Remembering Our Kingdom Assignment During Lent

Mar 10, 2010

One of my favorite mission projects at Christ Church in 2009 was The Kingdom Assignment.  Not only did it challenge me to get out of my usual "box" to consider a new way to serve those whom God loves here in Chapel Hill and around the world, but it humbled me, as well.  The outcomes of these assignments--many of which were beyond our wildest expectations--were only possible because God was at work in each project.  Highlights of some of CUMC's KAs appear below. 

Even though the official KA is over, God calls us to continue the work of planting and sowing seeds . . . even this spring.  Lent is the season to be deliberate about self-examination and reflection in order to be transformed to live in right relationship with God.  Take time today to pray and meditate about the seeds God wants you to plant and sow during this season of Lent . . . and then, get growing!

Deon Roach

On Sunday, September 13th, the congregation of Christ had the chance to respond to the Word in a whole new way!  The Missions committee and the pastoral staff distributed $100 bills to 100 congregation members who responded to the call to receive these gifts and use them for the Kingdom of God.

The parable was the sower and the seeds (Matthew 13:1-10, 18-23), and the call was to tend to the soil of our hearts and souls by going out to bear the fruit of God’s love, compassion, and justice.  The goal of the Kingdom Assignment is to inspire the congregation to actively nurture their spiritual lives by engaging in acts of mercy, justice, and generosity in the world around them.  The $100 was a “tool,” like a rake or a hoe, intended to help prepare the soil for God’s reign in our hearts and in the world around us.

To review our Kingdom Assignment stories, read on!  You'll be amazed at how God has grown our "seeds" throughout our community and the world.  


The work and prayer of the Kingdom Assignment continues!  God is planting seeds of faith and mercy through members of Christ! Church

Updates:  December 15th 

51.  As part of the Christmas Bazaar, one family offered a 4-course candlelight salmon dinner (for 8!) in their home at the silent auction.  The highest bidder for this dinner will be treated royally, and all proceeds will go toward CUMC missions. 

50.  One family decided to sponsor four children from the Slobodskoi Orphanage in Russia -- one for each of their three children and one extra for the “boy Jesus,” (which was their 6-year-old's idea).  The KA money will go toward the first month’s sponsorship.  It has helped strengthen this family’s sense of ministry.

49.  One family used their KA to support a student at Carrboro with his college application fees.  The student is a Burmese refugee whose family settled here just a few years ago.  He wants to go to college in order to “fulfill his parents hopes and dreams,” but he needs the financial support for all of his tests and applications. High School

48.  One family bought teddy bears, which they will deliver to children at UNC hospital, along with a personal prayer and letter and scripture verse.

47.  One couple, who feels “humbled by the brutal, yet preventable, conditions in which children live” throughout the world, chose UNICEF as the recipient of their KA.  They contributed their own funds and applied for matching gifts to bring the total to $500. 

46.  One family is sponsoring a lock-in for students at Durham.  Each attendee will pay $5 and bring food donations, and all proceeds will go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Academy

45.  One woman gave her KA money toward basic household essentials for a co-worker who is recovering from a recent stroke.  The woman is a single mother with a 14 year old son who was very grateful for this outreach of support.

44.  One couple multiplied their gift to $600 and donated it to Orange Congregations in Mission, which supports needy families.

43.  One person used her KA seed to support a woman of very deep faith who, despite the many losses she has experienced, does much to support others.  The CUMC member had been waiting and praying for what to do with her KA for many weeks, and when she met this woman and heard her story, she just knew she was the answer to her prayer.

Updates:  December 14th

42.  One woman, a cancer survivor, used her Kingdom Assignment (and additional funds she raised through friends) to sponsor snack bags for cancer patients and families at UNC.  She remembered how difficult it could be to get to the cafeteria or feel energetic enough to get something to eat.  But mostly, she wants those patients to know that someone cares. Hospital

42.  One family redeemed their free party for 50 at Chick-Fil-A and invited friends and neighbors to join them to support the CUMC Angel Tree which provides gifts for families in need at Christmas.  Guests were asked to bring a gift or gift card, and over $500 was raised.

41.  One woman gathered matching funds from her friends and sent her Kingdom Assignment to a friend who lives in the Philippines.  This woman lives in a very poor area of that country, yet she gives faithfully to her church and those in her village.  The Kingdom Assignment was sent with love and in support of this woman and all she does for others. 

40.  One man was inspired by another church member’s passion and commitment to our prison ministry and gave his KA to support those efforts. 

39.  One woman, at the prompting of her 6th grader, used her KA to support the TABLE ministry which provides food for children in need in our area. 

38.  One middle-schooler put together care packages for the people at a senior adult health center in Orange because they only get $30/mo for toiletries.  She made up packages of toiletries and also included chocolate and large print books.  She emailed Guideposts to donate magazines in large print, and they did!  The witness continues…. County

37.  Two families helped their 7th grade children hold a bake sale to cover the shipping costs to send school supplies to children in Zimbabwe.

36.  One dental specialist shared the KA with his staff and sought their support for a dental clinic at the Durham Rescue Mission.  They raised funds and garnered volunteer support for the clinic.  He will also share the clinic’s work with other dental offices and has began a matching donation program where his practice will match staff charitable contributions.  He hopes this will encourage giving, as well as conversation about those charities and churches that are meaningful in people's lives. 

35.  One couple decided to sponsor a portion of the Thanksgiving dinner served to those in need by Helping Hands Mission in Wake County.  They found the best grocery prices in town, went through the checkout line with their bounty, and the cashier told them how they could get even more for their money and waived the 2 per customer limit.  When they got to Helping Hands, the manager yelled, “Thank you, Jesus!”  This couple says they saw how much the spirit of giving spreads through the Kingdom Assignment.

34.  One woman has decided to reach out to others as a way of dealing with her own physical pain.  She has been tutoring for years and will match her KA seed and donate to the Chatham County Literacy Council. 

Updates:  November 9th

33.  A gentleman was able to increase the KA "seed" money to $500.  Based on the church's current need for Benevolence funds, he decided to purchase $500 worth of grocery cards to help needy people put food on their tables during the upcoming holiday season.

32.  After praying about her Kingdom Assignment, a woman, who is a widow herself, decided she needed to do something to help widows in less developed countries with water.  (Only about 1 in 8 people in the world have access to safe water, and many widowed women lack the opportunity to realize their potential because they spend their days in the arduous task of finding water for their families.)  She used her KA "seed" to start a fundraiser for water.org.  Water.org works to provide safe water & sanitation in communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America.  If you'd like to help this member raise $2500 by Nov. 22nd, go to her website:  http://www.firstgiving.com/waterforwomen.

Updates:  November 2nd

31.  One family supported Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA), the largest food pantry in Chatham, by raising money and walking in the 2009 Hunger Walk on November 1st. The Walk is CORA’s most important fundraising event of the year, with all proceeds used to provide emergency food to needy families throughout Chatham.  In addition to their KA “seed,” this family raised another $270, resulting in $370 being devoted to easing hunger in our community. County County

 30.  A member who works helping people learn to eat in healthy ways was concerned about hunger among children.  She contributed her KA seed to the Growing Healthy Kids Project, sponsored by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children.   The project provides space for families to grow their own fresh, healthy food and provides the tools, materials, and instruction for them to be successful.  To increase the donation, she's also making tote bags, insulated lunch bags, and eyeglass cases out of home decorating fabrics to sell at the CUMC Bazaar.   

29.  One woman, who did not take the $100, was nevertheless inspired by the KA project.  She is using her own resources to buy a bus ticket for someone from the IFC shelter who otherwise wouldn't be able to get home for the holidays.

 28.  One middle-schooler is collecting needed items for a Head Start program in ChattanoogaTennessee where he visited during a youth missions trip this summer.  Instead of mailing the items, he and his family are going to personally deliver them so he can spend the day with the kids who made such an impression on him.

 27.  One woman has used her money to make small business loans to entrepreneurs in the Ukraine, Ghana, Iraq, and Peruthrough Kiva.org (www.kiva.org).  She is involving her grandchildren in selecting the next loan recipients and is directing family and friends to loan through Kiva in lieu of giving her Christmas gifts.  Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe for the purpose of eliminating poverty. 

26.  One man is seeking ways to invite patients and families from UNC Hospital to Christ Church for prayer. 

Updates:  October 19th

25.  Two families have used their KA seed money to purchase supplies to make decorated clipboards.  Funds raised from sales of the clipboards will be used to buy arts & crafts supplies for the Russian orphans we support in Slobodskoi and to offset expenses for the team who will travel there in March.  Visit the website at www.clipboardsforrussia.com to learn more about Mission 1:27 and the clipboards. 

24.  One woman donated her KA funds to Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services in Pittsboro.  The money will be used for a much needed emergency transportation fund for the recipients of their services.

23.  One family is auctioning off a week at their beach house and giving the money to the church’s Benevolence fund, which helps many people in the area who come to us for various kinds of emergency assistance.

22.  One woman, aware of the high illiteracy rates in Chatham Co, went to a local high school guidance counselor to ask about student needs.  In response, she has set up a fund to help Chatham County students and is also collecting shoes, coats, and eye glass frames.  Please look for the collection box in Ascension Hall.

21.  One man is making toy boats to sell at the Bazaar on Nov. 20-22nd.  He has made these boats for many years & for many different children.  He includes this prayer with each boat:  “Have a safe journey on the 'sea of life' knowing that God does not promise calm waters but He does promise arrival at our final destination.”  The proceeds from the sale of the boats will be given to an agency that helps youth and young adults with substance abuse issues.

20.  One couple is buying “soft cuddly teddy bears” to give to persons going into the hospital for serious surgery or who are ill at home.  They will also give a card with well-wishes and follow up with a call or food.

Updates:  October 12th

19.  One Sunday School teacher used her KA to challenge her 5th grade class to sell as much as they could at their bake sale for an Angel Tree family.  She matched their first $100 of proceeds with her KA, and they raised $650 for their Angel Tree Family!

18.  One man has split his Kingdom Assignment funds between the Methodist Home for Children Foundation (supports a residential home for children in Raleigh and programs throughout the state to help children and youth who have no stable home environment) and medication for “The Smile Train,” which provides treatment for children born with a cleft lip or palate around the world.

17.  One woman, who works as a home infusion nurse, gave her KA "seed" to a very special couple she knows through her work.   They have been married for many years after falling in love as high school sweethearts.  The wife is terminally ill, and they have very limited financial resources.  She gave them her KA in order to help them have a date night or to do something special during this difficult time.

16.  One elementary school teacher is using her KA to collect books and educational materials for Hispanic children through her school’s ESL program.  Look for the collection box for picture books in Ascension Hall.

15.  One woman used her KA as a gift of support to a friend who has encountered multiple losses and is seeking to get his life back on track. 

14.  One couple donated their own funds toward the KA in order to fund Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries, a ministry of the United which supports this bible study in many different settings from local churches to prisons.  They also gave to The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which uses 100% of its proceeds directly toward the alleviation of human suffering around the world.  UMCOR works in the US and more than 80 other countries putting United Methodist hands and hearts to work through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, international and domestic emergencies, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues and more.  (For more information, see http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/ and http://www.disciplebibleoutreach.org/) Methodist Church

13.  One family, who has long supported the Ronald McDonald House, will host “A Celebration of Children” party with their KA funds.  The “entry fee” for those who attend is a new toy or stuffed animal for children at RMH.  A representative from RMH will speak to the children about how their donations will be used, and the party will be an opportunity for all present to learn about families in need.  They hope to multiply their KA "seed" to about $600 worth of toys, as well as sending cards to RMH children from the children at the party. 

Reflecting on the KA, this family said, “We hope that "A Celebration of Children" will allow us to use our Time, Talents, and Treasury to inspire both the children participating and the high school helpers to do more for others in their community after this event.  We feel blessed to have been given this opportunity, and this creative spreading of God’s blessings is one of the reasons we love being members at Christ.”  Church

Updates:  October 5th

12.  A woman purchased bins for a local elementary school, and the students are now filling them with cereal for the Western Wake Crisis Center Food Bank.

11.  A Culbreth Middle School student quadrupled her KA seed money by getting her friends involved.  She asked them to help by giving her money instead of gifts for her birthday.  The “birthday funds” will help local children in need at Culbreth and the Ronald McDonald House. Middle School

10.  Three children from the 5th grade Sunday School class combined their KA seed money with proceeds from the class’s bake sale to purchase beds for Angel Tree families in need.

9.  KA gifts have been used to support the Alamance/Orange Prison Ministry.

8.  Pastor Steve is conducting a "phoneraiser" for his Kingdom Assignment.  You can help by contributing your old cell phones which Steve will later sell to a used phone dealer in order to raise money to provide youth scholarships for mission trips.  Please look for the "used cell phone" basket in Ascension Hall.

7.  A family passed their $100 on to a friend & her son who are studying the Bible.  The goal is for the boy to pray about what to do with the money and grow in his faith.  This same family then donated $200 to Kiva, an organization that makes micro-loans in the Third World.  Their donation will help women to start or expand businesses in the following countries:

Ghana – start a beauty salon, open a fish stall, open a small food store

Uganda – open a restaurant; open a small food store,

Samoa – open a tailoring shop

Azerbaijan – expand a construction supply store

Guatemala – start a construction business

6.  A family with two adopted children is holding a bake sale at the Barn Dance on October 17th to raise funds to help others with the expenses that accompany adopting children into their "forever family."

Updates:  October 2nd

5.  One member has added his KA money to a gift he makes regularly to the church to use for our benevolence program, which offers support to many people who come to CUMC every week for help with bills and basic necessities of life.  He chose this in order to draw attention to that need in our community and to the work that the church does to support so many people in need around us. 

4.  One member is collecting used eyeglasses to give to those who need them and cannot afford them.   Please contribute your old glasses to the basket in Ascension Hall.

3.  A middle school girl is buying socks for children at the Russian orphanage that we sponsor in Slobodskoi.  She is going to approach the store manager where she buys them to see if they will match her gift.  To date, she has collected 45 pair of socks.  You may contribute new, colorful socks for children and adults in the basket in Ascension Hall.

2.  A church member who is a potter is going to make 100 small bowls to sell at the Christmas Bazaar in order to multiply the gift and give it to Heifer Project International.   HPI works with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth by “passing on the gift” of providing education and animals, as a food source, to poor communities around the world.  As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe.  She will also entreat other potters to donate small items toward the  project. Currently, the Heifer Project has a donor who will match gifts for a particular project, so any gift given toward that will multiply many-fold.  (Find more information on Heifer at www.heifer.org.)

1.  One family has used their KA funds to provide classroom supplies for a new church preschool at a nearby Methodist church.  CUMC has multiple connections to this project. 

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Deon Roach on Mar 10, 2010 4:45pm

Dear Church Friends,
Please feel free to get the conversation started about both our Mission and Pastor Blogs. We'd love to have your participation.

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