Newsletter – February 2016

Newsletter – February 2016

SUMs Walk & Fundraiser

You can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people living in poverty in Surrey.
Raising Money and have fun.  What can be better than that?  Coldest Night of the Year is one of the major fundraisers for Surrey Urban Mission.

Save the Date for the Coldest Night of the Year on   February 20, 2016.  Get your team ready to walk and help raise money for those living in poverty in North Surrey. You and your team will have fun while helping those in need.  Or you can join SUM Team https://coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/surrey

Message from John Wolff, Board Chair

Finding housing, a job or getting someone into detox/rehab is something for all of us at SUMS to celebrate. We are so grateful to our community partners like Options, Lookout and the Surrey Food Bank for their collaboration and support of those who call SUMS their safe haven.

But still, the number of guests seeking meals, clothing and fellowship continues to grow. In the month of January alone, the mission served over 8,000 meals and provided warm clean clothing to hundreds of people – all by the grace of those willing to help.
A recent forum by the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition, reported that 32% of the residents that live in the Whalley area around SUMS are living in poverty. Sadly the report also identified Surrey, Whalley and Holly Park neighbourhoods as having the highest percentage of child and youth poverty in BC.

Surrey Whalley is a community that is dealing with the pressures of gentrification –  many of the people of coming to the mission grew up in this neighbourhood.  Looking at the Whalley skyline you now see modern, condo towers. But for people living in poverty their  homes are tarps and tents, or, if they are lucky, a bedroom in a communal home.

SUMS has become a “Hub” in the community, a safe place, where people can have a coffee, something to eat, sit in a chair, use a toilet and if only for a couple of hours, feel “normal”.
We all have a role to play in helping those in need and lifting this community up.  It will take a concerted effort and care by all 3 levels of government, the business community, law enforcement, other service groups and you and me.

We can’t do it without your support – help us, help this most needy community.  Thank you.

Thoughts from Pastor Roland Ziprick

In less than a week, people of the Christian faith will begin to observe the season of Lent. The season of Lent is a 40-day stretch of time prior to Easter in which people recognize the journey of Jesus to the cross to suffer and die on Good Friday and then rise from the grave on Easter Sunday.

Over the centuries Christians observed this time of Jesus’ self-denial by practising some form of self-denial themselves.   Hence comes the question: What are you giving up for Lent?

Now matter how devout people are in practising their faith, many are aware of this process of giving something up for Lent; such customs seem to transcend religion and become part of the culture.  Some of the more common forms of self-denial are seen through the giving up of things like fattening foods, chocolate, and alcohol to name just a few.  The most notable practise is fasting. In the last 10 years or so, it is not uncommon to hear of people giving up technological items such as TV, Facebook, texting, social media and who knows what else.

Into this complex religious and cultural practise, have come the comments of Pope Francis who has urged people to consider what they are giving up this year for Lent. Pope Francis has suggested that people consider a different kind of fasting, notably fasting from indifference towards others.

In his Lenten message Pope Francis writes, “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians.   Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”

The essence of his message is that when we fast from this indifference, we can begin to feast on love.   In fact, Lent is the perfect time to learn how to love again.  Jesus, the great protagonist of this holy season, certainly showed us the way. In him, God descends all the way down to bring everyone up. In his life and his ministry, no one is excluded. “What are you giving up for Lent?”

Our SUMS newsletter would certainly seem to suggest that we all consider giving up indifference to our neighbours. In a great variety of ways, you can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people living in Surrey. May you be blessed as you help us at SUMS, fast from indifference towards others and feast on the love of God as we experience it in our service to others.

Calling all Faith and Service Groups

Would your Faith or Service Group like to serve?  SUMS relies on the grace of people to step up and help those living in poverty and homeless in Surrey.

Gather your friends and put in a team to help us fundraise on February 20th – the Coldest Night of the Year. Contact us at sums@telus.net for info.

Cash donations are needed and appreciated. Donation cheques should be made out to BC Synod with SUMS noted in the memo line.

Thanks, Again and Again

Thanks to to Patricia and Moe Jessen for the new shelving. The hunt for that one ingredient is over, everything in the pantry is organized and ready for prep.

Volunteerism is the core of our existence. Our volunteers are what makes it all happen at the SUMS.  Thank you to each volunteer, from the students to the seniors and everyone in between for your dedication and support for those we serve.

Thanks to all our Corporate Donors for your support.  A special shout out to Rick Diamond and the Diamond Foundation for all that you do.

Happy Valentines Day.

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