Stephen Center is our Mission and Hunger partner for the month of August. With three locations to handle their many programs, they are a vital component to aid those in need in South Omaha. Stephen Center seeks to partner with the community, families and individuals to overcome homelessness, addiction and poverty. The Center’s Emergency Shelter at 2723 Q Street was recently renovated and expanded to accommodate a greater number of overnight residents. Various other programs and features of the shelter, including the food preparation and storage areas, were also expanded and updated to better serve their clientele. Stephen Center’s HERO Program at 5217 S 28th Street is a state-licensed substance abuse treatment center. It is extremely affordable, making access to the treatment available to a wide variety of men and women. The evidence-based twelve-step supported program provides a wide array of treatment opportunities; and clients have the opportunity to remain in the program for as long as necessary while regaining employment, re-establishing family relationships, and preparing themselves for a life of sobriety and drug-free success.
For over 27 years, NAP has provided supportive services and HIV prevention education to our community. There are over 1600 people living with HIV in Nebraska with an estimated 600-800 more people who have it but do not know it. Every 3 days someone in Nebraska is diagnosed HIV positive. NAP strives to provide innovative and effective programs or services to meet the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS, and its stigma through education, supportive services and advocacy.
Habitat for Humanity-Omahais the PCM Mission Partner for June. PCM will be participating in building a house again this year as part of the Carpenters Crew Faith Coalition. Our house location this year is at 4116 N. 21st St. in Omaha. We also know the family who will be buying our house. They are Nay Shaw and Sha Wah. They have four daughters and are excited to become homeowners. They are a Karen refugee family from Myanmar (see photo). This year’s build will start on August 15th. The Carpenters Crew is going to organize this year’s build a little differently. We are going to work mostly on Saturdays with a few Friday work days in the early build season. During June at PCM, look for various opportunities to help with the build. We will be asking for donations towards PCM’s financial pledge for the house. We will be signing up workers to help on the various build days during the fall. We will be recruiting food providers to help provide breakfast and lunch for the work crews on one or two of the build days. And finally, we are asking for your continued prayers for the work crews, the new homeowners, and the Habitat organization. Thank you in advance for your support.
Table Grace Cafe is the PCM Mission Committee's Mission Partner and Hunger Focus for the month of May. Many members will remember that a few years ago many members enjoyed a delicious brunch at Table Grace Cafe on a Saturday afternoon in April. Many more will remember the wonderful New Year's Eve dinners that Table Grace Cafe served for PCM. (If you are thinking about having an event catered, you might consider Table Grace.) And yet others will remember stopping there for lunch while on a Round Town Mission Trip.
PCM’s Mission Partner and Hunger Ministry Partner for April is Crossroads Connection Prison Ministries. Many inmates are released from prison with the clothes on their back, minimal financial resources, and limited contacts with positive influences on the outside. Crossroads helps this transition by creating a community of faith and support through a weekly worship service and fellowship meal for work release inmates, those newly released, and their families and friends. Crossroads also provides Project LIFE, Living In Freedom Eternally, which provides safe transitional housing, weekly counseling, and ongoing mentoring for budgeting, employment assistance, transportation, and other assistance for those newly released.
Siena/Francis House is both the Mission & Hunger partner for the month of Jan. It is the largest provider of services to the homeless in the region. One of those services is feeding the hungry. Each year, Siena/Francis House serves over 400,000 meals to men, women and children. Those meals include breakfast, mid-day lunch and sack lunches, dinner and brunch on Sundays and major holidays. Costs are kept as low as possible by partnering with 450 local grocery stores, food production companies, schools, business, churches and households to provide, prepare, and serve the meals. PCM is one of those churches. If you can donate 2-3 hours a month, we would love to have you join PCM volunteers to help serve the evening meal on the second Monday each month. Sign up is available in the Communications Center. You need to be available by 4:30 – 5:00 PM and be finished before 7:30PM.
“Without water, nothing can grow.” That can sound either amazingly simple or amazingly profound, depending upon your perspective. That’s the motto of the mission partner for December, Aqua Africa. This organization uses clean water as a starting place to help communities in South Sudan to begin to develop. Each well can provide 8,000 liters of clean water each day. Within just a few weeks of drinking clean water, headaches and stomach problems that were prevalent with the bacteria-infested water, disappear. In addition, the well saves 357 man-hours daily that would have been spent collecting and transporting water and 314 trees that would have been burned to try to sanitize water.
Those of you, who have been members of PCM for a few years, are probably familiar with Heifer International. We’ve been sending the proceeds from the PCM Christmas card to Heifer for as long as I’ve been a member. Having said that, I’m still going to talk about some of the basics of Heifer, our Mission Partner for November, but I’ll try to include a few of lesser-known facts so that even those “seasoned” members might learn something new. The mission of Heifer Int’l. is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Did you know that nearly 870 million people around the world don’t have enough food to eat? That’s a pretty staggering fact—here’s another: over 270 million families have been lifted out of hunger and poverty as a result of Heifer. Animals are where that starts; milk, eggs, cheese, honey and wool provide life-sustaining products. Each family who receives an animal agrees to pass on the offspring of that animal to another person in need. On average, at least nine generations of Heifer animals can be traced. In some communities, 22 generations can be traced! While it all starts with animals, it doesn’t end there. Heifer is also involved with teaching families to manage water resources.
Many thanks to those who were associated with the Red Cross Blood Drive in August. Whether you prepared food, helped to set up or tear down, registered donors, or most especially if you donated blood, you have our gratitude. The next blood drive is scheduled for October 5th at Holy Cross Lutheran. Hours are 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM.
Sermon from June 22, 2014. Acts 1:1-8. This sermon includes reflections from Pastor Bob about his time at General Assembly (via phone!) and the decisions made about same-sex marriage. There are also reflections about and from the PCM members and friends who travelled on a mission trip to Wisner and Pilger, NE on June 21 to assist with clean-up efforts after the tornadoes there earlier in the month.
The Hunger Partner for June is Siena/Francis House. The following is an excerpt from their Spring Newsletter: “2013 was a successful year for the Siena/Francis House, in terms of our service to the homeless of our community. With your support, and on your behalf, our organization served 421,138 meals and provided 180,386 overnight stays to 3,591 homeless families and individuals who sought assistance last year. The 180,386 overnight stays is a record number for our shelter or for any shelter in Nebraska. As I looked more closely at our services to the homeless in 2013, several poignant pieces of information emerged, including:
Youth Emergency Services (Y.E.S.) is both the mission and hunger partner for May. Y.E.S. was founded in 1974 by a group of volunteers who wanted to help homeless young folks who were hanging out around the Old Market. From that beginning, came the YES House (better known today as the Emergency Shelter.) That shelter has served as the only arm of YES until 1999 when the Street Outreach Program was added. (The Hunger monies are used both at the YES House and in the Street Outreach Program.) About 10 years later, both the Transitional Living Programand the Maternity Home were founded. The latest programming came into being in 2012, when a Mentoring Program was launched. In the past decade, close to 6,000 youth were helped by YES to escape a crisis situation. It’s the only organization in Omaha whose focus is on helping runaway and homeless youth turn their lives around in a positive direction.
Please call Guy Shelton at 402-699-1950 if you are interested in helping with any of the above items or have any questions.
The Mission Partner/Hunger Partner for April is Table Grace Café. Isn’t that a wonderful name for a restaurant? And grace is only one of the gifts that can be found Monday through Saturday from 11am until 2pm at 1611½ Farnam Street. In addition to grace, you can also find gourmet pizza, salads and soups. On Saturday, brunch is served instead of lunch.
What were you doing on February 2nd? A large number of caring PCMites were enjoying a variety of soups and supporting efforts to fight hunger in our state through the Souper Bowl of Caring. The Youth Group send their heartfelt thanks to those who prepared the soups, set up &/or cleaned up the Fellowship Hall and those who donated money. The final count was $1,287.35! (I believe that’s the highest amount raised in the history of PCM.) The youth have designated Food Bank of the Heartland (the lion's share) and Crossroads Connection Prison Ministry as the mission partners who will receive the funds.