Rejoice members minister to the needs of our community and surrounding communities through a variety of programs and in partnership with other community organizations. A wide range of opportunities are available to share our time, talent and blessings. Listed below are a few of those opportunities.
In one of his sermons, Pastor Ernie showed a video about an individual who was giving out blankets to the homeless during the holiday season. Pastor Ernie then challenged our congregation and said, “We should do that.” Our people accepted the challenge! Several people from the congregation began donating blankets, and a group of people came to the church and wrapped all the blankets as Christmas presents for the homeless. We considered traveling to downtown Dallas to deliver the blankets, but thought we must have some neighbors in need close to our area.
After some research, we learned of an organization called, “Many Helping Hands” based in Irving, TX – right next door to us! Our church partnered up with them and the other churches involved with the program, and we began collecting needed items for the homeless in Irving and Dallas.
We currently collect toiletries, clothing, shoes, blankets, coats, etc. for our neighbors in need in Irving. When we learned about providing a hot meal to the homeless population, we immediately signed up to take our turn. As we are no longer able to cook and serve food to this group of people, our congregation generously donates funds to cater meals to them for just $4 per plate! We welcome all donations.
Questions? Contact Cheryl: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upbring Foster Program – Angel Tree Program
Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services) is an organization whose goal is to raise the standards for child welfare in Texas. The mission to break the cycle of child abuse is bigger than any single organization. Upbring is changemaker determined to create a world where all children are cherished.
Prior to the Christmas season every year, Rejoice sets up a Christmas tree in the Narthex. In place of Christmas balls, the tree is decorated with angels that represent a child in the foster care system. Each angel has the name of a child, the child’s age and a wish list of items that child would like to receive on Christmas. Each child is allowed to request four gifts, and they are asked to keep it around $30 per gift.
Members of the congregation pick an Angel(s) from the tree, purchase gifts and bring the gift(s) along with a gift bag and the Angel ornament back to the church to be distributed and pray for the children. Our church steps up and helps make Christmas happen for these kids. Our church has been told that we are the most generous gifters because we go out of our way to purchase exactly what these babies are requesting.
Through this Angel Tree, the simple act of love will give joy to children who might otherwise have little to celebrate. Pray that God will open your heart to their needs and that these children may live out the true meaning of Christmas.
We also do Easter baskets for Upbring.
Contact the church office for more information: 972-724-2323
Rejoice’s Starfish Mission – in cooperation with the not-for-profit organization Arrow Outreach is a ministry which supports poor people in the Ciudad Juárez, Mexico area through Outreach Programs. Some Outreach Programs are: Starfish Scholarship Program, Feeding the Poor, Medical Care for Seniors, Operation of a Day Care Center, Operation of an Orphanage Home, Computer Classes, Sewing Classes, Annual Christmas Parties, Children’s Summer Camps to name a few. These activities are complimented through annual Starfish Mission trips to Juárez.
In 2001 Rejoice was invited to partner with First Presbyterian Church of Lewisville in their Starfish Mission. Rejoicers traveled to Juarez, Mexico and spent five days doing construction work and teaching Vacation Bible School to the poor in outlying areas of Juarez. In 2005 the group numbered twenty! One community had school just three days a week with a volunteer teacher in an old school bus as a classroom. Over the past two years Starfish workers have helped set up five school buildings and bathroom facilities, and now they have school every day with five paid teachers! The “traveling” Vacation Bible School reaches about 50 to 100 children a day. Many more Rejoicers contribute to the Starfish Mission through its annual fundraisers: the Used Book Fair, the Flea Market, and Recyclables.
Due to the violence in Juárez, the annual Mission trips were suspended in 2009, but the support of our brothers and sisters in Juárez continued through these Outreach Programs, the largest of which is the Starfish Scholarship Program. As administrator of the program, Bernd Braun visited Juárez in July 2012 and reported the violence had calmed down considerably. In June 2013, a group of eight people from five different churches including B. Braun and G. Lindstrom from Rejoice visited Juárez again to evaluate if it would be safe to take groups back down again. Everybody was encouraged by what they saw, and plans were on their way to resume the Starfish Mission Trips in the summer of 2014.
Metrocrest Social Services
Food Pantry: Rejoice has “food bins” at all times in the Narthex. The purpose of these food bins are for people to donate food items needed for the Food Pantry at Metrocrest. We have volunteers who pack up these food items to take to Metrocrest’s Food Pantry. This is an ongoing ministry.
Souper Bowl Party: Past Activity: The young people of Rejoice have led the charge and inspired the congregation to donate dollars and collect nonperishable food items leading up to the Big Super Bowl game. Proceeds are donated to Metrocrest Food Bank. Two bins are decorated with the two NFL football teams in the Super Bowl that year. Participants are asked to place their nonperishable food in the bin they are hoping will win the Super Bowl. A soup luncheon is held after the 11:00am Worship service.
For more information about these ministries, contact the church office: 972-724-2323 or visit metrocrestservices.org.