Thanks from New Orleans

On behalf of the board of directors, children and families of North Rampart Community Center, we thank you for your generous donations, prayers and time that you have shared with us here at the center during 2007.

Without you, we would not have had such a rewarding summer last year nor would we now have an after-school program. Some of you may know that last summer was the first time since Hurricane Katrina that the center was opened to receive the children. We had 50 children to attend the summer camp and now the after-school program is growing by leaps and bounds. We have more than 125 children on roll and average about 40 students a day.

Our goal for this year is to serve 100 children in the summer program and have more than 300 children on roll for the after-school program.

It is our vision to continue reaching out to as many women, children and families of this community and the surrounding communities of Greater New Orleans and to provide holistic programs that meet the needs of the whole family.

We are so grateful for the contributions from individuals, churches, UMW groups and conferences that make it possible for the program to continue.

Joanne Finley,
executive director
North Rampart Community Center
New Orleans, La.

Editor's note. North Rampart Community Center was a recipient of the 2006 Bishop's Christmas Offering for Children.

Top priorities?

One of my strongest church members walked into church on Sunday, Feb. 17, and said, "If I knew of another church to go to, I would leave this denomination today!" These words were spoken because of the legislative priorities of The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

What should be the top priorities of the GBCS?

  1. Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel;

  2. Win people to Christ;

  3. Take God at His word and trust in Him; and

  4. Stop the killing of innocent babies (abortion).

If we really want to change the social outlook of this nation and world, we need to change our attitude toward God. We need to trust in Him and not in the politician. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land."

How hard is it to understand this passage of Scripture? When will we learn that we are there to win souls to Christ by proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these thing shall be added unto you."

These are the thoughts and beliefs of the Plato UMC congregation.

Russell Hepler, pastor
Plato UMC