Our mission is to build a community where all people are invited to know the love of God and sent to join God in transforming the world. Each Christmas, we have an opportunity to provide transformation through our Christmas Offering, a gift to which we contribute, beyond our regular church giving. This year, the transformation we hope for is right at the corner of 13th and Lavaca Street: our Family Life Center Kitchen.
Our kitchen is a workhorse. For twenty years, every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers use this kitchen to prepare a hot breakfast for 250-300 people who are hungry in Austin. They crack eggs, bake biscuits, and wash dishes to do our part to ensure that no one is left hungry in this city. Many of you volunteer regularly at the “Feed My People” (FMP) breakfast, and you know what a difference it makes. In partnership with Foundation for the Homeless (FFH), this breakfast is one of our anchor ministries—a point through which many people connect to FUMC, and a starting point for many other ministries of our church, including our Thursday morning worship service and At the Well , our new ministry for women experiencing homelessness. Beyond the “Feed My People” Breakfast, our kitchen is used for youth ministry, First Steps, a variety of leadership meetings, and by other groups renting our facility. The kitchen is a crucial part of our ministry.
In order for these ministries to continue, our kitchen needs a full renovation. The air conditioning no longer works, causing volunteers to become overheated while serving. Several critical components of the kitchen are non-functioning or out of code. Our large freezer is beyond repair and needs to be replaced. Our dishwasher is unreliable requiring frequent maintenance. Beyond appliances, the flooring is separating in several places, causing a tripping hazard.
Working with architects and designers, we estimate the cost of renovation to be $315,000. While this is a major project, it’s not insurmountable. With participation from other congregations who care about the FMP Breakfast, as well as grant funding, we will have help, but the congregation of FUMC will be responsible for the greatest portion of the project funding—after all, it’s our kitchen! With that in mind, we have set an ambitious goal to raise the first $100,000 for the kitchen through our Christmas Offering. We need these funds urgently to get work started on air conditioning repair and other immediate needs. With that in mind, we set an ambitious goal to raise the first $100,000 for the kitchen through our Christmas Offering. We need these funds urgently to get work started on air conditioning repair and other immediate needs. I am delighted to report that we have raised over $105,000! What incredible generosity!! Even though we have met our initial goal, we still need your help to meet the full need of $315,000 to make this new kitchen a reality. I pray that you will join the many who have donated to this effort of transformation this Christmas.
You can make your gift anytime between now and the end of the year by returning the enclosed envelope to the church office, or by simply marking your check “Christmas Offering” and dropping it in the offering plate.
Pastor Taylor Fuerst