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
Arrow Outreach/Starfish Scholarship Program
El Paso Community Foundation
Laura Butzow is the new coordinator for the Starfish Scholarship ministry at Rejoice. Starfish sponsors kids in Juarez, Mexico to receive a better education through Arrow Outreach.
If you would like to find out more, reach out to Laura: email@example.com
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
The Church of the Damascus Road
Metrocrest Services specializes in helping families and seniors who are going through a crisis situation stabilize their lives for a brighter future. They offer a wide range of services including emergency financial assistance, financial coaching and education, a food pantry, employment coaching and job readiness, senior services to help seniors age in place, and seasonal programs focused on children including holiday gifts and food for the summer.
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.
In 2007 Dan Lund, a lay member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Weatherford, became a volunteer with "Accepting Grace Ministries," a small, non-profit service to offenders in Texas prisons.
Dan felt called to this ministry because he has personally witnessed the ravages of substance abuse as a recovering alcoholic, now with over 45 years of sobriety he and his wife Jan also were the parents of a son, now deceased, who was incarcerated for many years for drug offenses.
Dan raised funds for the ministry as well as facilitating weekly Bible-based alcohol/drug recovery meetings in Breckenridge and other units of the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. The Rev. Franz Schemmel of Messiah joined the board of directors.
In 2011 the founding leadership of "Accepting Grace" withdrew from involvement with the ministry. Dan Lund and another volunteer, Rusty Fuqua, turned to Messiah Lutheran and other committed congregations(primarily in the NT-NL) to establish new leadership and structure for the prison outreach ministry.
Messiah Lutheran Church took over primary responsibility for the bookkeeping, support and direction of the prison ministry in January 2012. A new board was put in place, and Dan Lund was asked to serve as Director.
Bishop Kevin Kanouse led an Easter eve worship at the Lindsey Unit in 2013. Twelve men responded to the invitation to be baptized and more than 90 renewed their baptismal vows. In September we were offered the opportunity at the Lindsey unit to provide worship with holy communion, initially on one Friday evening per month. Beginning April 2014 the ministry will offer worship with holy communion every Wednesday evening at the Walker-Sayles Unit.
With encouragement from Bishop Kevin application was made to the mission council to approve the ministry as a SAWC. This was granted in January 2014. An outside council has been formed with Vance Everett from Trinity Lutheran in Sherman serving as the first chairman.