As we celebrate Christ’s birth, we celebrate a church that gives to The Children’s Home with each baptism

The congregation of Sugarloaf United Methodist Church in Gwinnett County holds, on average, 15 to 20 baptisms a year. And while that in and of itself is a celebration for the life of the church, it is also an incredible blessing for The Children’s Home.

 

That’s because the congregation at Sugarloaf recognizes that while most babies who are baptized in their church sanctuary are surrounded by family and loved ones, there are other children who are in need of the love and care that is provided through the ministry of The Children’s Home. So they take up a collection after each baptism.

 

Baptismal reflections at Sugarloaf UMC. Pictures courtesy of Sugarloaf UMC.

 

“This is our opportunity to support the work of The Children’s Home and make a lasting difference,” said Rev. Matthew Mitchell, who enthusiastically embraced the tradition started by Sugarloaf UMC’s former pastor, Rev. Stuart Greene. “We only sponsor local ministries, and this is a very significant one for us. Being able to give regularly to The Children’s Home is very much a part of who we are.”

 

Started at Smyrna First UMC, Rev. Greene began this regular offering for The Children’s Home at Sugarloaf UMC in 2008. “By encouraging people to give to children in need in honor of the baby being baptized, we avoided taking ‘yet another offering’ which people grow weary of,” said Rev. Greene. “No one passed the plate; there were no commitment forms to sign. Anybody who wanted to give any amount would simply walk to the front before leaving the sanctuary and place the money or check on the altar. Many of the donations came from extended family members, who may or may not be members of the church, but who want to ensure their baby is adequately honored.”

 

Today, offerings taken after a baptism at the church total $500 to $1,000. “It’s always exciting to watch little kids to elderly folks, long-time members and new members visibly respond so emotionally and enthusiastically while they are putting their donation in the collection basket,” added Rev. Mitchell. “We know through these donations, and especially because of the great stewardship of UMCH, we are making a real impact.”

 

And yet the church’s connection to The Children’s Home goes deeper still. Currently Sugarloaf UMC has families who have fostered through The Children’s Home, according to Rev. Mitchell, and in one case, the fostering led to adoption.

 

Says Rev. Dave Allen Grady, Director of Church Relations at The Children’s Home, “Baptism is such a powerfully meaningful time for a family, both the family of the person being baptized and the family of the church. The Children’s Home is incredibly lucky that Sugarloaf UMC extends their family’s blessings to our family.”

Season To Give: 2016 Christmas Match Campaign

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During this season of generosity, there has never been a better time to give to The United Methodist Children’s Home and create the biggest impact for your gift. Through the kindness of a few special and anonymous donors, your gift this holiday season will be matched dollar by dollar, up to a total of $94,000 until Dec. 31, going even further to help change the lives of children and families in need. That includes young adults like Kayla*.

 

Kayla’s childhood was exceptionally hard. In a true sense, her childhood was lost. She experienced the trauma of her father’s unexpected death when she was very young, and Kayla’s mother was addicted to drugs. For years Kayla suffered from her mother’s neglect and abuse. Tragically, there was no one else in the family to whom Kayla could turn. When Kayla was 13 years old, the state intervened, but was unable to place her in a foster home, so instead she entered a group home. Then, at age 17, she’d reached the age where she had to leave the group home, and was facing the world alone.

 

Because of the support of people like you, Kayla found her way at The United Methodist Children’s Home. As a resident in our Independent and Transitional Living program, Kayla learned basic life skills she had never before been taught, and she gained experience and confidence as she honed those skills. She was able to build and manage a personal budget, find and keep a job, and even purchase her first car – all while completing the program. Most importantly, Kayla was surrounded by people who loved and cared for her.

 

Kayla set a goal of going to college and members of The Children’s Home team helped her complete college applications and secure financial aid. Today, Kayla is 21 years old, working part time and attending college. She and her beloved adopted dog live in an apartment that the Children’s Home staff helped her find and furnish, and she is flourishing!

 

It’s through YOUR support that we are able to help young adults like Kayla be independent. But there are more children and young adults who need our help. Please take advantage of this special opportunity for your gift to have twice the impact, as we continue to partner with you in this redemptive ministry.

 

Remember the words of Psalms 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”

 

 Your gift to The United Methodist Children’s Home is tax-deductible, to the full extent allowed by law. Donate online at www.umchildrenshome.org or mail to:

The United Methodist Children’s Home
500 S. Columbia Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30030

 

But, hurry. Your gift must be mailed by Dec. 31 to be matched dollar for dollar, and for 2016 tax purposes.

 

From all of us at The United Methodist Children’s Home, thank you for everything you’ve already done, and for considering to give today. We hope you have a warm and blessed holiday season.

 

*Name changed for privacy

Q&A: The United Methodist Children’s Home New President and CEO Talks About the Present and the Future

Rev. Hal Jones, who has been the President and CEO at The United Methodist Children’s Home for just two weeks, starting on August 17th, shares enthusiasm about his new role and insights into the future of the ministry.

 

This interview was conducted on August 30, 2016 by Lisa Simon, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Children’s Home.

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An Extended Family

When sisters Aubry and Riley Kate were placed into Daryl and Rachel Allison’s home, they had seen so much change in their short lives that they weren’t sure to whom they actually belonged. For months two-year-old Riley Kate would see any adult and say “Mommy? Daddy?” Their foster story was a complex one involving three other siblings in care and an unclear future — some might go back to their birth mother, to a group home for medically-fragile children, or be adopted.

 

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Christmas 2015 Wish List

The holidays are right around the corner and our clients don’t have ability to buy gifts on their own. We need your help to make Christmas a special time for those we serve! We have approximately 80 children in our foster care program and another 70 residents on our campus.

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