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Catalyst Mininstry

Catalyst Ministry in Action

Thanksgiving 2013 

Often after a Catalyst Ministry event the thoughts are that this was the best yet. The 2012 Thanksgiving meal in Woodlawn Homes was great but this year’s was a fantastic series of events. A spirit of thankfulness was evident amongst both the volunteers and the residents. Many volunteers returned from last year and renewed relationships with residents who were there previously. Several of the residents also felt comfortable enough to bring relatives with them. 

This year’s Thanksgiving meal was hosted for residents and volunteers on a Saturday. Following the lunch Thanksgiving boxes were delivered to 35 families. The boxes contained the makings for a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Over 50 volunteers from more than ten different churches were involved in the activities. Many of the volunteers had been involved with Woodlawn Homes before, but for several this was their first involvement. 

In fact here is one story from a volunteer and her family:

"The weekend of the Thanksgiving dinner at the Community Center and the food distribution was a very busy weekend for us. Looking back, I was probably a little grouchy anticipating all of the busyness of the weekend. Friday night, I was trying to get a few things done to assure the weekend would go smoothly and my beautiful daughters were just picking and bickering with one another. My grouchiness and their bickering was a bad combination resulting in me putting myself in a timeout for the night. Anyway, Saturday morning was a whole new day. We started the day by taking Ainsley’s Girl Scout troop to Project Hope and Families Moving Forward for their Open House. After dropping the Girl Scouts off, we stopped by the Thanksgiving dinner at Woodlawn’s community center to enjoy some fellowship. We then delivered our box and also accompanied several other members of the church as they delivered their boxes. When we got in the car, my oldest daughter asked if we could go get fabric to make blankets for the homeless people at Project Hope because they still needed a few. We ran to Joann’s and then spent the night making fleece blankets together. There was an entirely different mood in the house and between each of us. On Sunday, we went to church together, grabbed a bite of lunch, and then went to play some games with the residents at a local nursing home. We had a few hiccups in the day, but each of us was able to handle them with much more grace and perspective recognizing how good our God is and how blessed we are." 

"I started that weekend at a “Martha” and ended it as a “Mary.” These experiences were an awesome way for us to kick-off our Christmas season and to focus on the things that matter most – showing Christ’s love to others. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and meet others. We are looking forward to future opportunities." 

All were willing to share God’s love and blessings with others helping to make this the best Thanksgiving yet at Woodlawn Homes. (Until next year!)

Around Catalyst Ministry

Born from our experiences working with local leaders we are excited to announce our re-formatted Introduction to Community Missions (ICM). This 12-hour training is segmented into two-hour sessions occurring once a week for 6 continuous weeks. Led by our experienced practitioners ICM is designed to support local church leadership as it seeks to step into their local community with greater intentionality and sustainability. Each session is designed around one of two themes: UP - digging into Scripture and our Father's invitation to be on mission; OUT - walking into our community to accept our King's challenge to be his representative. Each session finishes with a time of processing and discerning what God may be saying to us through our vehicle of intentional discipleship; huddle. Each huddle is led by a certified Catalyst Ministry Coach. 

At the completion of this experience you and your leadership team will have the early skills and tools necessary to begin pursuing sustainable mission within your context. You can check out more information here or contact us with questions here. 

Story From the Front 

For the past three years Catalyst Ministry has partnered with TGIF restaurant to collect Christmas gifts for the younger children within Woodlawn Homes. A few days before Christmas several local volunteers from multiple local churches came together to play Santa Claus and distribute these gifts. This is the story of one such family (names have been omitted): 

'For me it wasn't who we served but seeing my daughter serve. [My daughter] I always thought had a heart of gold. Now she's eight, though, and we've been struggling with some issues of pride and selfishness especially in regards to sharing with her sister. [She] was very sick two days before the event and not healed the night of. Against her protests [her dad] said you're going to Woodlawn. We tried to explain serving but there was a verbal presentation of what would be a preteen eye roll. When we got out there she got excited! She waited for [her dad] to talk and greet and give the gifts and shocked us when she said to the family, "We like to pray, can we pray for you for anything?" I, a naturally shy, uncomfortable person, admired that pure boldness. [My husband] swelled with pride for the daughter he usually butts heads with and we got to tell [her] why she felt so good inside. By the last house I got the nerve up to talk but [my daughter] said mom I got this and except for mispronouncing Catalyst Ministry she did. And who came to the door but a mom and daughter just like who knocked on the door!'