As we celebrate MLK Day this month, it is the perfect time to read the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., which continue to inspire, teach and shape people around the world.  In addition to the quote above, here is another one I love:

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. ... You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.  And you can be that servant."  

I pray you experience the greatness of God's blessings, love and joy through serving others in 2020!  Below are some opportunities to get started.

Grace & Peace, 

Renae Newmiller , Director of Local & Global Engagement

Rise Against Hunger MLK Day Packing Event
January 20, Choose Your Shift, Raleigh Convention Center
To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are teaming up with Rise Against Hunger, Southeast Raleigh Table and our greater community to package 150,000+ meals to combat world hunger.   

MLK Prayer Breakfast
January 20, 6:00 - 8:00 a.m., Sheraton Imperial Hotel (Durham)
Our very own Pastor Lisa Yebuah of our Southeast Raleigh Table will be giving the keynote address for this annual program.  Breakfast is from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. with doors opening at 5:45am, and the program will run from 7:15 -9:00 a.m. 

Help Children Get a Good Night's Sleep
We know that a good night's sleep translates into improved learning, behavior, heart health, attention span, weight and immune system. In addition, it results in improved attendance and performance in school.
Sadly, nearly 5,000 children in Wake County are sleeping on floors or sharing crowded beds with others and not getting the sleep they need to be able to learn at school. The Green Chair Project is on a mission to provide a bed for EVERY child in need, and we can help!

This month we are collecting NEW twin sheets (gender neutral preferred) for The Green Chair Project's Sweeter Dreams Bed Program.  Collection bins are on the 1st floor near the Ruth Sheets Center, and in the children's Sunday School check-in on the 3rd floor.

Make a Difference in a Child's Life in 2020

Become a Reading Buddy
We partner with local schools to provide reading buddies.  Serving as a reading buddy is a weekly 30 minute commitment during school hours.  If you are interested in being a reading buddy,  email Amy .

Spend time with a student at  Neighbor to Neighbor  working through an individualized curriculum in math or reading. This requires a one hour per week commitment for the traditional school year.   Choose either 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., or 5:45- 6:45 p.m. any day Monday - Thursday.

Haiti Help One Now Dinner
January 21, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Join us for an opportunity to meet Executive Director of Help One Now (HON), Chris Marlow, and our partnering pastor John-Alix, as they share stories and cast vision related to recent breakthroughs in the family empowerment model we champion together in Haiti.  Space is limited, so please RSVP here .

And check out  what Chris has to say as he reflects on the 10 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti (1/12), and HON's work there.

Heroin and Opioid Awareness Event
January 28, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., The Woman's Club of Raleigh 

Heroin, Fentanyl, and other dangerous drugs are increasingly available on North Carolina streets, with deadly consequences. Drug addiction and overdose deaths cross all socioeconomic groups, and victims are getting younger.  Come hear federal prosecutors, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and local parents who lost loved ones to an opioid overdose speak into what can be done to combat this growing problem.

Waking Up White
January 31, Broughton High School

Join The Encouraging Place and the NC Council of Churches as they welcome Debbie Irving, racial justice educator and author of Waking Up White, for an evening lecture on Friday January 31, and two workshops on Saturday, February 1. Participate in one or all three. This is a must for those who realize how your upbringing and your story define what you think about race.   Register here.

Help Families Experiencing Homelessness
February 2 - 9

As part of a network of churches called Family Promise, we welcome families who are temporarily experiencing homelessness, and provide housing and meals on the third floor of our original campus for a week at a time, four-five times a year.  

There are lots of ways to help from set up or take down, to welcoming guests, making meals or spending the night, to helping with daily transportation or washing linens and towels.  Each host week takes many hands, and we'd love for you to join us!    Get involved!

Build with Habitat
This is the time of year when it's hardest to get volunteers on site,
which is why Habitat could use your help.   Come out to volunteer and help keep builds hot through the chilly winter months - plus if you build three times, you'll receive a FREE Polar Bear Build long-sleeve tee!  Register here.  On 2/22 we'll kick off the Downtown Faith Coalition Build, so save the date!

Church in the City: Preventing Homelessness
February 2, 9:45 - 10:45, Chapel

Join us for our, bi-monthly series where we invite local experts to talk about issues facing our city, and as Christians how we can respond.  In February, we'll be discussing how our church, along with our ministry partners and Wake County, are working hard to keep people in their homes.  With the lack of affordable housing in our community growing, this is a timely and important topic. Mark your calendar! 

Ongoing Opportunities
Looking for ongoing opportunities to serve this year?  Here are a few ways to get involved on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis:

Loads of Love
Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00 p.m., weekly teams provide one free wash & dry to people in need, serve weekly or monthly. Email Dawn 
Hurricane Florence Disaster Response
Weekend day trips to help our NC neighbors recover from Hurricane Florence damage.   Email Suzanne
Monthly Food Drive
We collect food for the Urban Ministries' food pantry, which  provides a week's groceries to as many as 50 families each weekday.  Drop off  non-perishable food items (no glass jars) in the collection bins near the first floor reception area. 

Raleigh Rescue Mission 
4th Sunday, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., worship and spend time in small groups with Raleigh Rescue Mission guests.  Email Renae. 

Family Promise - Helping Families who are Experiencing Homelessness
Quarterly we host families who are temporarily homeless - providing housing and meals for a week at a time.  There are lots of ways to be involved.  Email Ed   to find out how.  2020 Dates are 2/2-9, 4/26-5/3, 7/12-19, 11/1-8

Ruth Sheets Center
Spend time with older adults in ESUMC's adult day center.  Choose a weekday, 2:00 - 5:30 p.m.  Email Matt

Missional Communities
We have Missional Communities that gather across our city to live life together and to serve in our community on a monthly basis. 
Email Ashley  to connect with one of these amazing groups.