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[Jesus said] “He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”Matthew 25:33–40

Christ’s command to us in the Gospel of Matthew is clear—we are to provide for the needs of others, and when we do, we are doing it for Him! This, in a nutshell, is the mission of the Board of Human Needs—to provide for others within our church and in the community. In other words, we are to be “sheepish” for Christ!

The following is a brief report of the Board’s ministry in 2021—and a glimpse of what we hope to accomplish in 2022.

Food Pantry and Clothing Closet

Following “social distancing” guidelines, the Food Pantry was re-opened in the spring with “curbside” service, and the clothing closet re-opened in the fall. We began by serving two-three families per week, and saw steady increase in the numbers of clientele, hitting our “peak” of twenty families (representing 85 individuals) in November, and averaging approximately thirteen families per week.

With your generous donations and a partnership with the Food Bank of Larimer County, we were able to provide nonperishable food and paper/personal/baby care products for 71 “unique” households with 299 “unique” individuals. Due to your generosity, we were able to allow clients to come each week they were in need.

All in all, we served 275 households and 1,152 individuals (counting households that came more than once). We anticipate even greater numbers in 2022. We are overwhelmed by your generosity—and by the gratitude of all who come to the food pantry and clothing closet. Hours are 9:00–11:00 AM each Tuesday.

Support for Laurel School

Saint John’s has a long history of supporting the families of Laurel School. Why Laurel? First of all, Laurel is in our “neighborhood”, and secondly, Laurel has a great need and serves many homeless and/or transient students. We learned that 45 families attending Laurel this fall were identified as “homeless” (either totally without a home, or living in a car or unsanitary and unsuitable home). The school’s family liaison works closely with these families and helps provide for their physical needs and helps families try to move out of poverty and into better situations. The families are “vetted” for us—meaning we are helping those truly in need and who don’t have their needs met through other agencies.

Members of the Board of Human Needs pack Thanksgiving food baskets for Laurel School families. Thanks to special helpers Gabe and Caleb!

In 2021, with your help, Saint John’s was able to provide the following:

  • Backpacks and school supplies plus $300 for additional needs,
  • Thanksgiving food baskets for twelve families,
  • Christmas gifts for Laurel families not receiving gifts from other agencies,
  • Ten quilts donated by Saint John’s Quilters, and
  • More than 200 “sewn with love” facemasks for students and faculty

Support for the Alpha Center

Because we believe in the sanctity of life, Saint John’s supports the local Alpha Center, which serves as a crisis pregnancy center. Through their ministry, many unborn lives are saved each year. (Read more about their mission in the literature available at the Welcome Center.) Thanks to your donations, we were able to provide gift cards for the Alpha Center clients and the Alpha Center itself through our Christmas Giving Tree. The Saint John’s Quilters donate baby quilts when needed. Saint John’s sponsored a table for the Alpha Center’s Gala (their main fundraising event). Watch for the “Baby Bottle” Drive this month as another way to contribute funds toward this life-saving and life-giving ministry.

Each month the newsletter will include a story/testimonial from an Alpha Center client so you can read first-hand how this ministry is impacting local lives.

Blessing Bags

This ministry to the homeless was initiated by the Woman to Woman Bible Study group and is supported by our Food Pantry. Bags are available on the counter in the church kitchen.

What’s New in 22?

In 2022, the Board of Human Needs will be working on the following projects.

  • Ministry to our own members. The Board of Human Needs will coordinate meals for members with newborns, who have had surgeries, or who have other needs. Want to help? Sign up at the Welcome Center or contact Pastor Nettleton, Cindy Starck or Susan Hauser.
  • Additional donations for Laurel School families. Watch for a mitten drive, sock and underwear drive and more.
  • Expanded support of the Alpha Center.
  • Partnerships with the Sunday School and Youth Groups to provide evangelism materials through our Food Pantry ministry.
  • Explore a partnership with The Matthews House non-profit organization.
  • And more … The Board, led by Kevin Seiler and Pastor Nettleton, will be meeting this month to define our priorities and desired projects. If you have an idea or want to help with any projects, please contact either Kevin or Pastor.

Many thanks to you, the members of Saint John’s, for your support of human needs. Your donations have been timely and much appreciated. Thank you for “being sheepish” … for whatever you have done in His Name, you have done for Christ! May God bless our ministry this year!

The Board of Human Needs finds opportunities for the members of Saint John’s to provide a Christian witness by helping people in the community struggling with daily necessities.