“Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same -- with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead.” ― Mother Teresa
The Community of Christ has been in North St. Paul for over 40 years now. In the last few years we've been working on re-engaging in the local community. This has taken off as many individual activities on particular holidays, such as Halloween and National Night Out. However, we continue to feel the call to give to others in the community, including some who may never be able to join us on Skillman Avenue because of a variety of life situations.
In the fall of 2017 we decided that this would begin to happen by taking any fifth Sunday of a month and determining a service project to create something to give away to people directly or through an organization.
On Halloween weekend, October 29th, our first project commenced. Over the course of an hour or so our community took the time to cut out fleece fabric that would be used to line sweater mittens to be donated to the Aliveness Project. The Aliveness Project is a local community center in Minneapolis that provides a community and services for people living with HIV. We have partnered with them for a number of years by providing some of our yearly community ministry grant money to them. But as Mother Teresa's quote says, don't just give money when you can reach out your hand instead.
The resulting sweater mittens are shown here. 30 pairs, and a few scarves, were lovingly prepared by a master seamstress in our congregation. They were then delivered, and hopefully distributed, ahead of the current coldsnap we find ourselves in (it is -2F while I write this).
Energized by our experience with the mittens, we took time to prepare 6 fleece tie blankets for another local organization on December 31st. Again for an hour we found ourselves hustling around fleece fabric, cutting and tying, laughing and talking, until the blankets were completed.
There was one additional blanket prepared that was an experimental design related to braiding the edges. Marilyn, the woman in yellow in the middle of the below photo, was more than happy to work on that one while it sat on her lap (She's a native Floridian and the cold temperatures outside had not been well received over the course of her holiday visit with family!).
Does the idea of doing these kinds of activities intrigue you? Would you be interested in joining us for one of our next "Service Sundays"?
Looking ahead to 2018 that would mean the following dates are likely for our next projects:
We look forward to having you join us in 2018!