Rev. Melissa Self Patrick
posted on June 06, 2012 11:19
Above: the "Helping Hand" statue in WE Community Gardens came to us as a gift from a friendly neighbor, and was one of many blessings we received this month. Thank you!
Dear friends, volunteers, partners, and donors,
On behalf of everyone here at Urban Ministry, thank you for your service, donations, partnership and prayers. Because of you and many others like you, we had a banner month!
From the Junior Board’s “Back to the Island” fundraiser, to welcoming our new Urban Kids director, Kuryne Lee... from efforts by our Board to increase our operating reserve for the long haul, to new grants received and regular contributions from faithful people like you... we are deeply, deeply blessed.
I’m reminded on a regular basis of the power of relationships, of people coming together for a common goal, and of lives empowered and renewed because of the efforts of many.
This week, WE Community Gardens' bounty is beginning to show forth, and we’re receiving many new children into our improved Summer Learning Program at Urban Kids. I’m reminded that God created, and is creating, because God desires for us to be in relationship with one another, with God, and with all of creation. Jesus lived his life and ministry creating relationships, healing, and restoring people. He teaches us to do the same so that the Kingdom of God may be realized in the here and now, while we await the coming fulfillment of God’s kingdom.
As we recently celebrated Pentecost, we cannot help but see the Holy Spirit at work in real and powerful ways here in the West End Community we serve and well beyond this community – for example, as we welcome youth volunteers from across the region to be the hands and feet of Christ, painting houses and building friendships with homeowners. It’s exciting to see all of the new relationships forming in and around Urban Ministry. I invite you to drop by and visit anytime; you’ll be blessed, and we’ll be glad to introduce you to the staff and volunteers who are making a difference on behalf of those we serve. We’re all changed for the better as we follow Christ in mission.
As you start your summer, I hope you will help us get the word out about some pressing needs. The Joe Rush Center for Urban Mission needs 3” paint brushes, roller brushes, and paint pans, and we are still looking for another van to transport our garden produce to the community members this summer. (And by the way, you can purchase fresh, organic produce from WE Gardens at Pepper Place Farmer’s Market each Saturday until October. The proceeds help sustain our Gardens and also help pay our Youth Interns who are learning all aspects of gardening, as well as life skills.)
Our Summer Matching Campaign has begun in earnest, and we are thrilled that Vestavia UMC Foundation has granted us $40,000 in matching funds. We are glad to have your assistance as we move through the lean, summer months, and we are very hopeful that we will have a record-breaking Summer Campaign, so that we can receive the generous $40,000 to support our programs of compassion and wholeness.
Peace and blessings,