From Barbara Steinmetz
I was in prison when I first heard about the Home Touch Ministry.
A group of us, from Christ Church, had gone to Marion Correctional Institution for their Annual Christmas Pageant.
I struck up a conversation with a lady from a Sandusky church. We were chatting about what our churches were doing for outreach and she mentioned the Home Touch program used in her congregation. I had been doing a lot of soul-searching. I felt I should be contributing more to Christ Church, be it
TIME, TALENT, or TREASURE.
As I listened to her description of what they did, I thought, “I could do that.” I certainly have the TIME. I am a fairly organized person who could keep it all together. That would be my TALENT. And if I didn't charge the church for anything, I would be giving my TREASURE. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I got the approval of Fr. Mike, identified some home-bound folks who might like the materials and Home Touch was launched in April of 2019.
What is Home Touch? The basic package is a commercially prepared set of Gospel readings, inspirational writings and puzzles. These are organized weekly and are downloadable off of the internet for a fee.
To these printed materials, I add a personalized handwritten note to each person and I try to also include some little trinket or gift. It could be as little as a balloon or some confetti. But I want to make opening the envelope fun for the participants. I also send cards for occasions and birthdays.
The participants in my ministry are home bound folks who have been suggested by the congregation. At this time, there are 15 people in our group.
The number is fluid as life takes its twists and turns. But I am always happy to add people to our circle. Distance is no problem. Church affiliation has no bearing. We have Presbyterians and Methodists. Age is also not a problem. Anyone who is confined for whatever the reason and would like to read the word of the Lord is welcome.
Response to this ministry has been positive. I periodically receive a card or note thanking me. Friends and caregivers of the participants tell me that the materials are welcomed. People seem to like to know that they are remembered. But perhaps the one who has gained the most is me. I am gladdened that I finally figured a way to serve the Lord and His people in one fell swoop.
~ Barbara Steinmetz
Greetings to the Church in your home!
We have navigated a second Holy Week and Easter in pandemic mode. I have to confess some vile jealousy of neighboring congregations who celebrated in-person while we chose to continue to continue suspension of in-person worship (targeting a May 2 "re-opening," if Wood County's stats, the CDC, Bishop & Heath Department warrant). At the same time, the worrisome reports of rapidly escalating spread of variants of the virus in neighboring Michigan - particularly among vulnerable younger (and yet to be vaccinated) members of the community support great caution.
I think our "in-between" state - suspended somewhere between normal "life before COVID" and whatever "life after COVID" will offer - can help us better understand the first disciples and their journey from Jesus' cross to Pentecost: Hope is promised, yet seems beyond actual reach. We trusted our leader(s) before, surely we can continue to do so. Will our hopes become reality? -and more.
How will you make the Easter promise real? One study resource suggested these ten simple ways to embrace living forward from the shadow of the cross:
Yes, we're "in-between" - but we're neither hopeless nor without a Helper.
Alleluia. Christ is risen!
Nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!