September Community Workday with Westlawn
We are heading back to the old neighborhood in September. You might be saying, "What old neighborhood?" We are heading back to our church's roots in the near east side of San Antonio. Not Woodlawn UMC, but Westlawn UMC.
Westlawn is a fast-growing, bilingual church not far from Commerce St. and General McMullen Dr. From all accounts, they are doing great things in their neighborhood. A packed Sunday service, community Bible studies, Wednesday dinner, feeding migrant families, providing school supplies, food pantry, plus providing many more ministries to one of the poorest areas of San Antonio. Our pastors have asked our Outreach ministry to see how we can partner with Westlawn to see how we can help them be more effective than they already are. With a building opening in 1966 and very few upgrades since then, there is much work to do.
During the workday, we will be fixing some siding, exterior painting and replacing window air conditioners. We need people of all ages and abilities to help. We always need people who can swing a hammer, climb a ladder or use a paintbrush. More importantly, we need people that can build relationships, help with refreshments, welcome and check people in. We will have sitting and moving positions inside (A/C) and out.
You can register by clicking below or call Pauline Rodrigues in the church office at 210.696.1033.
Be a Neighbor in your community - Opportunities for your SS/Bible Study Class/ Small Group/ Friends/Neighbors to serve together:
One of the main reasons we host Community Outreach Workdays is to connect you, your small groups, friends, and neighbors with different organizations that you can volunteer with during your spare time. Feel free to reach out to each of these organizations to plan a volunteer event for your group. If you have any questions, you can always contact Steve Ryan or Pauline Rodrigues in the Outreach Ministry office at the church, at 210-696-1033.
Strong Foundation Ministries – Volunteer to help with Kidz Time – watch children of families, who are homeless, while their parent attends a Financial Peace University class onsite. If you or a group of your friends would like to volunteer on your own for a Kidz Time at Strong Foundation, Here is the link.
Ronald McDonald House – Volunteer to cook & serve a meal to the families who live at Ronald McDonald House or view all volunteer Opportunities at Ronald McDonald House
Christian Assistance Ministry – Group Construction Projects
Meet the Kemps in Albania
Born and raised around University UMC, Jacob Kemp and his wife Alison (Wright) are raising their own family outside the capital of Albania as missionaries serving the Romani people in the city.
Last week a group of people from University had me over for dinner to get reacquainted with Jacob and Alison. They talked about their Christian walk from San Antonio to Texas A&M, their short time in Mongolia, time attending Dallas Theological Seminary and eventually being called to Tirana, Albania. They discuss their call to serve the Romani (better known as Gypsies), a people group that is shunned and forgotten almost everywhere in the world they live.
The Kemps, along with a lot of help, have started a community center right in the middle of the Romani neighborhood. There they have bible studies, reading and English classes, and in the last year, a free preschool program. In Albania, elementary school is free, but preschool is not. There is much taught during preschool in Albania that is necessary to make it through the first year of elementary. Since Romani people usually can’t afford preschool and education is not encouraged in their society, the few Romani that go to elementary school do make it through their first year.
The aim of the Kemp's preschool is to teach these students the skills needed to survive and succeed in elementary school.
If you want to receive the Kemp’s newsletter send a request email to Jacob. If you would like to support their ministry, go to the Pioneers Website and enter the amount, their name, Jacob & Alison Kemp and project number 110933.
Back to School – South Texas Alliance for Orphans
Thank you to all of those who either donated school supplies or your time by volunteering at our ‘Shopping Day’ for our kinship families. With your help in partnership with South Texas Alliance for Orphans, we were able to help about 32 kinship families and provided 71 kids with school supplies. We also provided some of the backpacks & school supplies to Strong Foundation Ministries, Locke Hill Elementary & Colonies North Elementary School. For more information about or how you can help South Texas Alliance for Orphans by clicking below.
Guatemala Mission Trip Returns
On July 30, a late night flight brought a mission team of over 70 homes from Guatemala. Even though they walked off the plane tired, they had smiles on their faces completing a very successful 11-day trip.
San Antonio Guatemala Endeavor (SAGE) partners with Helps International to plan and lead an annual trip to Guatemala. They bring medical and outreach teams with team members from University and around the United States. This year the medical teams successfully completed 95 surgeries, 108 gynecological appointments and 1382 optometry, 255 pediatric and 486 general medical, all in 5 service days. In addition to the medical work, there were 3 community development teams that installed stoves and water filtration systems in many small villages.
New To Outreach
Did you know that our new associate pastor, Reed McNitzky, has been assigned as the Outreach Pastor? He will lead the Hospitality Ministry, Servant Development and the Outreach Ministry.
Senegal Mission Team Support
The Senegal mission team will be serving from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11 in the towns around Dakar and Mbour. They are providing general medical clinic and pediatric special needs physical therapy services. If you would like to support the team, you can go to the University website to give online or write a check, each method use “Senegal Donation, 22096” on the memo/notes line.
Pray, Follow & Support Elaina
Elaina grew up in this church and was very active in Student Ministry. She just graduated from UTSA and, in August, left to serve on a mission trip to 13 countries (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina) in 10 months. If you would like to follow, pray or support Elaina, click below.