Thursday, March 13, 2014

What's new this week?

I know this program can work. This is my own 12 year
Coin in AA. -Mark
Some New Programs are Starting to Take Shape:

This week we started an AA meeting to compliment the numerous other services involved in the Homeless Support Services offered at Bethel. The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Andrew Hoyt, a long time member of  our Homeless Group. I am not at liberty to let you know how many or even who attended the meeting at 1:30 pm on Friday, but let's say it was a very good meeting and reported by the attendees. This will be offered at the same time as mentioned above, each week. We certainly welcome this group into the fold. Great job Andrew!  

Our next venture is brought to us by Blake Cullen, our University of Wisconsin/School of Social Work intern. He / we are partnering  with the Dane County Time Bank to allow our homeless friends to give back to our program in the form of volunteering to do dome of the things we are required to do on a daily basis. This program will produce a two fold result. Our homeless friends will gain some self esteem, by being able to give back to our program, as well as giving the ability to earn rewards for their services rendered. We currently have about 60 hours per week that will be used for volunteer  opportunities which include but aren't limited to, cleaning the room daily, manning the registration desk, doing dishes, and helping out in the clothing distribution room. For each hour they put in they receive services back. The Dane County Time Bank offers services to include, legal services, counciling ,  transportation to appointments, etc and are putting their own store in  for redemption. We will offer an exchange  for sleeping bags, backpacks,  duffel bags, and  bus passes. Most of these items already have been donated to us , however we would like to include monthly bus passes ($27), gift cards for local restaurants or coffee shops ($10 each), gift cards to Walgreens for personal essentials that they can't get from their food cards ie...aspirin, shampoo, and deodorant .  We estimate that this program will need only $60 per week or $240 per month. We would be very excited to receive any contribution you would be willing to make. This is a worthwhile program designed to lift up our homeless friends and to keep them moving forward towards their individual goals. 
Thank you to Blake for thinking outside the box and thank you to Gary of the Dane County Time Bank for his encouragement and guidance in helping us to move this program forward.
To find out more about the DCTB visit


The Bethel Homeless Support Services have recently purchased place settings for 100. These include plates, cups, bowls, and silverware (not real silver) . We bought these items because with the additional people we serve each day, we were spending much more than we expected to spend on paper and plastic goods. We estimate that we will save around $3600 a year and at the same time reduce the ecological footprint we were leaving. This is a win-win situation. 

Book Club Review:

What did you want to be when you were 11?
We’ve noticed a trend in young adult fiction recently. It seems that around the age of 11 or 12, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and a host of others (think Narnia, House of Night, etc) hope for a world that is so much bigger than reality. For Percy Jackson, he’s discovering that the blood that runs through his veins is partly that of the god, Poseidon’s. It was at this same age that Harry Potter found out he was a wizard. And for the targeted audience of young adult readers who are devouring these books, it seems they share a similar hope. Perhaps we are all destined for something great and far beyond ordinary reality and it is waiting for us right around the corner.
At that age, I’m pretty sure I thought it would be awesome to fly. To take flight right off the ground. That was far enough from reality for me. At group we talked about people wanting to be professional ball players or police officers, each in their own way impossible. But in fantasy, we can become whatever we can imagine – wizards, the sons of immortal gods, NFL linebackers, or someone who can fly.
It is clear imagination is not dead. I like that literature celebrates that creativity and dreaming.

Pastor Alison WilliamsAssociate Pastor and Director of Congregational Care

1 comment:

Mark Wilson said...

I am sorry for the tardiness of this post. I am In Michigan getting ready to take my Mom to athe Memorial Service of her brother and one of my favorite uncles. I will attempt to be more timely next week.-Mark

The average age of a homeless person in Madison is 9 years old.