Pastoral Care for November
A PASTORS MOMENT: The gift of giving has always been the major emphasis for families during the Christmas Season Traditions have certainly changed since the early days when families didn’t have the kind of money folks spend on gifts today. My parents would make some gifts for the family added together with the smaller gifts they could afford. Then they would hide all the gifts until Christmas Day or keep them wrapped under the tree until we all enjoyed opening them as a family. So many people don’t even wait until Christmas to give gifts to the spouse or children and open them as soon as they are purchased. Then Christmas Day is just another day in their lives. In addition, there are events like Black Friday when families bombard the stores to purchase those expensive electronic devices and other items. How can we say we are having hard times when people will spend upwards of $600.00 and even thousands of dollars in one days shopping spree for a few items. I remind us all, there is among us folks who cannot even compete with this kind of bazaar spending and must be content on giving a card or sharing a used item with a loved one or child. It is so depressing to many that lots of folks will simply drop out and not participate in gift giving at all. This particularly affects those on a fixed income and those without work. In my estimation our nation has gone absolutely outrageous in desecrating the remembrance of the birth of Jesus during the Christmas Season. It seems to be more about getting shoppers out to the stores in droves to purchase gifts. It has become a financial /business fiasco that seems to totally ignore the True Meaning of Christmas. It was the birth of Jesus that changed the world forever….not the long lines at Best Buy or Wal Mart. It was the love of God that gave His only son that saved us…..not the year end specials or the big sales that took our finances. It was the Angels in Glory that announced the blessed birth,……not the radio and television commercials promising a sale on everything. Yes, times have changed, but we can rest assured God is still there for us to worship and Jesus is still making an impact on our lives if we would only listen to his redeeming message.
I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
PASTORAL CARE ACTIVITIES: Many blessings were shared as I ministered to people in the past month. Due to the economy, I have continued to give food baskets to families in need. Since the Food Pantry gives food only 6 times a year, several families come to the end of the year without resources to get food for the family…..especially when they have used their food stamp resource. I have helped 6 families with food baskets this past month. Since food stamps have been cut back and the economic situation finds food in the stores going up and up in price, many find it difficult to manage providing for their families.
>>>>>>I was able to introduce a client to the pastor of the First Christian Church in order that the individual might find a church home in Winfield. Since I have a Church Without Walls, it is my mission to help folks find a meaningful church home in which to worship.
>>>>>>It appears we may have a line on a refrigerator for my deaf friend, Mike. He has been going without a refrigerator for a few months, which makes it difficult to preserve food.
>>>>>>This seems very anti-pastoral, but I have had to inform three families they are no longer welcome in my home because they take advantage of my good nature and are very deceitful about their intent. I had my debit card stolen again, and though I was able to get the money back through the bank, I have had to make police reports and restrict visitation.
>>>>>>I continue to visit older folks who are shut in or home bound. It is a delight to bring a little cheer to them as we visit on a routine basis.
>>>>>>I was privileged to meet a blind client I have worked with for over 10 years in Wichita. We went out to Pizza Hut for a meal while talking about all the things that have happened in our lives. Steven lives in Pennsylvania and came back to Kansas for a brief visit.
>>>>>>The homeless individual I took into my home three and a half months ago has moved out this week into a place of his own. It was a challenge to motivate him to get an additional job and to look for an apartment. It seems people who come to my house enjoy the care I give them with cooking meals and cleaning after them. As a result, I have decided to put an end to providing housing to people off the streets. Though this individual was not a threat, his personal habits were unbecoming to my household. I am glad, however, he has been able to move from being homeless to having his own place and working two jobs.
>>>>>>I am still looking forward to attending the next Ministerial Alliance Meeting to challenge them to discuss finding a plan for dealing with homeless people in Winfield. My latest meeting with a homeless person was last week. He is a Native American individual who is sleeping near the Walnut River until he can find other resources. We do not have a lot of homeless folks but when one is located, we need to know how to help them find adequate shelter or provide other services. Unfortunately our local Ministerial Alliance is not very active and does not meet except on special occasions.
>>>>>>I continue to serve in the ministry of the Grace United Methodist Church. I am a member of the Church and Society Committee, the Caring and Sharing Committee. I also make myself available at each Thursday Evening Meal for those in need. Often I will bake bread, cinnamon rolls or other food items to share with the crowd. I will be making Cinnamon Rolls for this Thursdays meal.
>>>>>>I am very thankful for gifts to this ministry provided by individuals in the community. Those gifts include a jar of beef vegetable soup, 4 large bottles of soda pop, a container of bread yeast and a large sack of flour. I have individuals that I want to share some homemade bread with this week or next.
Thank you for your support of my ministry and my blog site. I remain ready to serve you in our Lord’s Work.