Hooks & Needles Sends Love to Mother & Child (2/24/21)

Posted by on Mar 2, 2021 in EventReport, FEATURED, Knitting Ministries, Ministry: Community & Church | 0 comments

Congratulations…  You just had a baby!  That IS great news.  But imagine that you’re young, single, unemployed, and homeless.  The happiness of being a mother is clouded by the dark realities in your life.  You want the best for your baby and you need to reach out for help.  But who is there to answer?  As it was with the leper, bleeding woman, and despised Samaritan, is there anyone who will listen to you?  Is there anyone who can let go of all feelings of judgement, and instead reach out and take hold of your hand in love?  Is the Church there???

Thanks to God and the work of His Holy Spirit, help is available.  Hands of love are ready to embrace you with the warmth of God’s love.  At various times during this covid laced winter, PUMC’s “Hooks and Needles” group has reached out to the needy of our community. Recently, they delivered 17 handmade blankets for the new mothers at a homeless shelter…

 

Center for Family Services: Mother Child

This organization exists for the sole purpose of helping families like yours.

The Center for Family Services provides many services for people in need.  One of them is temporary housing for recent mothers (or mothers to be) who are currently homeless. The shelter is located in Woodbury, NJ (our county seat- about 5 miles away from PUMC).  The Mother Child Shelter seeks to restore wholeness to a mother who is carrying heavy physical, emotional, and financial burdens in addition to carrying her child. In addition to providing emergency shelter, Mother Child trains young mothers on how to care for their babies, find employment, and assists them to reach emotional wholeness.  They provide on-site workshops and counseling as needed.  The goal is to help the women become self-sufficient so that they can fully care for themselves and their child.

 

Jesus: Loving Shepherd

The Church exists for the sole purpose of glorifying God by helping all people; even someone in your difficult situation. 

Jesus cares for those in need.  He is not judgemental, and He empowers His Church to take on the same qualities.  While He was on earth, He talked with a Samaritan woman who had been rejected by her community because she was “living in sin.”  He did the unthinkable and touched lepers; despised people who had to warn “normal” people to flee from their presence by announcing themselves as “Unclean, Unclean!”  Jesus the Priest allowed Himself to become defiled by the touch of a bleeding woman. 

Today, He calls His Church to reach out to the Samaritans, lepers, and bleeding women of our own day.  He comes to His Church so that we can embrace His Sheep using the example He gave us.

Hooks and Needles…

One way that our church, PUMC, is fulfilling that call is through a group called Hooks and Needles.  This group of talented women (but men are invited!)  meets weekly  to pull together their creativity and love by making items such as blankets, hats, and even facemasks.   Currently, 16 people are  active in the group. Blankets are given to new mothers,  to babies during baptism, or to anyone who needs to feel the warmth of Christ’s love.  During these cold months, hats and scarves are given to the community (using our “Soap and Such”  mini pantry).

Here’s a taste of what Hooks and Needles has been doing over the past few months…

 

December:  Christmas Party

In December, Mother Child throws a Christmas party for the moms and their kids.  In normal times, the gifts are donated by local businesses.  But in these Covid times, many of those businesses had shut down.  God inspired Hooks and Needles to do something about this.  So they pulled together, purchased gifts, and then delivered a car-full of Christmas gifts to the center in time for the party.

In appreciation of the Christmas gifts, Richard Stagliano, the CEO of the Center for Family Services, sent a letter to Hooks and Needles.  In his letter, he related the story of a 13 year old boy who was warmed by one of the gifts.  To protect his identity, we’ll just call this boy “David”…

Your donation of holiday gifts to residents in our Mother Child program sends a powerful message of care and support…

Because of you, a child like David will have the chance to feel special.  For children like 13-year old David who faced difficult and traumatic life circumstances, the chance to feel special means a lot.

Last year David hoped for a Rowan University sweatshirt.  Because of you and other caring people like you, David received that exact gift.  David treasures his sweatshirt and wears is as a constant reminder to stay on track with his goal to attend Rowan University.  His megawatt smile and motivation to keep pushing forward is thanks to your message of care and support.

Hooks and Needles or PUMC doesn’t want any credit.  The “caring people like us” care because Christ cares for us.  The “powerful message of care and support” originates from God; we were just listening to Him and obeying His call.

 

February:  Blankets

On February 24, Hooks and Needles and Mother Child joined forces under a common purpose to care for the needy.  Hooks and Needles delivered a collection of 17 blankets to the shelter to be given to the needy mothers.  Theses works of yarn didn’t only provide a warm and useful blanket;  they also provided a warm and loving hand; a hand reached out in love to someone who may have been feeling unlovable.

A tag attached to each item describes our motivation and purpose:

“May this blanket wrap you in God’s love, comfort, and strength.  We pray that God will be with you now and always. 

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“Have I not commanded you- Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9)

 

Ongoing:  Facemasks

Another way PUMC has been reaching out during this pandemic is what we’re calling the “Soap and Such Mini Pantry.”  The “Pantry” is a series of tubs placed outside of our church building on a bench.  Anyone is welcome to take items such as cleaning supplies, feminine hygene products, and even soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. 

A need during this pandemic has been what nobody ever considered until these strange times:  Facemasks! 

This item has become essential during these unusual times, and those who are struggling through a difficult financial situation during this pandemic need help obtaining them.

Hooks and Needles has answered that need by shifting from yarn to thread.  For months, Hooks and Needles has been making Facemasks and donating them to the through the use of our “Soap and Such” pantry.  

 

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:34-36

For a loving God who has done so much for us, can our response be anything less?

 

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To learn more about Hooks and Needles, click this button:  Thread ‘n Yarn Ministries    

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