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A Word from the Pastor – A Monthly Message



Dear Salem Family,

Do you like to shop? Are you a good organizer? How would you like to help
with something that is having a direct and positive effect on people’s lives—
right here in Kenosha County?

These are not unrelated questions.

Living Waters has asked the United Methodist churches in our area if we would be interested in helping the Shalom Center change people’s lives. We all know that the Shalom Center provides food and shelter for people, but did you know that they also have a program to help transition residents into permanent housing?

One facet of this program, Shalom to Home, is aimed at helping transitioning residents equip their new homes for living. Since residents are often leaving with little more than the clothes on their backs, and possibly a few other belongings they’ve managed to hold onto during their time of homelessness, Shalom to Home seeks to equip them with some basic items: kits for the bathroom, kitchen, and cleaning. Because some clients are singles or couples, and some are families, there are two versions of some kits—one for 2-4 persons, one for 4-8 persons, which means there are a total of five possible kits:
Bathroom (for 2-4, or 4-8 people) / Kitchen (for 2-4, or 4-8 people) / Cleaning

In the interests of space, I will leave what’s in each of those packs to your imagination, but if you’ve ever moved into a home or apartment, or moved a college student into an apartment, you should have a pretty good idea. Suffice it to say, there is nothing fancy and there are no luxuries called for—although the kitchen starter kit does list optional “perk items,” like a dish drying rack, coffee maker, etc. (There are plenty of people who will tell you a coffee maker is a necessity, not a perk!)

A couple of members of the Living Waters committee took it upon themselves to do a little research, by assembling these kits, and determined that by shopping around they could be put together for something like:
Bathroom $20-32 / Kitchen $85-110 / Cleaning $18

This is without looking for discounts or special pricing from any suppliers, so it’s possible that these prices could be improved upon. (This would be a challenge for you super shoppers out there.)

Here’s where we come in… Living Waters is testing the waters (so to speak) to see which churches would be interested in committing to buying and assembling some of these kits for Shalom to Home. Responsibility for various types of kit could be rotated among the churches over the course of a year, so no one church would be “stuck” with one kind of kit, and they were not intending our churches to be the sole suppliers of these kits.

And here’s where you come in: is this a ministry you would be interested in helping with? We would be collecting donations for the kits, and then we would need people to shop for components, and to organize them— make sure each kit is complete, etc. Does this sound like a gift you have— and would be willing to share?

We’ve all heard about the differing talents and gifts we’re blessed with so often that we tend to zone out when the subject comes up… but the simple truth is, we have those talents and gifts for a reason. So I encourage you to look at what your talents are, and see if they might be a good fit for Shalom to Home… then let me know, so we can let Living Waters and the Shalom Center know that they can count on us to help these people start new lives.

Thanks—and see you in church!
Pastor Keith

(Earlier A Word from the Pastor messages may be found in Newsletters.)