Partnership Spotlight, Legacy Giving Seminar, Upcoming Events
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WEDNESDAY WORDS

FROM METRO MINISTRIES, INC.

November 17, 2021

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Partnership Spotlight: Grace UMC & Webb Elementary

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Back in 2019, Metro Ministries extended an invitation to all Central District churches to submit grant proposals for collaboration opportunities with schools in their respective communities. Several churches responded and were awarded small grants for amazing project ideas. Grace UMC was one of the responding churches. Beth Stillabower, Outreach Coordinator, reached out to the school administrators of Webb Elementary, a school located literally in the church’s backyard.

Beth asked what the school’s teachers, staff and students most needed. Several ideas were considered and discussed, including a gratitude event for teachers and staff, purchasing clothing for the school nurse to disburse as needed, and facilitating a learning event around supporting children and families who had experienced trauma. Angie Clendening, Webb’s school counselor approached Beth and said, “what we really need  is a sensory room.”

The school had been talking about designing a sensory room for several years, a space where children could go to provide a calming environment when anxiety, emotions and stress resulted in outbursts in the classroom. There just never seemed to be funding in the budget to purchase appropriate furnishings.  Beth saw the school collaboration grant invitation as the perfect opportunity to help meet this need. The administration, staff and teachers put together a list of items to use in the sensory room. The must-have items included a “steamroller” squeezing device, balancing pads, weighted balls and stuffed logs, a bean bag chair, fidget and puzzle boards and a hammock swing.

Room design began at the beginning of 2020 but soon came to an abrupt halt because of the pandemic. The project had to be abandoned when schools closed for in-person attendance. The staff and administration didn’t give up on the sensory room concept and as soon as they were able, worked to prepare the room for kids once it was deemed safe to utilize the room. The florescent lights were covered with tranquil coverings to combat overstimulation that florescent lighting can cause or exacerbate, and the room use was launched early 2021.

The sensory room has since become an integral part of the learning experience for many of Webb’s students. The room is an intentional and proactive tool to temper kids’ outbursts. Prior to the sensory room, a child’s anxiety, emotions and/or overstimulation would often lead to an outburst that could be violent, resulting in the child being sent to the office and often, home. Now, if a child is beginning to present signs of an oncoming outburst, the child spends 7 to 10 minutes in the sensory room with a trained staff member, going through the various tools designed to provide a safe release of emotion, energy and “wiggles”, a time to calm and devices to help restore the child’s ability to focus. After a few minutes, the child is able to return to the classroom.

Grace UMC has been partnering with Webb Elementary school since 2009, having identified  outreach opportunities with the school over the years, including: providing study buddies for students, supporting the school’s Bible club, providing classroom volunteers, providing Thanksgiving food baskets to families of Webb students, collecting sweatpants and socks for the students and continually welcoming families to Grace’s Soups On Friday meals and annual Christmas dinner.

School Principal Cole Zook recently shared these photos with the church and expressed his and the school’s gratitude for the relationship between Grace UMC and Webb Elementary. Cole said the room is not only a benefit to the children who need it in the moment but provides opportunities for all the students to learn to self-regulate their emotions. While the pandemic may have delayed the school’s dream for a safe space for students to decompress, the sensory room is very much a reality today and a blessing to the students and the entire school.

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Last Chance to Register

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There is still time to register for this evening's workshop.

Did you know that  Metro Ministries, churches and non-profit organizations are able to receive non-cash gifts, such as publicly traded securities, life insurance, real estate and more? Did you know that your church and/or organizations such as Metro Ministries can be beneficiaries in your will?

Metro Ministries and the Central District are sponsoring a virtual workshop on non-cash and legacy giving. All are welcome to attend!

Manet Shettle, president of the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana will be sharing about the multiple ways that individuals can give, besides through their checkbooks and debit cards. This is a great opportunity to learn ways we may not have thought of to support our churches and organizations like Metro Ministries.

Registration is required for this virtual workshop. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Society of St. Andrew Winter Gleaning Opportunities

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Society of St. Andrew is seeking congregations and individuals able to help them glean the Indy Winter Market on Saturdays, from now through March. This season, Indy Winter Market is located at the AMP, 1220 Waterway Blvd, Indianapolis, 46202.

Volunteers are needed each Saturday beginning at noon for just over an hour. This gleaning opportunity involves volunteers handing out bags to all of the Indy Winter Market vendors at 12:00 pm, then beginning at 12:30 collecting the bags filled with vendors' leftover products. Volunteers then deliver the filled bags to Wheeler Mission at 520 E. Market Street downtown.

This is a great opportunity for a church group or congregation to sign up for one or more Saturdays. Volunteers can sign up by creating a volunteer profile at: www.endhunger.org/indiana.

Once a profile is created, volunteers can sign up for one or more available shifts. Once signed up, volunteers receive an email from the program coordinator, Ann Radtke, with all the information and instructions needed.

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Church Women United World Community Day

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All are invited to Church Women United's World Community Day on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 9:45 am. This will be a virtual event via ZOOM. World Community Day has emphasized peace since it began in 1943. The scope has since broadened to include justice, a vital partner of peace. This year's theme is "New Places, New Faces at the Table."

ZOOM information:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86526353511?pwd=ZHNtWUFwTTBKbWFGdEp6SmEzbCtodz09

Meeting ID: 865 2635 3511

Passcode: 417818

A flyer containing ZOOM link and details can be downloaded HERE. 

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POTATO DROP DEC. 11TH!

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Nov 20: Edinburgh Community Thanksgiving Meal, Edinburgh High School Cafeteria, 11am – 2pm

Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day:  Meal at Jamestown UMC, Call the church to register, 765-676-6221

Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Meals to Go, Barnes UMC at 12:00 pm

 

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Dec. 4: Mt. Comfort UMC Holiday Bazaar, 9am – 3pm

Dec. 4:  Bartlett Chapel UMC Breakfast with Santa, 8am

Dec. 11: Greenwood UMC Christmas Organ Concert 4pm

Dec. 25: Christmas Dinner at Grace UMC

 

Are there upcoming events at your church or in your community you'd like published? Email Tina McAninch at metrodirector1923@gmail.com!

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Church Resources for Bishop's Christmas Offering

Children's messages, social media graphics, bulletin inserts and a message from Bishop Trimble - all are available to use during Advent and Christmas Eve - promoting and supporting the Bishop's Christmas Offering. Resources are available for download from the HERE.

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Mark your calendars now for February 19, 2022!

Children Matter Most – All In! is an opportunity for all who care about children to come together to learn, be inspired, and go back to their community with action steps to help children thrive.

The INUMC Children Matter Most team has been focusing on nonviolence, food insecurity, and partnering with schools. You will learn more about each of these focus areas and many other ways you can nurture children in your context. Everyone is invited-those who work closely with children already and those who are seeking to learn how to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

This all-day event  at Grace UMC in Franklin, IN will include worship, multiple breakout sessions and an opportunity to create action plans for how we will individually and collectively declare we are All In to put children first in 2022.

Learn More and Get Registered Here

Updates on breakout session topics will be shared as the details come together. 

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INUMC Job Posting Board

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Did you know the Indiana Conference website has a job posting board of open church staff positions and beyond?

Did you know that churches can post staff job opportunities on the INUMC Conference Job Board?

View current openings HERE, and scroll down to the "Post a Job" button to add your church's open positions.

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Did you miss last week's newsletter? You can access past issues at indymetroumc.org/communications! 

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Check out Metro's Resources Hub!
 
If you know of other resources we should share, please let us know by emailing Tina McAninch at metrodirector1923@gmail.com.
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FOOD RESOURCES 
 
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Community Compass

Community Compass is a tool created by Indy Hunger Network and has two key ways to connect individuals with food resources near them. The first is an app for smart phones that automatically provides food resources based on where the individual is. The second is the ability to text for food resources if an individual does not have a smart phone. Check out details of Community Compass. This very valuable tool now works in the donut counties as well as Marion County!

Listing of Central Indiana Food Pantries

We have updated the format of the food pantry list, making it easier to view when printed. You can download the updated listing HERE or from Metro's website's Resources Hub. Please let us know if you have food resources to add or update. We will make updates to this list on a quarterly basis.
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