As Advent winds down and the season of Christmas approaches, it’s a time we often reflect on the blessings in our lives and pay attention to ways we can share with others. And as we prepare to celebrate the birth of a child who the world didn’t quite expect, we’re reminded that Jesus calls us to live a life of radical hospitality, bold faith and intentional love for others. This church answers that call well through a wealth of mission and service in Marysville and around the world. And this Christmas, we have a new opportunity to grow in faith and love as a community.
Homelessness is a growing national problem. The sheer size of the problem almost makes it seem impossible to deal with for the average person. How can we as Christians make a difference in our local community? Opportunities for ministry sometimes pop up suddenly in unexpected places.
A couple of years ago our rental house on the back of the church property became The Miracle House. At the time the Everett Gospel Mission had leased the house as transitional housing. We housed 3 men who got jobs, went to school and are ready to move on. What a blessing that program has been.
Many of you know last year we were able to donate a car from one of our congregants through the Interfaith Family Shelter in Everett. This opened up a new relationship with the shelter and the mission team started to wonder how we could partner with them on the Miracle House.
Their Mission is uniting faith and community groups in the common goal to address homelessness. Specifically, we serve families with children in Snohomish County.
The Shelter currently operates 2 programs:
-The Family Shelter (downtown Everett) accommodates 11 families – It offers family clients up to 90 days of emergency shelter. During this time, families receive basic needs (shelter, food, laundry, etc.) and also Rapid Rehousing case management to get them into permanent stable housing. They also receive Mental Health & Substance Abuse counseling too, if needed. We have a Learning Hour program that helps kids stay on top of their schoolwork and homework, so that their grades don’t suffer, and also provides learning and recreational fun activities.
-Cars to Housing (downtown Everett) accommodates 5 families – in partnership with a local church, we offer a safe parking and rehousing program. Same model as above, except this program serves families who still live in their vehicles. The goal is to get them out of their cars and into a home.
They are one of only 2 shelters in Snohomish County that accepts single dads and families with teenage sons (who are usually not accepted at other emergency shelters, which often causes families to separate so that at least some members can receive shelter). So we keep families together during what is already a difficult and traumatic experience.
Beginning in January the Mission Team is preparing for the MIracle House to be run and operated as an extension of The Family Shelter. It will accommodate 2 families with children at any given time (i.e., at least approx. 8 families in a calendar year). Each family will receive up to 90 days of emergency shelter, Rapid Rehousing case management, and Mental Health / Substance Abuse case management. Parents will also receive resources and input on finance management, healthy living, and parenting resources. Children will have access to learning resources, help with school/homework, and recreational programming.
As we prepare to receive Christ anew this Christmas, we invite you to consider supporting our own Miracle House in our backyard! A one-time Christmas gift or a monthly gift will make a great difference.We’ll receive a miracle offering on Christmas Eve at all three services. You can give at any time to support the Miracle House via www.marysvilleumc.org/miracle or with a check.
We can’t think of a better way to show our love for our community than to provide a miracle for families who’ve worked hard for a new life. This is the way of Christ.
Don Whitfield, Mission Team
Mike Young, Mission Team Chair
Vern Woods, Vision Team Chair
Dave Reynaud, Finance Chair
Click above to make a gift online. Type "Miracle House" in the memo. Thanks!
Mail or drop off a check at the church office, made out to Marysville UMC. Put Miracle House in the memo.