attracted to caring ministries. The heart of caring ministries is:
“assisting people in the church and community with
their physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual
health through the grace, love, and resources of the kingdom.”
Some of those I interviewed had a heart for the very needy, hungry and homeless. We talked about how it is difficult to see someone on the street, holding up a sign that they are in need, and not knowing what to do. Sometimes we’re afraid giving cash isn’t the best idea; sometimes we don’t have cash with us. One person mentioned seeing a list on line of supplies that could be placed in a homeless “blessing bag.” The bag is then kept in your car, ready to hand out at any time.
Here are some of the suggested items:
- Personal care products — deodorant, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Food and snacks–raisins, granola bars, small tuna with spoon, gum, water or a drink
- Cold weather clothing — hat, glove, scarf or socks
- Quarters or dollar bills for vending machines
- Healthcare items–band aids, vitamins
We publicized the list to the congregation, and our adult Sunday School class purchased some small New Testaments to include. Since putting the word out, several people have told me they have had an opportunity to give some away. It is a good feeling, not only to help, but to connect with another person and let them know that God loves them and somebody cares. My husband and I have received words of thanks and blessing, and requests for prayer when we hand out our bags. One man told me how grateful he was to receive a pair of socks!
Each one matters, and each of us can help at least one.