South Lyon First United Methodist church is mission-driven. This month we focus on supporting two important missions to our community: the Good Samaritan Fund and the Angel Tree. 

The naming of the Good Samaritan Fund originated from the story of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus in Luke, chapter 10. In the story, a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Both a priest and a Levite crossed to the other side of the road when they saw him, but a Samaritan man who was traveling “went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he gave funds to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

Jesus shared this story to teach us that it is our responsibility to help those who are in need. It’s easy to forget in our busy days, that despite their best efforts, there are people in South Lyon who are struggling to get by, who are one car problem or expensive medicine or health crisis away from having to choose between heat or food, medicine or shoes to fit those ever-growing feet of their kids. When we donate money to the Good Samaritan Fund, we are empowering our church leadership to act on our behalf, giving them the ability to respond as Jesus wants us to. 

When people from our community reach out to our church for help, the church staff talks to them about their needs. They work with them to figure out how we can best assist them until they can get connected to services that are offered through Active Faith or other local agencies. In the past our church has helped families with rent and utility assistance, gas cards, and we have provided money for food. 

I have been a beneficiary of this type of fund, through my childhood church in Massachusetts. I was about 8 years old. My mom was a single mom, working so hard to take care of my sister and I, but was just barely making it each month. One very cold month the bills were higher than what we had, and we just ran out of heating oil. I still remember seeing my breath in the living room. But, by the grace of God and the kind people of our church, our oil tank was soon filled. Even now, as an adult, every time I step out into one of those winter days where the wind takes your breath away, I remember that feeling of cold. I worry about those who have to suffer it, but then I remember the kindness of the people in our church. It was a display of God’s love that I will not forget. 

During Christmas, our church gives back to our community by adopting local families through Lyon Community Chest. This year we will be supporting over 20 families by providing “food baskets” from the Good Samaritan funds. The food baskets include non-perishable food and household items and a gift card to a local supermarket so families can buy perishable food items for Christmas.

We also loop in support of these families at Christmas through our Angel Trees, located in the lobby and in the back of Fellowship Hall. If you would like to purchase Christmas gifts for our needy families, you can take one of the tags off the tree. The tag describes the needs of people we are adopting. Each card lists a person’s: age, gender, clothing size, and wish list. If you would like to purchase a gift for someone, simply write your name and phone number on the back of the ornament that is attached to the tag and place the ornament back on the tree. Take the tag with you so you know what the person’s needs are. 

In order to make the gift giving equitable for all recipients, we ask that you spend around $75 on each person. If $75 is a bit steep for your budget, we do have cards for the adults in each household that ask for a $25 gift card to Meijer. After you purchase and wrap the gift, please bring it back to the church on or before Thursday, December 19. 

If you would like to help the Mission Team assemble the food baskets and presents for each family, please stop by the Friendship Room on Saturday, December 21th at 9:00 a.m.  

If you would like to help deliver the food baskets and Christmas presents to our adopted families, you can do so on Sunday, December 22nd after church services or during the Sunday school hour. Watch the kiosk or back table at Ignite to sign up or stop by the Friendship Room the morning of December 22nd.   

Please prayerfully consider giving to the Good Samaritan Fund and supporting our community through the Angel Tree. It is a wonderful way to help spread the love of Jesus Christ through helping the people within our community.

Tammy Fornari &
the Mission Team