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Runners to Support Local Charities

Whether you are a running enthusiast aiming for your best time or simply willing to walk for a great cause, consider joining your fellow parishioners in supporting local charities at one of these upcoming 5K events:

THON 2013 5K

The 12th Annual THON 5K will take place Saturday, October 13 at the corner of University Drive and Curtin Road at 11:30 a.m. (the Kid’s Race starts at 11). The Fun Run/Walk costs just $15 and competitive chip timing costs $18. Participants and friends can credit our Penn State Orthodox Christian Fellowship when they visit thon.org to register or donate. Help OCF reach its goal to dance for 46 hours! 

Run for Shelter 5K

Holy Trinity’s partner ministry, Housing Transitions invites parishioners to Run for Shelter!  This 5K run/walk will take place on Saturday, November 10 at 9 a.m., and begin and end at Centre House.  All proceeds will benefit the homeless shelter. Forms and/or additional information is available in the Parish Hall or by contacting Diana Van Duin.

Quarters from Heaven (via Holy Trinity)

by Melody Thompson

Quarters (image courtesy of Stephen J. Sullivan)In thinking about our quarter collection effort for Centre House ministry news (the local homeless shelter) my mind was “nudged” into one of those strange connections and I thought of the old song “Pennies from Heaven” (see lyrics here). Oldsters like myself will remember the title of the song, but how many of us ever focused closely on the lyrics?

Believe it or not, the old Bing Crosby song has a strong theological message. It first talks about not appreciating what we have until it’s covered by clouds. But the lyrics also remind us that blessings can come from those clouds. Today, the residents of Centre House are likely feeling that their skies are pretty cloudy. But we can help them see the “silver lining”—that there are people who care about them in their distress—by contributing quarters for their laundry needs or for parking when they go for job interviews.

Inflation may have necessitated changing pennies to quarters, but the meaning is still the same. Please help your neighbors at Centre House by depositing quarters in one of the two collection receptacles (one in the Narthex and one in the Parish Hall), which can be identified by the photograph of Centre House.

Good News from Matthew 25

by Melody Thompson

Thank you to everyone at Holy Trinity who made our Matthew 25 ministry news appeals so successful this Lent. As a parish we collected fifteen bags of clothing for the St. Vincent de Paul Society; approximately ten boxes of food for the Food Bank of the State College Area; and 22 Wal-Mart and Target gift cards so residents of Centre House (an emergency shelter operated by Housing Transitions ministry news) can buy necessities. In addition, an amazing 500 quarters (a total of $125) were donated for the residents’ laundry needs. If you missed an opportunity to give, Matthew 25 accepts cash donations year round to fund our parish’s community social outreach.

Church School Children Present Charity Fundraiser Proceeds to Housing Transitions

On Tuesday, April 19, a team of children met with Ron Quinn, Executive Director of Housing Transitions ministry news, a State College nonprofit corporation offering housing services to Centre County residents in need. The children, members of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church School, personally delivered funds they raised through their own charity community luncheon.

Their luncheon, aptly entitled “SOUPer Sunday,” was held March 27 and featured a variety of homemade soups prepared by the children. The Church school students were also responsible for serving and hosting the meal, at which a free-will offering was accepted. All proceeds from thefundraiser (which raised just shy of $700) were allotted to Housing Transitions and the Food Bank of the State College Area. Both recipient organizations were specifically selected by the children.

The church school students, aged 4-14, came up with the idea of serving our area charities after studying the Orthodox Christian observance of Great Lent. The 40-day period of preparation for Holy Week and Easter, which ended for Orthodox Christians last Friday, is a time for increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It begins with a reflection of Jesus Christ’s words recorded in the gospel of Matthew (chapter 25, verses 31-46) exhorting Christians to offer compassion and service to those in need:

“…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in…”

Matthew 25 Collections Due This Sunday

This Sunday is the last day of collection for our Matthew 25 Lenten outreaches: Donations are being solicited for a Clothing Drive, with donations to go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of State College, a Food Drive, with donations to go to the Food Bank of the State College Area, and a Gift Card Drive (e.g., Wal-Mart, Target) so temporarily homeless residents at Housing Transitions can purchase necessities. Thank you for your generosity.

Serving Christ this Lent

by Melody Thompson

This Lent, Matthew 25 is coordinating four almsgiving opportunities: A food drive, with donations going to the State College Area food bank; a clothing drive, with donations going to the St. Vincent de Paul Society; a gift card drive (grocery/gas/etc.) so Housing Transitions (the local homeless shelter) can purchase items they need to help residents be clean and comfortable in their temporary housing; and a coin collection so these residents can do their laundry.

How is this serving Christ? Surely He doesn’t need canned food or clothes or gift cards… or quarters!

Or does he? Christ Himself tells us, “…inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” (Matt. 25:40)

Even in an apparently well-to-do community like ours, there are many of Christ’s (and our) brethren who need us to reach out to them. Please consider responding to Christ’s words through one of these opportunities. Collection receptacles will be avail-able in the Narthex and Parish Hall, and the Church School has made a special poster on which to place the gift cards. For more information about these activities, please see me or Dn. Alex.