JEFFREY SWAINSTON, CHAPLAIN
P.O. Box 77
Manton, MI 49663​
(616) 405-6921
revjeff82@gmail.com

MARCH/APRIL 2020 GRANGE NEWS

During the last two weeks of January, I was invited to participate in the Point-In-Time (PIT) count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in Wexford County, particularly in the Manton area. This is a nationwide annual event, the goal of which is trying to determine how many homeless people we have living in local communities. The supervising agency in my area is NMCAA (Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency) and a part of that is NMCEH (Northern Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness). After a day of training, several teams of volunteers were unleashed in their assigned communities, not only looking for homeless individuals, but visiting local businesses and organizations to raise awareness to the issue of homelessness in the local area. There are many county, state, and federal resources available to assist these persons if they are considered truly homeless by HUD’s definition. If you have experienced any connection with homeless individuals, please contact me or the agency in your specific county and help connect them to the assistance that is available.

Blessings to each of you!

MAY/JUNE 2020 GRANGE NEWS

“Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” These instructions were written in Peter’s first letter to Christians in the first century, shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Mark, Jesus told his disciples, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

These words are extremely important for two particular reasons. First of all, Christians around the world recently celebrated Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Secondly, we are in uncharted territory as we are in the midst of a pandemic of a virus that is spreading worldwide.
We are called by our God to serve others in the world around us, particularly in our own communities. This is not only our calling as Christians but an important part of what the Grange has traditionally stood for. Today we have a community service program in our organization which focuses greatly on how we serve others in our communities.
So, what is one of the most important ways we can serve others during this pandemic? Many of us are out and about every day, either because of work or because we are using common sense practices to keep ourselves and others safe from the spread of the virus. But what about those who may fall into the high-risk category and are pretty much confined to their homes?

This is where we can help as Christians and as Grange members. Have you checked on your neighbors? How about elderly friends, neighbors, and family who may live alone? My daughter has offered to go to the grocery store for those who don’t wish to make sure they have sufficient groceries. Members of my church and several community members have offered to assist those who may be financial difficulties due to being off work during this time. We shouldn’t have to look far to find a way, no matter how great or how small, to help out in our communities right now. Even if it just a phone call to check in on someone. It is the least we can do.

Let’s all make an extra effort during the next few weeks to serve others who may be in need during this pandemic. It is not only what we are called to do but also gives us a sense of accomplishment. We can feel good about our service to others.

God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. ~Hebrews 6:10

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