January - MLK Day Service Project
Together with North Decatur United Methodist Church, we provided funding and volunteers to repair the home of a pair of low-income senior sisters. See photos from the 2011 project.
We got parts of several projects started on Saturday. Tore down a back wall that was not attached at the floor and turned out to have considerable termite damage. Also, pulled three clapboards off the bottom of another outside wall. Found we had to redo most of that wall due to termite damage. They call that "scope creep."
An army of volunteers carried "stuff" from the backyard and attic. We had at least 5 trips to the Salvation Army and filled up their donation trailer. And numerous trips to the dumpster.
On Sunday and Monday, the back wall construction continued. The size of the original project more than doubled, due to termites. The plumber and his wife donated an afternoon, and, instead of fixing the water pipes to the hot water heater, they spent their time locating and fixing holes in the gas lines - one as big as a penny. Can we say "safety hazard"? Glad to get that one done!
The ice and leaves were chiseled out of the gutters. A new range top installed. Weather stripping put on a front door. And numerous bags of leaves racked by our youth, Emily Olive's scout troop, and adults. And we had a great ivy-pulling team in the front azalea beds! And then there were the bathroom caulkers - a tedious but necessary job!
Lent - CHOA Meal Bags
Sometimes families find themselves spending days or weeks at a child's hospital bedside. At the request of social work department at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we are making meal bags for parents who cannot afford to buy meals during their child's hospitalization. They give out 20-40 meal bags a day so at least 100 a week or 400 a month.
How can you help? Bring non-perishable individually-packaged food for a meal bag. If you prefer you can give money and the needed food will be purchased. You can bring the food in bulk and place it in the back of the sanctuary. The supplies will be available in the Prayer Room in the fellowship hall for anyone who would like to assemble a meal bag and pray for the family the meal will nourish. Or you can create meal bags at home yourself. Lillian recommends her daily Lenten practice: make a meal bag, pray for the family it will serve, and give thanks for your own health and the health of those you love.
April/May - Earth Day
Our Earth Day celebrations have featured a member of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light preaching, an organic picnic and a plant swap. We are a partner congregation of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta's Earth Covenant Ministry. See Georgia Interfaith Power and Light's YouTube interview with Jill and their full-page blog about the GIPPY Award recently won by Emory Presbyterian.
November, December - Christmas in Decatur
We will again purchase, wrap, and deliver gifts for a needy family through the Christmas in Decatur program.
Annual - Mad Housers Hut
We built Mad Housers shelters for homeless people. Each hut became the living space for someone who was presently living outdoors, giving them shelter from weather and a place to store their belongings and sleep in safety. See Karen's photos of the 2012 build.
Ongoing - Clifton Night Shelter
The EPC Mission Ministry is exploring a new opportunity to work with Clifton Sanctuary Ministries' shelter for men. We need a small group (5 or 6) people to volunteer to prepare and/or serve a hearty dinner to the men on March 19. The meal will need to be prepared offsite and brought to Clifton. The meals should be low sodium and include no pork. The meal would typically include a meat, a vegetable, bread, a dessert, and drink. Food should be prepared to serve 30 people.
Ongoing - Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry
Those in need are referred by the following agencies: Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) 770-373-2300; DFAC, 404-370-5000; United Way, 211; Partnership for Community Action, 404-929-2500. For information on receiving assistance, contact one of these agencies.
Ongoing - Trinity Clothes Closet
We partner with Trinity Presbyterian Church (Decatur) to provide gently-used clothes for their clothes closet. Drop off bags of clean clothes at the church office. Please keep the bags to a medium weight (not the large contractor size) so they can be wrestled up and down stairs and into a car for delivery to Trinity.
Ongoing - Change the World
Drop your loose change into the change jar at the back of the church. Every three months we roll it, count it, and donate it to a ministry which will use it to make a positive change in the world.
Previous recipients have included the Decatur Cooperative Ministry to help prevent homelessness locally, the Medical Benevolence Foundation for relief in Haiti, and Ministry of Insured Salvation, an orphanage in Lesotho which we're connected to through to our PCUSA missionaries, the Dimmocks.