Pack A Sack Update

Blessings Overflowing

God continues to bless this ministry and we are now up to 111 children per week. We consider it a blessing to be able to help these children in need. With more children comes a lot more need on our end as well.

We continue to pray for another corporate sponsor or a one time donor. With 111 children it requires around $1,200/month even with food donations. Maybe you could consider just helping with the rest of the school year, which is 3 more months – it would be a tremendous blessing!

We are overwhelmed with Bridges Preschool as they have “adopted” PAS for the month of February. You may have seen the hearts taped to the walls around the school. It’s a grab a heart month at Bridges and the parents have really done a beautiful job with food donations. They are collecting food all month.  A Bridges section has been setup in the Pack a Sack room. It is overwhelming and JOYFUL to see what they have done in support of this ministry. If we’re in there when you walk by, pop in so we can share with you all they have done. It has been fun to partner with Nadia, Jen and the Bridges community. From the bottom of our HEARTS, we thank you!

We continue to work with the Girl Scouts (Please don’t forget to order cookies so we have enough to give each PAS child a box of cookies…), Community Montessori continues to do their food collections, and we’re gearing up for another FANTASTIC Hawk Walk with Tampa Day School. It takes all these wonderful partners to help this ministry reach far and wide.

On behalf of all the PAS volunteers, thank you for your prayers and support!

Pack a Sack Update & Info

The Pack a Sack team gets many questions about current needs, how to help, etc.  All great stuff! Here are a few answers:

  • We currently deliver 98 bags per week (54) to Dickenson and (44) to Town n’ Country.  We pray we can reach more children in need.
  • Volunteer opportunities
    • Drivers are needed.  Deliveries are made on Fridays around 11:30am. If interested contact Shaun Black.
    • Pre-assembly and Pre-Packing – teams meet at different times based on schedule and inventory.  Pre-assembly teams  organize the shelves and food items for the next packing.
  • Sign-up for Amazon Smile – Proceeds benefit PAS.
  • Food donations  are needed year round.  A list of needs is located in the copy room (across from the office or just ask Jamie).  Just pick up 1 item every time you go to the store – it adds up quickly!
  • Become a monthly contributor or corporate sponsor. The monetary need to sustain this program is about $900+/mo.  This is why food donations and monetary donations are so important.  If your place of business, civic group or school would be willing to  do a 1 time donation or food drive, we’d be happy to discuss this opportunity.
  • Prayers – We are always grateful for prayers for the PAS children, for donors and for the teachers and administration that help us provide for these children.

Sharing Good News

Two local girl scout troops have chosen Pack a Sack as their “hometown hero” charity.  A portion of their proceeds will go to Pack a Sack….we’re also hoping to get some cookies for our bags.  STAND BY with more information on how you can order GS cookies from these troops.

A Community Montessori School has decided that our campaign “Kids Helping Kids is something they want to do year round, so they are collecting PAS items for the rest of the school year. We have already received 3 large collections from them since November. We are grateful for their help and involvement.

On behalf of all the volunteers – thank you!

Good News/Bad News….

The GOOD, EVEN GREAT news is that Pack a Sack is growing which means we  are reaching more children that so desperately need our help. We are delivering 98 bags now each Friday and we suspect that number will be over 100 after the new year. The Bad news it takes a lot of food and monetary donations to meet the monthly requirement to fill these bags. Filling 392 bags per month with 11-13 food items is about 3,700+ items, and it adds up really fast. With that, we are looking for another corporate sponsor that would like to get involved with Pack a Sack. We ARE BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE for our current corporate sponsor and have been able to joyfully grow and provide, but looking ahead with this new growth, we find we need additional help….a great problem to have right!!! If you are interested in helping with a monthly contribution or even an 1 time year end donation (tax deductible), we would certainly appreciate that help. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please feel free to give me a call – Jamie @ 813/967-3800 or jamiewas@tampabay.rr.com.

From all the PAS volunteers, thank you for your support and prayers!

Pack-A-Sack News

Christmas Blessings from all the Pack a Sack Volunteers.  We want to thank everyone for all the food donations, prayers and support for Pack a Sack this past year.  We feel so blessed to be able to reach these children and we couldn’t do it without all of you supporting this ministry. Don’t forget to Grab a Sack in the back and if you could pick up 1 or all items on the list, we’d certainly appreciate it.  We are busy restocking the shelves over these next few weeks while the children are on break.  You can also help us buy signing up for Amazon Smile and designating Wesley (all funds Go to Pack a Sack) as your preferred charity…. 

We wish you and your families a Very Merry Christmas!

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Word of Encouragement

On June 22 and 23, 20 leaders from Wesley will be attending leadership training in Fort Meyers to encourage us and help us learn about Real Life Discipleship. Be in prayer for the leaders: Brad and Ali Hubbard, Steve and Lesley Holroyd, Leslie Berlin, James Pearson, Amy Dissler, Marilyn Preston, Rene and Pete Kincaid, Lester Pineda, Larry and Nadia (soon to be Wood), Bob and Jean Rowe, Iraeda Malpica, Jennifer Foster, Connie Pruitt, Brenda and Ernie Post. When we return, we will be having a commissioning service for the leadership and be launching our 20/20 vision, sharing the exciting work of God with the congregation. I am sensing a strong movement of God here at Wesley and a time of renewal and refreshment. As your pastor I want you to know how encouraging it is to me to be a part of such a fresh movement of God in the church. Each step along the way, God has affirmed our desire to make a difference and walk into the future with this new mission.

“Disciples who make disciples” will help us keep our focus on making a difference for others and push us to always be preparing someone else for tomorrow in their walk with Jesus. I am excited to see where God takes this leadership team. As always, I love being your pastor.

~Grace & Peace~
Pastor Ernie

Word of Encouragement

The Mentor Leader, by Tony Dungy, chapter 6, Living the Message. “what we do is even more important than what we say.” And what is true of me as a leader or you as a spouse or parent is also true of the entire church, and this is magnified during tough times. If we say we love people but are not present for them in a tough time, they cannot help but wonder if we meant it. If we desire to teach our children about Godly living and fail to set the example by our behavior, then we fail our children. To tell someone it is important to be humble but always insist on your own way will result is selfish children and eventually a selfish society. If we want our children or our spouses or our church to be generous, then we ourselves need to be generous. Words are actually the least effective way to influence someone unless the words are attached to a life of integrity and humility. Almost everyone wants to know the same thing, “Are you interested in me?” And yet nearly every conversation we have we are thinking of something to say about ourselves while someone else is talking. We need to practice the art of valuing others. Practice listening, practice humility, practice honesty, practice helping others succeed, practice generosity, practice serving the less fortunate. When all we do is talk about these things, it leads to others thinking we are a fraud. Be genuine with people. Follow thru. Love them as you want to be loved.

Word of Encouragement

About two years into college I had a great learning. If I decided my final grade BEFORE the class started it changed a whole lot about the class. First, I never decided in advance that I would get anything lower than a B. This put the class into perspective before it began. It inspired me to begin strong, keep up, do the work, study, and make the grade. I never got anything lower than a B again.

Last week in church, I asked everyone to grade their 2017. Not surprisingly, most of us did not grade it an A. Now why is that? The truth is, most of us look back at the value of the year based on what happened. Our circumstances determine the value. What would change if we decided to grade 2018 before it began? Undoubtedly we would not be able to value the year and grade it on the circumstances, nothing has happened yet.

So I think I am going to have and A year this year. How about you? And what will we do to assure we get there? It inspires me to start strong. In January I will overwhelmingly enjoy my opportunities with my family, diligently pursue my studies. Keep up my attitude and make the grade. What can stop me? My upcoming circumstances? No way. Greater is the One who lives in me than the one who lives in the world. I have Jesus. Winner year!

~Grace & Peace~
Pastor Ernie