All livestreamed services can be found at our website: www.holycrossumc.us or on Facebook at: Holy Cross United Methodist Church.
MERCY PEDALERS will be collecting $5 and $10 fast food restaurant gift cards to give to homeless men and women in North Stockton for Christmas. It is another way to acknowledge them as God's children and show kindness and concern no matter what their circumstances. You can donate through our church website designating Mercy Pedalers - gift cards or drop your donation in the stocking hanging in the social hall. Please consider donating at this Christmas season. Thank you, Rita Steele
Our 2024 Stewardship letters have been mailed out. Please turn in your stewardship cards to the office or in the offering plate so we can plan our church budget for 2024. Thank you!
EMERGENCY FOOD BANK: Feel free to donate any of the items on the list for Food Drives for the rest of 2023: December – Soup
Christmas gifts for the Pastor & Staff We are collecting donations for gifts for Pastor Tevita and the church staff. If you would like to contribute, please place your donation in the offering plate marked “staff gift” (Checks need to be made out to Holy Cross UMC) or on the website under the “donate” tab and then click “Staff gift”. You can also give it to Ken Steele, Ken Sloan, Mele Tongaofa, or Lurlyne Latukefu. Last day to collect will be on Wednesday, December 20th. Thank you, Staff Parish
Poinsettias for Christmas We are offering the opportunity for families or individuals to provide donations for poinsettias for our Christmas services. A complete listing of the donors and recipients of the plants will be appearing in the bulletin on 12/24. Donations must be made no later than Sunday, 12/12.Your donation of $15 (fifteen dollars) will help decorate our church altar for our Christmas services.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES:
10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
The Upper Room Disciplines 2024 We are again ordering the Upper Room Disciplines for 2024. If you are interested in a copy, please respond to this email, or call the church office at 209-472-2177.
Pricing: Regular print $15 Large print $17
About the Disciplines: For over 50 years, The Upper Room Disciplines has spiritually nurtured individuals to center their hearts and minds on God. Based on the Revised Common Lectionary, this inspiring devotional provides an opportunity to look more deeply at Scripture and become rooted in the teachings of God. Throughout the year, 53 different Christian thought leaders from diverse traditions will help you engage with God's Word through daily prayers, Scripture readings, and meditations. Features "A Guide to Daily Prayer" and an index of biblical passages.
Our December Communion Offering Helps Support the Bugembe Women’s Resource Centre
Some Ugandans I Know by Diane Morgali
When I think of Uganda, visions of the beautiful, rolling hillsides and rich farmland roll before my eyes, but I also can see tiny, impoverished enclaves and metropolitan areas jam-packed with vehicles and people darting across streets and generally taking care of business, which for most means scratching out enough of a living to feed themselves and their children.
Over the course of my 10 visits to the community of Bugembe in southeast Uganda, I’ve come to know many people, some of them like family to me. I’d like to introduce you to just a few.
Nelly Kibenzire: Nelly died this year, in part as a result of the abuse she received when bandits broke into the Bugembe Women’s Resource Centre compound in the middle of the night, demanding money, computers, and cell phones.
Nelly, along with her daughter Hope Nabirye, guided the development and the daily operations of the Bugembe Women’s Resource Centre, the non-profit (registered with the Ugandan government) organization we at Holy Cross have been partnered with since it was just a dream for all of us.
Operating the Centre in the aftermath of this terrible assault and Nelly’s death has been challenging, but Hope, even with her infant son JJ to care for and facing the loss of her mother has managed to continue to help the Centre to develop programs which address the very real problems of domestic violence and sexual assault, in part by working to build strong relationships with community leaders throughout the area. Nelly was a no-nonsense woman in her sixties who was abandoned by her husband when Hope was very young. Nelly never gave up and is among the people I admire the most. Hope is smart, smart, smart and ever ready to learn more. Nelly and Hope formed a formidable team. Hope has a master’s degree in aquaculture (fish farming) but feels her real calling is to help improve the lives of Uganda’s girls and women. Now Hope is carrying on this important work without Nelly and needs our support.
Margaret Kakaire: Many at Holy Cross will remember Margaret from her visits with us, the most recent in March and April of this year. She has been the guest house manager for AIDS Orphan Education Trust for years, and many of us can attest that she also is a wonderful cook and adept at catering to American tastes. Margaret was forced by her mother to marry when she was 15, had her first child at 16, raised 10 children, and was widowed when her youngest child was five. She has become a community leader and activist and is a leader on the Board of the Women’s Centre. Margaret considers me one of her mamas!
Zaina: Zaina is the youngest daughter of Margaret. Jim and I had the privilege of paying for Zaina’s university education, where she prepared herself to be a registered nurse. She now works developing health protocols at a major hospital in the southwest hills of Uganda and is studying for a master’s degree in public health.
These are just four of the people I have come to know well and consider family. If you want to hear about others, you always can ask me. I love to tell people about the wonderful people I have come to know in Uganda.
The Bugembe Women’s Centre is Doing Vital Work, Please Give Generously