Our Lenten activity this year will be a combination of last year’s Lenten Giving Calendar collections and the previous year’s Lenten Prayer flowers. If you recall last year, we collected items that went to at least a dozen different organizations. And then if you can recall the previous year, there were at least two dozen organizations and missionaries for whom we had prayed. This year, we’ve narrowed the focus to about a half dozen organizations.
For six weeks during Lent, we will be asking you to focus your prayers on one organization, and then on Sunday, we will collect an item for that organization. Please look for details in the bulletin on Sunday, February 11th. With Lent starting on Wednesday, February 14th, we will start the prayers and then have the first collection on Sunday, February 18th.
Here are the first two Sunday collections and the prayer focus leading up to that Sunday:
Feb. 18 = Women’s Dress Clothes, Dress Shoes, Makeup and/or Jewelry for Dress for Success and/or = Toiletries for Family Links-Downtown Outreach Center and Shelter (DOCS is a shelter for male and female 18-24 year-olds with no permanent residence.)
Feb. 25 = School Supplies (pencils, dry erase markers, tape, markers, and erasers) for The Neighborhood Academy
If you have any questions, please contact the church office.
Urban Impact was one of the new local organizations that was available in the TTUMC Christmas Alternative Giving program. Urban Impact is a Christian organization that serves the youth in the North Side. They focus on helping at-risk children and their families in a holistic manner. As written on their website, their vision statement reads, “We desire to see lives holistically transformed in our community one person, one family, and one block at a time who, in turn, make a powerful impact locally and globally for Jesus Christ.”
How do they accomplish this? With dedicated staff and the help of volunteers, Urban Impact offers programs to the local youth that generally fall into one of the following four categories: Education, Athletics, Performing Arts, and Options.
The Education program aims to assist youth not just outside the classroom, but inside as well. With in-school literacy and in-school math support, out-of-school tutoring center and out-of-school Bible studies, and summer programs, the goal is for the students to succeed academically.
Athletic programs are offered for elementary, middle school, and high school students. Basketball, soccer, baseball, and football are the sports included in the Athletic program. Swim lessons are also available at the elementary level.
Performing Arts programs are also available for students ranging from elementary through high school. A wide variety of offerings fall into this category. Choir, Guitar, Jazz Band, Drama/Acting, Theatre, Ballet, and Praise Dance are offered at both the elementary and middle/high school level. Plus, there are even more age-specific offerings available to the younger and older students. For example, the older students have Dance Team, Art, Improv, Auditions, and Photography as additional selections.
Last but not least is the Options programs. This program is designed to help the high school student transition from high school to whatever their next step may be whether college, trade school, or employment, just to name a few. There is a Job Readiness class, SAT Prep, a resource center, and mentoring available to help with the planning and preparation for their future. According to their website, “In the past five years, 98% of students enrolled in Options have graduated from high school.”