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TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
110 East Market Street
Mercer, PA 16137
Phone: 724-662-2680
FAX: 724-662-0222
Office Hours: M-F 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.
 

WHY NOT GIVE UP YOUR TIME IN ORDER TO ADD YOUR HELP TO OTHERS IN OUR COMMUNITY?
 
The Mission Committee asks you to GIVE UP something by ADDING an opportunity to serve: By GIVING UP some time to serve others, you are ADDING to help others... Let's be the Hands and Feet of Jesus--not to make us feel good, but to demonstrate our obedience to God, who calls us to love others. Let's allow the caring light of Jesus shine through our working together as Trinity Presbyterian Church to serve in our community...
 
Please consider these opportunities...
 
ANY TIME:
+Play games after supper or visit any time at Countryside. Call 724-662-2711.
+Help with games or crafters or visit any time at Avalon Springs. Call 724-662-5400.
+Volunteer at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. The pantry is open from 1-3 p.m. every Wednesday of the month, except it is closed if there is a fifth Wednesday of the month. CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER: 724-981-0353.
+Teach adult English as  Second Language and/or tutor adult remedial math, other subjects three hours a week through the Mercer County Literary Council. Call 724-588-6141.
+Tutor academics for GED, workplace skills, etc. through the Grove City Learning Center. Call 724-458-7270.
+Place in the box near the church office your donations of no-wire notewooks and pencils without erasers for prison classes offered by the Literary Council.
+Place in the box near the church office your donations of new or used young adult or teenage books for the Literacy Council.
+Bring a friend or neighbor without a church home to our morning worship service at 11 a.m. each Sunday.
+Follow the Calendar of Daily Scripture as included in the newsletter. Call the church office (724-662-2680) for additonal copies for friends not on our mailing list.
+Choose to help someone in an area that interests you. Call the church office (724-662-2680) to let us know about the opportunity, and we will add it to our list.
 
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"I wanted to volunteer; I just didn’t get the chance.”
       “I work. I wish you had more times available.”

So you all can be a part of the Lent Challenge experience, here are some comments from those who took the challenge.

One volunteer likes one-on-one tutoring. She says it becomes personal and feels the social interaction is just as important as the lessons. She intends to continue with her student, hoping her 20-year-old will be better able to keep a job with some new math skills. 

Another also loves teaching and found tutoring an older woman getting her GED allowed her to do something she enjoyed and help someone else too. She says that she will continue her twice-weekly lessons and suggests there are other adults in our community who would like to be tutored if more volunteers were willing to help. 

*A former pre-school teacher discovered she still can captivate a class of 3- and 4-year-old children by reading a book. The kids always asked if the “book lady” was coming back again.

Many Trinity volunteers used their vocational skills again. A former shop teacher led small groups in a woodworking project building oak tables for disaster victims. What a great way to get to know others in the church with similar interests. One woodworking group came up with the idea to add contact info and designed labels for each table. Wouldn’t it be fun to know the family that sits around that table?  Our folks completed six tables and parts for four more. We were able to use this man's fine workshop and tools. Volunteers were amazed to learn that the beautiful oak wood is donated by the Riethmiller Lumber Company.

New Wilmington resident (and Mercer High School graduate) Jim Moose once volunteered to build a table and recognized a way for his business to really make a difference by supporting the table project. What an impact that volunteer opportunity has made.

Our tables will soon be on their way to families in Appalachia’s West Virginia hollers. One of the volunteers saw a TV show called the Swamp People talking about an approaching hurricane. What the man said meant more to her after working on the table project. He said, “If everything I’ve got gets taken away tomorrow, my house, my boat, my shed, I can survive. As long as I can sit down around the table with my family, I don’t need nothing else.”

Several Trinity-ites helped out on Wednesdays at the Loaves and Fishes Pantry. Cars line up in the Pantry's driveway two hours before the opening time and the line continues steadily for two more hours. One volunteer commented on how appreciative the recipients were: “Everyone thanked me. These people seem to be the working poor whose Social Security checks are just too low. Some are disabled.” Some have friends who bring them every month to pick up their groceries. They each bring a big canvas bag to be refilled. In addition, for Easter, they could pick a chicken or a ham, and a toy Easter bunny to give a child or grandchild. [Pantry directors] Sandy and Bill Probst are amazing. They are there every Wednesday stocking shelves, organizing the volunteers, visiting with the clients (who they treat as friends) and learning about their families and circumstances. After the long, busy day they make lists and go shopping to be ready to do it again next week."

We’ve discovered that one volunteer teaches life-skills classes at the Genesis Church in New Castle every other week. It’s a wonderful church-based program helping neighborhood people gain dignity and practice responsibility, and there’s food involved. 

One volunteer thought the idea of giving our time was a very unique way of thinking about Lent. For her, it seemed far more challenging than giving up something for Lent. She remembered a time when one of Trinity's members shared that his mission trip experience caused him to step out of his comfort zone. She wasn’t sure she wanted to try it, but her friend said, “Let’s go see what volunteer opportunities are still left to do and we’ll do something together.” Helping with the blind children was still on the list. The volunteer thought, “Oh, no, kids! I know nothing about them.” She had never really worked with children, but agreed to "...step out of her comfort zone." It ended up being fun for her, and she feels she is more likely to volunteer the next time.

One volunteer helped with the Books Form Birth distribution. “The kids' eyes really light up when they get to pick a book and take it home with them," the volunteer said. "Reading is important, but I think the best thing that comes from reading to a child is the closeness and the love shared between the reader and the listener.”\

This volunteer also came up with another idea for Lent: “I sent a card to someone each day. I randomly picked people out of the church directory and sent them a note. On the weekends I sent notes to people from my past.  I got phone calls, notes, and thank-yous from a lot of people.”  

One of the highlights of Lent occurred when the choir sang for the folks at the local nursing homes. Not only did they make the folks smile, but many of us greeted Eleanor Jones Cousins who was singing along that day, just two days before her death at age 94.

The largest turnout was the Sunday luncheon after church, when a formerly homeless girl turned successful college student shared her life story and her understanding of God’s hand in her life.  We were amazed to hear how after all she’s been through she spends her time helping others.

Some of our younger members spent a Saturday sorting household items to fill a semi headed to needy families in Mexico. They said it was a really enjoyable experience that they’d do again.

One volunteer wondered if she was all that helpful at one of the volunteer jobs. "They didn’t really need me to be there," she said, "but I got to thinking about it and realized that just going, asking questions, being interested in their ministry, and admiring their work was important too. These people give so much of their time and energy to their ministry without expecting anything in return. So I just listened, praised their work, and thanked them; and I believe that was helpful after all.

An important lesson learned is that volunteering isn't just for Lent! It's important throughout the year!

Whether you volunteer just one time or two times a week, do something you’ve done for years, or something totally outside your comfort zone, know that Jesus calls us to care about others. Check out the list above, or suggest your own opportunity.  Your gift of yourself really does make a difference and honors God. We, as followers of Jesus, have been called to Kingdom-living.