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UMCH Alumni to gather on campus

Every year, a large group of former residents of the Children’s Home gather on our campus for some food, fun and fellowship at the UMCH Alumni Reunion. This year’s reunion will be October 1 from 11a.m. to 8 p.m. Lunch and dinner will be served, and we’ll have a sock hop in the gym! There is no cost to attend the reunion, as meals are generously provided by the UMCH Auxiliary.

Bring your albums, pictures and examples of your hobbies to share in Glenn Auditorium. Dress casually for all events (and feel free to bring a poodle skirt for the sock hop!). Bring a lawn chair for visiting outside, if you would like.

If you are a former resident of the Children’s Home, we’d love to see you at the reunion! RSVP to Liz Brown at 404.839.3649 by September 23 to be counted for meals. Hope to see you there!

Party time!

Members from Silver Leaf Lodge Number 457 came out this weekend to throw a fabulous Back-to-School Party for our campus. Families from our Family Housing Program and students from Independent Living all came out to enjoy the hamburgers and hot dogs and just enjoy a great time together.

Child from Family Housing

Silver Leaf Lodge brought everything for the party – the food, the grill, and all the supplies!

Volunteers serve the food

They even brought enough school supplies to give a bag-full to every family who came, as well as stocking UMCH’s supply closet for future families.

Silver Leaf Lodge's donation of school supplies

But the best part of the party in the eyes of our children was the BOUNCY HOUSE!

jumpy house

Not only did the group bring the party, but midway through the event, they surprised us with a $500 check from CF Property Management, as well as cash donations of over $100 they had collected from members in addition to all the school supplies. Wow!

Giant check from CF Property Management

We are grateful to Silver Leaf Lodge and all their friends and family who made the party a memorable day for our children and families!

more jumpy house

Little boy from Family Housing

You’re invited!

The Gainesville District Office of the United Methodist Children’s Home is hosting an event offering FREE family fun, food, live music, games, prizes and friendship to the community we serve. There will be live music by Gainesville’s own April Cummings!Gainesville DO Festival

Saturday, August 20, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

St. Paul United Methodist Church

404 Washington Street, Gainesville

Door prizes will include:
Gift certificates to local businesses, and a baseball autographed by six-time All-Star, Braves catcher, Brian McCann!

Thank you to our donors:
Longstreet Café, El Sombrero, Golden Buddha, Biba’s, Diamond Car Wash, Poor Richard’s, Braves Clubhouse Store at CNN Center, Rick’s Smokin’ Pig, Recess Gastro Pub, Cheddar’s, Little Italy

For more information, or for directions, please contact our office at 770.531.3063.

What is Jesse’s House all about?

You may have heard about Jesse’s House by now, a new program at the United Methodist Children’s Home. If you’re curious about this exciting new ministry to under-served children, check out this short video!

For more information about Jesse’s House, contact Alison Wright. To make a donation toward Jesse’s House and other UMCH programs, click here.

First “Family Night” a big hit!

With the summer camp portion of Jesse’s House coming to a close, our staff invited the children and their families from Jesse’s House to our first Family Night. Jesse’s House families came to celebrate what their children have done this summer in the program, while having an opportunity to play and interact together as well.

JH family

Little boy from Jesse's House

JH boy plays basketball

The goal for the night was for the parents and children to play together and encourage each other as a family. They played several “Minute to Win It” games together, and all of the families won gift cards for categories like “spirit award” and “encouragement.”

girl plays minute to win it

woman plays minute to win it

minute to win it game

Children and families play "Minute to Win It"

The Program Manager for Jesse’s House, Joy Claybrook, shared about the night of encouragement for the children and families: “We gave each child a tote bag with a stuffed animal, crayons and a book. Each child’s leader picked out a special book for them and wrote a note inside the cover. We then brought each of the children up one by one and told their parents how we have seen them grow and all of the wonderful things we have noticed in their child this summer. We then prayed a blessing over all of the children.”

What a special night for both the children in Jesse’s House and their parents. We are hopeful that Family Night will be an ongoing event to encourage our families!

A creative creation: made with a purpose

Recently in one of our chapel services on Sunday night, the Rev. Ellen Shepard shared with our children, youth and families how each of them was made with a purpose. She spoke of how none of us are created by accident and that we each play a role in this world. She used the creation story as an example of this, and everyone created a part of the creation story with clay. Then one of our residents retold the creation story using the molded clay.

One of our youth demonstrated his own uniqueness with his re-creation of “Day Seven” in the creation story – when God rested. We were all impressed with how he thought out of the box with his art.

day seven

The next time you take a “Sabbath,” or even just kick back on your sofa or couch, remember how you are uniquely and wonderfully made!

How you can pray for us

Looking for a way to help our children and families, but your time and wallet are both stretched to the max? Why not add the Children’s Home to your prayer list? Whether in your own personal reflection time or in your circle or other church group, the prayers you offer up on our behalf are always needed and most appreciated. Here are some current and specific ways you can pray for us.

  • The children, staff and volunteers of Jesse’s House. Pray that this new program enriches the youth and families who are participating. Pray that our Jesse’s House staff and interns will be encouraged by the important work they are doing. Pray that our volunteers will recognize what a gift spending time reading with a child offers.
  • Pray for those staff who work with our TLP participants. Pray that their visits with these young adults will help them on their way to full self-sufficiency.
  • Pray for our ILP residents who will be leading VBS for the Stewart Center in Reynoldstown in July. Pray that God will use this opportunity to care for others to teach and inspire all involved.
  • Pray for all families connected with UMCH, from those in Family Housing to those in our Foster Care program. Pray that this summer will be a time of rest, renewal and joy for each of them.

Thank you for your prayers and support for our children and families! We are very grateful for them, and for you.

Monique finds a home at UMCH

Monique and Legend are in our Family Housing program, and Monique was gracious to share her story with us in this powerful video that premiered at Annual Conference last week.

We are proud of what Monique has accomplished during her stay with us, and we’re excited to see what her future holds!

Announcing a brand-new service at the Children’s Home!

Jesse's House LogoThe mission of the United Methodist Children’s Home is “to provide redemptive, healing services that bring meaningful change to the lives of children and families.” In keeping with that mission, we are reaching out to a new group of children and families who we feel we can help. There are many intact families who struggle to keep their children safe and healthy, due to issues such as financial struggles and lack of resources or opportunities. UMCH is uniquely positioned with our resources, ex­perience and strategically placed district offices to offer care, education and spiritual nourishment to under-served children and families throughout north Georgia.

Therefore, we are excited to announce a new service we are offering to children and families. Jesse’s House opened on May 31 as a summer day camp for grade-school and middle-school children from our Family Housing program. The eight-week summer camp is the latest in our program offerings to under-served children and youth and their families. UMCH staff show these children God’s love as they par­ticipate in one-on-one reading programs, recreation, crafts and Bible study. Jesse’s House has started on our Decatur campus as a pilot program, but we plan to expand this service in the fall to an after-school program on our campus as well, and eventually to extend the program throughout north Georgia, with the help of lo­cal area churches.

The first week was a big success! We asked the children what they had learned and what their favorite things were at Jesse’s House, and here’s what they had to say:

At Jesse’s House I learned…
that God made us for a reason
how to swim backwards and how to do a handstand in the water
loving words
God loves me

Jesse's House child reads with a volunteer

My favorite part of Jesse’s House was…
eating ice cream and going to the pool
swimming and scavenger hunt
playing cooking in our room
talking to Brandon and Logan (interns) because both of them are funny

Jesse's House child creates art

If you’d like to support Jesse’s House at the United Methodist Children’s Home, here are some ways you can help:

  • Read one-on-one with children or lead an art class in the morning, or lead an afternoon enrichment activity
  • Provide and share a meal with the interns (Monday or Tuesday evenings)
  • Financially support the program: Support an intern ($2,500); support lunch for camp (one day for $70; one week for $350); support snacks for campers ($35 for one week)
  • Prepare and serve breakfast, lunch or snacks for a week
  • Donate class materials, such as books, art supplies, paper products, sports equipment, etc.

We will have much more to come about this exciting new ministry, so stay tuned! In the meantime, contact Alison Wright with any questions.

Texas teens dig right in to work at UMCH

Thirty-one youth and eight adults packed several vans in East Bernard, Texas to drive to UMCH last week. From Tuesday to Thursday, this group worked HARD around our campus, jumping in to help wherever we needed.

MYF group

They spent their mornings doing everything from digging holes for trees…

digging holes

to pruning old trees…

pruning trees

to reading books to our children…

reading to children

to sorting supplies…

sorting supplies

to prepping a new lawn…

preparing lawn

to making dozens of casseroles to freeze for our summer interns…

making casseroles

And that’s just the half of it! They worked incredibly hard all morning and through lunch. Then late in the afternoon, they would clean up and set off on adventures around Atlanta. They visisted the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and Centennial Park…

MLK Center

the World of Coke and Stone Mountain…

Stone Mountain

and they even went zip lining!

zip lining

Words cannot express how grateful we are to these teens and their leaders. Their positive attitudes and can-do spirits brightened our campus, and we already miss having them around!

East Bernard in front of Moore Chapel

Many thanks, East Bernard UMC youth!

  © 2018 The United Methodist Children’s Home of the North Georgia Conference.