Would you like to help fight homelessness but are unable to participate in the overnight church hosting? The Mission Committee has another way to help. We are expanding the homeless support by offering the congregation the opportunity to donate hygiene-related products. The donated products would be used by the guests at the Family Promise Day Center when they return after an overnight stay and to help them get started into a home after they graduate from the program.
We will be asking the congregation to bring products on the second Sunday of each month and leave them on a cart on the patio — just as the Hunger Table collection is taken. The Mission Committee will make sure the donated products are delivered to the day center after the Sunday collection.
The next collection of hygiene related products will be on May 14. If you have any questions on this new mission, please see a member of the Mission Committee on the patio after the worship services or call the church office at (714)544-7070.
Here is a list of products needed by the Family Promise Day Center:
Shampoo & Conditioner – Large Bottles, Any Brand
Shampoo & Conditioner – Hotel Size
Bars of Soap
Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
Laundry Detergent, and Fabric Softener
Diapers (Especially Sizes 4, 5, 6), Baby wipes
Families Forward Spring Food Drive
For the 8th year, TPC participated in the Families Forward Spring Food Drive. The drive this year took place on Saturday, March 11, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. We took 2-hour shifts at a local grocery store (Albertson’s at 1st and Newport this year) collecting food for the Orange County food pantry. Watch for an announcement about the results of the drive.
Update on Habitat for Humanity
On March 17, Dale Schweitzer, Stephen French and Jere Murphy, as part of a group of fifteen volunteers, completed the framing of five houses in Southwest Santa Ana with Dale on the chop saw, Stephen with a nail gun and Jere holding up the “dumb” end of boards going into the saw. Many thanks to Dale and Stephen for both their technical experience and hard work.
Saturday, May 20, is the next Habitat work day. If you are interested in helping, please register your personal information online at www.habitatoc.org. Notify Jere at email@example.com or at 714-639-6967 when you are registered, or if you have any questions.
and Down the Street
Helen Estock was a 5th grade teacher in Tustin, and the school we serve honors her name and dedication to students. Helen Estock Elementary School is on ‘B’ Street just north of Irvine Blvd. The students come from South Tustin, many walking past TPC’s driveways on their way to school. In the coming school year, Estock will almost double in size, incorporating children who formerly attended Lambert Elementary. The staff has grown and so has the need for additional volunteers.
If you love kids, this is your chance to make a difference! We have a team of five committed volunteers: Brenda Benjamin, Kathy Greenwood, Jeff Lyngaas, Judy Merker and Merry Powers. We would love for you to consider joining us in helping these wonderful kids achieve their goals in reading and/or math. If you are interested, contact Kathy Greenwood or call the church office at (714)544-7070. If you can donate 1 hour a week, it will make a huge difference in the educational experience of a child.
You do not need any experience in teaching. The teachers will have your tasks ready for you. This is an amazing opportunity to put your faith in action right around the corner!!!
La Semilla Learning Center in Downtown Santa Ana
The end of summer brings new opportunity to help children with their education at the La Semilla Learning Center at First Presbyterian Church, Santa Ana. The primary purpose of the Learning Center is helping 1st through 5th graders with their homework, but there are side benefits to the students: to improve their life skills and to have a better attitude toward formal education. The benefit to the tutors is the knowledge that they have made the student’s road to a better education easier. In addition to Tustin Presbyterian Church, volunteer tutors presently come from First Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana and Trinity United Presbyterian Church.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Learning Center, please contact Barbara or Jere Murphy, Norma Patton or the Rev. Kim Skilling. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, please contact Jere Murphy, or you can call the church office at (714)544-7070.
As a long-time financial supporter and volunteer for L'Arche Wavecrest, I am excited and hopeful about the things that are happening within the organization and at Abraham House, the residence in Orange where those with and without developmental disabilities live together in community. Allow me to share my excitement.
I see God equipping Wavecrest with a larger, more experienced board which is reaching out to the community, forging new relationships and raising needed funds. In December, L'Arche Wavecrest was invited by the mayor of Orange to officially light the city's Christmas tree, which provided the core members a joy-filled evening and greater recognition within their city. And in May, there was a fundraiser at the Anaheim White House where it was announced that there are plans to fulfill the dream of expanding to a second home.
A new Executive Director, Jeni Baird, was hired last November. Several of you met her and heard her presentation at a First Thursday luncheon. She has incredible energy and enthusiasm. Recently she has hired a male live-in assistant and a part-time office assistant. Jeni is also reaching out to Chapman University to develop relationships with students in the hope they will become volunteer interns. A film student recently made a short documentary about L'Arche Wavecrest, which is informative and emotionally engaging.
The summer was highlighted by the core members attending the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics in L.A. and were "Fans in the Stands", acting as ambassadors of L'Arche.
Even though TPC and Wavecrest have a relatively new partnership, TPC has already repeatedly reached out by extending an invitation to Wavecrest to share its story and designating Abraham House to receive donated food every third month. Priscilla Patterson noticed they had borrowed a lawnmower so donated the one that was sitting in her garage! Thank you, TPC, for your warmth, generosity, and commitment to sharing Christ's love with others.
— Submitted by Lynn Petersen at the request of Mission Committee. For more information about how you can help, contact Lynn or Mission Committee Moderator, Sue Currie
Providing a Home for Teens in Crisis for Over 30 Years
We received the following letter from Laurel House:
“Merry Christmas from the Girls of Laurel House!
2016 has been a sweet time for Laurel House! It was our first full year since reopening, and the Lord is continuing to bless us. With the care of a newly renovated home, runaway, homeless and troubled teen girls have found refuge in a God who is bigger than their circumstances. This year, we were able to shelter and save 11 teen girls from homelessness, with 5 still remaining in the program.
Brielle is our most recent graduate from the Laurel House program. She moved into Laurel House as a 13-year-old, harboring fear and anger. She came from a background of exposure to prostitution from her mother, drug houses from her father, as well as a time or two of homelessness. In a rut of low grades, seeking approval from the wrong crowd and using drugs as a coping mechanism, she was lost with no way out. Yet, God had a different plan.
Through His grace, Brielle entered Laurel House and was enlightened to a different way of living. With love and patience, she was guided through the program and began to accept the love surrounding her. During her stay, Brielle blossomed, she is now a straight-A student. With the help of the counseling provided, Brielle also worked through the rejection she felt from her parents. She chose to stop punishing herself by replicating their actions, and took a different path. Brielle gave her life to Christ, making the decision to get baptized all on her own.
After graduating Laurel House, Brielle was reunified with her grandparents who began counseling and fought to get full legal custody. Though she misses Laurel House, we are overjoyed to hear how well she is doing. She has taken the principles she learned from this program and is now applying them to her life.
Brielle is one less teenage girl ending up on the streets and falling prey to both drug and human traffickers. She has come to terms with her past, while remembering that it does not have to be her future. We at Laurel House have been blessed to witness all these girls grow, mature and overcome their hardships. We share our stories with you so that you may also share in our success!
Thank you for the love, peace and joy you have given to the girls of Laurel House.”
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is responding to the storms, tornadoes, and flooding in the Midwest and South as well as to the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and its partners. For updates on these natural disasters and the church’s response, please visit PDA at www.pcusa.org/pda.
You, too, can be part of God’s answer to prayer for those affected by natural disasters. Information on the situation and prayers and worship resources are available through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Funds from One Great Hour of Sharing are already helping with the initial response. You can give to the ongoing relief through PDA account number DR000064.
225 West Main Street, Tustin, CA 92780-4319 (714)544-7070 www.tustinpresbyterian.org