Blanket Sunday raised just over $500, which equates to over 100 blankets that Church World Service can use to help people in need, such as those affected by Hurricane Sandy or the Oklahoma tornadoes. In addition, during the Vera House White Ribbon Campaign, we raised $121 to help support programs to combat domestic violence. Thanks to everyone for their continued support of these programs from the Diaconal Ministries Committee.
Please sign the greeting cards found in the narthex or write a brief message so we can keep in touch with members of our church family. If you know of someone who should recieve a card, please contact the church office.
CROP Walk for Hunger
The facts are sobering. One out of every seven people in the world goes hungry… that’s 1 billion people. Each day almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes…that’s one child every five seconds. In this land of plenty, over 36 million people are faced with food insecurity… a line that would stretch from New York to Los Angeles… and back… twice. While these numbers seem staggering, each year we are given an opportunity to do our part to fight hunger by participating in the annual CROP Walk. The North Syracuse Area CROP Walk alone has raised over $500,000 in its history to combat local and global hunger. You can participate by signing up to walk or by sponsoring one or more walkers. Even if you can’t attend on the day of the walk, you can still be a ‘CROP Walker’ by committing to walk on an alternate day. Everyone can participate in one way or another. See the deacons for more details.
The New Commandment Ministry
This ministry is working to obey the Lord’s command to care for and to love on another. We help by doing tasks in and around the homes of those who need us and ask for our help. We will also help with your transportation needs and pickup necessities for you. The New Commandment Ministry is here for you! If you need help or can give help, please call Pastor James. Help is here for you. Stamp Ministry
This year the Lenten Offering will go to support the Migrant Farm Workers Education Fund. In addition, PHCC will be making contributions to the three RCA colleges and two RCA seminaries to support their on-going Christian Education initiatives. Feel free to contact any member of the Diaconal Ministries Committee for further information.
Special Christmas Offering
This year’s Christmas Offering will be directed toward Reformed Church in America Global Mission. As has been our tradition for many years, each year we make a financial commitment to support RCA international missionaries. For more information on RCA Global Missions and individual missionaries, please refer to https://www.rca.org/discoverglobalmission. Christmas offering envelopes can be found in your box of envelopes or you can use the envelopes available in the pews and designate for “Christmas Offering”.
Calling Holiday Angels!
Once again, Pitcher Hill Community Church will be participating in our White Gifts program to help fill the needs of AIDS Community Resource’s clients. Our White Gifts program helps to brighten the Christmas season for those in our community affected by HIV and AIDS.
ACR clients often lack basic supplies they and their families need for daily living. Suggested gifts include: personal care items such as shampoo, deodorant, razors, and bath supplies; personal hygiene items for women; disposable baby diapers; tooth brushes and toothpaste for children and adults; and of course gift cards and winter outerwear items such as gloves/mittens, scarves, and hats are welcome.
Please wrap your gifts in white, and provide a basic label such as “adult male” or “parent of infant” and bring them to church on Sunday, December 9. To quote Carrie Large, ACR’s Development Director, “I remain humbled and thankful for your generosity.”
The Diaconal Ministries Committee has become aware of another ministry opportunity related to the sponsorship of a refugee family. InterFaith Works is looking for a small group from the church who could engage in this ministry. The activities would include collecting furnishings and preparing an apartment, grocery shopping for the family with a list of ethnic foods and meeting with the family roughly once a week for about three months after they arrive. Most of the newly arriving families are from Burma, Shutan, Somalia, and Iraq, but there are also some from a varitey of African countries. Most of the people have been through quite an ordeal. If you are interested in participating in this ministry or feel called to serve in this area, please contact Jeff Dunnewold.
Interreligious Food Consortium
On the first Sunday of each month, we take up a food collection that is then delivered to the Interreligious Food Consortium (IFC). Perhaps you have wondered, “Exactly what is the IFC and what do they do with that food?”
The Interreligious Food Consortium is a grassroots movement to help end hunger in Onondaga County. Currently, they work with 70 food pantries in Onondaga County. The IFC solicits, collects and distributes donated food to the various food pantries in Syracuse and Onondaga County to keep their shelves stocked at no cost.
The IFC was formed thirty years ago for the purpose of uniting and networking the various emergency food pantries in Onondaga County. When an individual or family is in need of assistance, they may call the IFC to be referred to an appropriate food pantry or meal site. The IFC assists pantries with program support, financial assistance and food at no cost The IFC receives donations of food from families, religious organizations and corporations. This food is passed on free of charge to a network of food pantries and meal sites. Many of the food pantries appreciate being able to come to the IFC office to help stock their shelves when they do not have the financial resources to pay shared maintenance fees or to purchase food from a local dealer. The IFC has a personal relationship with the volunteers at the food pantries as well as the people who rely on their assistance. They are available to listen to their concerns, offer support and help keep their shelves stocked.
The gap between the amount of food that Food Stamps will buy and the amount it actually takes to feed a family continues to widen. With the rise in food prices and what people currently have to budget for food does not go far, by the end of the month people are looking for ways to feed their families. 42% of the children and 29% of the adults in the city of Syracuse live below the poverty level. The IFS believes that the volunteers are on the front lines fighting the battle of hunger in our community and their agency will do whatever they can to help meet the demand… which continues to grow.
In conclusion, the Diaconal Ministries Committee would like to thank the congregation for their continued generosity and support of the IFC… and don’t forget to pick up a few extra items each time you shop!
Other Ministries Supported by PHCC…..
New Hope Services
Ducks against Racism
Bread for the World
Caring and Sharing Baskets
Holiday Gifts to Families
Food Bank of CNY
Habitat for Humanity
Meals on Wheels