September 2010 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

The ministry of the church involves reaching out to the world with the love of Jesus Christ. This includes offering a helping hand and a gift of hope to people in troubled times. Often when we speak of missions we focus on how we can minister across the globe in situations of dire poverty or in the wake of disaster. Images from the earthquake in Haiti and the tragic floods in Pakistan surely call us to reach out to the world with Christian compassion. Visions of starving children in various parts of God's creation cause us to tremble at the bounty we have received from the Lord and challenge us to use what we have to make a difference. Most of us have enough that we can afford to do something to relieve the suffering of others.

Missions is not, however, something that can only be pursued on foreign soil, far from home. Did you know that over the summer months our little food pantry assisted over a dozen families? Their needs included basic food for a family of 2 to 6 people for three to seven days. Non-perishable items from our shelves (thank you to Pat Yeomans for keeping them stocked!) were supplemented with perishable necessities like bread, milk, eggs and meat. Special requests were received and met for hygiene and household items (dish soap, laundry detergent, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine items, toilet paper, etc.) About 50 percent of the families who call for help do not have transportation and so the pastor, with assistance from her family, often makes personal deliveries. It is a blessing and a ministry to offer a little Christian care for people in their own homes.

Beyond our food pantry ministry, help is provided for other types of emergencies as well. Two families received assistance with rent this summer. One family was helped with a Central Hudson bill. Gas for a car was provided twice to folks in need. In June, overnight accommodations were provided for a bicycle traveler on a dangerously stormy night. Early in August, two strangers traveling by foot arrived at the parsonage door at 9:15 at night and were given an evening meal and one night of lodging. You never know when opportunities for service may knock at your door and you don't have to travel the globe to be in mission.

Fishkill United Methodist Church is engaged in mission and outreach on a regular basis in our local area. Thank you to all who support our food pantry and to all who make monetary gifts to our church's emergency assistance fund. Through you and your gifts, Jesus Christ is touching "our neighbors" with hope and love.

In Christ's Love,

Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff