DeWayne Barton, Co-Founder & CEO of Hood Huggers Int'l, spoke during Worship on August 20th about the upcoming project Blue Note Junction and their ongoing Peace Garden project in the Burton Street neighborhood of West Asheville. He is pictured here, with Benevolence team member, Linda Burke, and Pastor Gene Derryberry.
Look for more or our partners to speak during Worship Mission Moments this Fall: October 8th Stephanie Hickling-Beckman of Different Strokes November 12th Jasmine Middleton & Shawntell Smart from Open Doors
Some of the Benevolence Team members: L/R, Linda Burke, Peggy Grant, Kathleen Busby, Margaret Perkins & Beaver Wyatt. Missing: Mars Vickers, Linda Poss, Kathleen Stigmon
Giving to Others Brings Joy
Our outreach is rooted in our church’s mission statement. We seek to engage our local community with our time, talents, and gifts by partnering with organizations (primarily non-profits) and occasionally individual professionals to serve our neighbors and friends. Our team’s ministry focuses include - but are not limited to; homelessness, hunger, safety, education, refugees, the prison system, the disabled, veterans, femine hygiene needs, mental health, laundry services for people in need, racial equity, LBGTQ+ issues.
The Benevolence Ministry team, in 2022 through June of 2023 contributed a total of $7000 from its Pledged Fund Budget to seven organizations. These same organizations received additional monetary donations and/or needed goods at special mission moments during various Sunday worship services. During several of these mission moments organizations provided a speaker to share about their ministries. Volunteer hours were also given to some of these same groups. Some organizations with whom we partner and who were not the beneficiary of pledged funds, also received financial and goods donations and volunteer hours from congregants. Over the past 5 1/2 years, the Benevolence Ministry has collaborated with and served at least 37-40 community organizations and agencies.
Ongoing Updates & Service Activities The Benevolence Team and individual FCUCC members (with special recognition and appreciation to our honorary member Carol Duin) maintain a designated room in the education wing of our church for receiving and distributing donations of clothing, household goods, etc.
The team is asking for representatives from our partners to speak to our congregation for a few moments about their organizations during various Sunday services throughout the year. In 2023 we have had speakers from Ministry of Hope and Aura Home Women Vets and have another from Different Strokes scheduled for Oct 8. These partners have or will receive checks for $500.
Approximately 1,000 cards for various occasions (birthday, Christmas, etc.) were delivered to residents of Western Correctional Center for Women . The residents can then see that these are delivered to family members and friends.
Sign-up cards for benevolence volunteer opportunities as they are identified have been developed and printed for placement in the red pew pads in the sanctuary.
The Benevolence Team recently took a tour of Hemlock House on the Warren Wilson College campus which is a collaboration between Warren Wilson and Ministry Of Hope. This building will provide transition housing for residents of WCCW who are being released and continuing their education.