The Living Stones leadership team met on August 14. It was a wonderful way to end my year-long Center for Congregations Resource Grant for several reasons, which encapsulate the successes of our work this year.
Built to Last: Celebrating 150 years at Trinity: 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Trinity’s historic church building. After our successful February anniversary event, two anniversary events remain this fall. Each event has a different character and has been geared to a different audience.
A vital mission for Trinity is the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon. Early in the summer, several Trinity members attended the Children’s Home Auxiliary’s annual meeting on the Home’s campus. Following the meeting and a delicious lunch, the members attended the grand opening of two new additional homes. Each of these homes houses 10 older teens who will be provided independence outside the home while still working with their Family Teachers to learn positive behavioral skills, academic skills, and independent living skills. The other four homes each house 8 youth bringing the total to 52 youth now residing on campus.
The unique design of the Lebanon campus is the Teaching Family homes, an open-campus group, where the children live in family-style, non-institutional environments with live-in married couples as the Family Teachers. The Home serves youth ages 14-19 who have behavioral, emotional, and/or minor substance abuse issues. The students receive services based on their individual needs and may include individual counseling, family counseling, social skills training, psychiatric/psychological service, education on or off campus, post-secondary education assistance, community-based employment, spiritual development, recreational opportunities, community service opportunities, and exposure to cultural experiences.
Also, a small group from Trinity attended the June graduation and luncheon for the eight graduating seniors. The Home has the James E. Davis School on site. This years, for the first time, a graduating senior was awarded a scholarship for post graduation schooling. This scholarship is possible from a generous donation of an Indiana couple. It is planned that 2 scholarships will be given each year. The Home has also recently seen a growth in the number of students wishing to be baptized.
FINALLY, TRINITY CONGREGATION, THANK YOU!!! FOR YOUR EASTER OFFERING OF $1,482 TO THE CHILDREN’S HOME AUXILIARY. The funds received by the auxiliary are used to provide special activities or items for the students. It has recently funded a pottery project, tickets for a cultural event, a grief garden, and a large handmade dining table for one of the new homes. The Auxiliary is made up of individuals from all over the state. If you would like more information about the Home, contact Norma Singley (a past president of the Auxiliary for 6 years), Chris Lilly, Jane Nichols, or Kay Franscoviak (present scholarship committee member). Tours of the homes, school, and chapel are available.
In light of the news reports, you might be wondering what you can do. The United Methodist Women gave a call to action last week and offered suggestions of what we can do to turn our faith, hope and love into action on behalf of immigrant children who do not have the power to help themselves.
The call to action says, in part:
We give God thanks for United Methodists who are providing compassionate care to migrants at the border. Border Conferences have established relief centers for migrants. United Methodists from other regions of the country continue to support migrants seeking asylum with their time, talent and treasures. United Methodist congregations across the country have opened their doors to provide sanctuary for those immigrants whose lives would be endangered if they were to be deported to their home countries. UMCOR has been a partner in assisting this connectional work. The General Board of Church and Society has led us faithfully in our advocacy work in support of justice for the migrant and the immigrant. United Methodist Women have also been a strong voice in advocating for the rights of immigrant children and families.
One of the suggestions UMW offers is to work with local organizations that help immigrants in your area. Locally, you can volunteer at Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic or join the Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies.
Other actions include:
Edited from a letter by Susan Henry-Crowe
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