HOPE For All and WSA
HOPE For All helps to stabilize the lives of people in our community who struggle to meet their basic needs by providing furniture, housewares, and clothing. In doing so, they share a special relationship with many area churches in combined efforts to bring the love of Jesus Christ to our neighbors.
Imagine finally coming out of homelessness. What a blessing; what a relief. You and your family now have a roof over your heads, phew! Most, if not all, of your monthly income will go to the rent and hopefully food. You and your kids need beds, you need a table and chairs for eating and homework, you need pots and pans, you need dressers for clothes; wait, you need clothes. If your family and new home are going to be clean and healthy, you need hygiene items and cleaning supplies. None of these items are eligible for purchase with the modest amount of food stamps you might get. Now what? Things still feel hopeless. There is hope – HOPE For All.
In November, the Living Stones Team toured the HOPE For All facility on Roesler Road in Glen Burnie. During Executive Director Connie Cooper’s presentation, we learned that in 2021 HOPE’s Turning Houses Into Homes program assisted 849 people with furniture, housewares, linens, and clothing (including 392 new beds). Their Head to Toe Program provided clothing for 117 Anne Arundel County Public School students and their Next Step Program provided clothing for 345 people who were homeless, in recovery, placed in emergency care, leaving prison, disabled, and more. In all, HOPE served more than 9,000 people during 2021 – all in the name of Jesus!
After meeting with Connie and seeing HOPE’s incredible operation first hand, the team recommended to Council that Rejoice Fellowship apply to become a HOPE For All Church Partner. Shortly thereafter, Council approved the recommendation and HOPE welcomed us aboard with open arms. Rejoice Fellowship joined a long list of local churches and corporate partners that support HOPE For All programs with financial and physical donations, time and talents, and prayers for continued success.
Visit HOPE’s website at www.hopeforall.us to learn more, and look for more information in the coming year about Rejoice Fellowship’s new partnership and ways you can help HOPE “offer life’s essentials today… to give HOPE for a self-sufficient tomorrow.”
We are excited to announce that Pastor Maddie has been selected as a candidate for the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy’s 15th Watershed Stewards Certification Class beginning in January 2023! Pastor will be joining two librarians, several county employees from the Bureau of Watershed Protection & Restoration and Recreation & Parks, two dads and their adult children, and four candidates from other RiverWise congregations.
To become certified, Pastor and the other candidates will complete an intensive, research-based, hands-on training that will include a capstone project in their community. Once certified, Watershed Stewards:
WSA’s RiverWise Congregations Program provides technical, faith-based assistance to help Houses of Worship care for God’s Creation. Watershed Stewards at RiverWise Congregations have created and led environmental ministries to educate their faith communities about ways they can reduce pollution where they live and worship. They work with their communities to install projects such as rain gardens and conservation landscapes to reduce pollution at its source. Collectively, these small community-based actions improve the health of the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Early discussions between Pastor, Jane Hudgins, and WSA leadership indicate that Pastor’s work for the class can be connected to our upcoming landscaping project at Quarterfield Road and WSA even has some ideas about how they might be able to support our Spring tree-planting project. As a RiverWise Congregation, we will have opportunities to participate in community clean-ups and serve as an educational touchpoint for our neighbors relative to landscaping and pollution reduction.
Visit WSA’s website at www.aawsa.org and stay tuned for more information about this exciting partnership and Pastor’s progress in becoming a Certified Watershed Steward.
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