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Parable of the Good Samaritan

 Jesus said, “Which of these three…was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” [The man] said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”  – Luke 10:25-37

Dear First Church,

At Easter, we celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of Christ. As a response to the new life we’ve been given, each year we dedicate a special Easter Offering to a ministry or facility need that increases our ability to serve others. This year’s Easter offering will directly support ministry with our neighbors through the Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) and new Thursday Morning Ministry with Women Experiencing Homelessness.

Through the Emergency Assistance Fund, our church offers direct assistance to our neighbors in need. We provide:

  • Work boots for those entering a new construction job, often following incarceration,
  • Stop-gap support to help people remain in their current housing and avoid homelessness,
  • Long-distance bus tickets to help those stranded in the midst of a journey,
  • Emergency payment of cellular phone bills to keep this lifeline open for those who live on the street,
  • Manna bags, a handy package of food, drink, and socks for the day’s needs,

…as well as the individual, unpredictable needs that come our way.

With more hours dedicated to Mercy and Justice ministries, Pastor Cathy Stone now oversees the Emergency Assistance Fund. In addition, she and a team of volunteers are expanding our ministry with women experiencing homelessness. Beginning in May, they will offer services each Thursday morning after the “Feed My People” Breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., providing a welcoming and safe place for women experiencing homelessness to find resources, relationships, computer access and assistance, showers, creative activities, conversations, and more. Our Easter Offering will provide the startup expenses for this new ministry. We are excited to see how this new ministry develops, and we covet your prayers in the meantime. If you are interested in volunteering for this ministry, contact Pastor Cathy at cathy@fumcaustin.org.

Now, let me share a story.  A couple of weeks ago, we received a referral from another pastor—a woman had fled an abusive relationship with her four children. She needed a place to stay immediately, while she worked out other long-term arrangements. Because of the Emergency Assistance Fund, we were able to provide a safe place for this family in their moment of need. We were also able to help her connect with the local agencies that will help her heal and get on her feet again.

I say it often: your generosity changes lives. Thank you for your generous gift to the Easter Offering as we support our neighbors in their moment of need.

With great love,
Pastor Taylor