Happy New Year and blessings for 2018. With starting a new year, I like to look back at the past year to remember what has happened in my life and then I like to look forward with hope for the coming new year. This past year I have been reading God Is With You Every Day by Max Lucado. This book is a daily devotional. Recently, one of the devotionals was titled Simple Deeds. This devotional had to do with helping people in need. It said "...when we love those in need, we are loving Jesus. It is a message that Jesus made crystal clear: when we love them, we love him." The devotional concluded with "The works of mercy are simple deeds. And yet in these simple deeds, we serve Jesus. Astounding, this truth: we serve Christ by serving needy people."
We have done just that here at Mason UMC. This past year with have collected food for Christ's Cupboard, celebrated with a Serve Day where we served both here at church and out in the community, collected items for Her Time Ministry, items for Health Kits, boxes for Operation Christmas Child, flood buckets for hurricane relief, and meals were prepared and served at the OTR Soup Kitchen. The year ended with The Giving Tree. A big thank you to everyone who purchased gifts, food, or supplies and to everyone who helped sort, pack, and distribute these items. We were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to 27 families in our local community. Thanks also to all who donated blankets to The Blanket Crew. 49 blankets were donated. These blankets are to be distributed to homeless people in the Cincinnati area. With the weather being so cold lately, a blanket lets someone know that we care.
Looking forward to 2018, we are again participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring. The Souper Bowl of Caring is a nationwide event where churches collect canned food to benefit local food pantries. Mason UMC will be collecting for our own Christ's Cupboard. Starting on Sunday, January 14th, please bring in the following canned food items and place in the bins located in the lobby:
January 14th - Spaghetti or Mac n' Cheese
January 21st - Canned Chicken or Canned Spaghetti Sauce January 28th - Individual Applesauce or Oatmeal
February 4th - Raman Noodles or Peanut Butter
Last year we collected 1528 canned food items. Our goal this year is to collect 2000.
My hope for this coming year is that everyone has a wonderful and a blessed year. Also, that we continue to go out in our community to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
"Love cannot remain by itself - it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service."
- Mother Teresa
Blessings, Cheri DiFabio