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A Joyous Update for You This February!
MATE Mission Partners: As we enter February, we are thankful, hopeful, and looking forward to the new year.
 
We are optimistic that we will be able to welcome MATE Housing Ministry volunteers to work in Maine in 2021 because of the rollout of the vaccines. What a relief for us and for our nation and world!
            
We are in a solid financial position for the first part of the year, because you gave to the Holiday Annual Appeal with generosity. Thank you! And, the Board has been working on MATE’s future sustainability. This is gratifying and exciting!
 
We have work teams, including 2 new first-time teams, already committed to coming up to do home repairs. One new team has committed to bringing up a group for 10 weeks straight, all of which is thrilling! So, plan on coming!

With financial and pressing infrastructure pressures relieved, we can take the time to do a full assessment of the community’s needs for youth and MYC, our community youth group program. Whew, we can do this right, to enrich the lives of youth!

In 2021, with an eye on the future, MATE is humble, healthy, and hopeful!

Please join us to hear plans for MATE's future
To respond to questions about CATE's closure and MATE's plans for the future, our Executive Director, Thea Kornelius, and members of MATE's Board will host a zoom meeting on Sunday, February 21 from 6-7 pm. To join, use the zoom link below. For questions before the meeting, please email Thea at rev.thea.mate@gmail.com. We all look forward to seeing you!

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 974 2787 7624
Stories from MATE
Happy Housing Ministry Memories – and Anticipation for the Future
For about fifteen years, the Camp Hill (PA) Presbyterian Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Ramsey (NJ) have combined into a joint work team for a week serving with the MATE Housing Ministry. We really missed this week of service, faith and fun in 2020 and are hopeful to be back in 2021.

"MATE builds lives" is one of the themes of Mission at the Eastward. This applies to the youth we serve with MATE Youth Connections and the homeowners we serve with MATE Housing Ministry, but also to all of the volunteers who participate in making these programs happen. Here are some thoughts that were noted by members of the Camp Hill/Ramsey group from their last work camp in 2019:

At the start of the trip we were asked why we came to MATE. As the trip has passed along, I am reminded that I come to experience a daily life centered in service and love, removed from judgment and distraction. To rise each day, greeted by a pink dawn, and offer my day to God is an experience I plan to replicate at home. – Abby T.

This was my first year at MATE and through the week I believe I’ve gotten closer to God. My amazing and welcoming crew made this week pass too quickly. I’ve learned how to use new power tools and do tough projects. I want to thank my Gramma for inviting me and everyone on the trip for being really kind. Thank you. – Eva K.

I got to help on a crew that was putting a metal roof on a mobile home. Valerie, the homeowner, was such a special person. I loved getting to hear her story. Often the most rewarding part of this job is listening to the homeowners. – Karen R.

This was my first year with MATE. From beginning to end, I was blessed. Our work, while at times exhausting, was fun. Our team worked wonderfully together. To work a week without disagreements was amazing. My highlight was having both of the families we worked with come to the guest night dinner. Our older couple were the last to leave; they were greatly enjoying the fellowship. The mother and son from our second job participated with our work. The mother, suffering a progressive disease, was so happy to see her son work daily with us. She said he usually gets awake at noon but was up by 7:30 AM eager to work with us. Praise God! – Jeff F.

Blessed are they that “show up” in spite of fatigue, uncertainty, and even fear, for they shall get support, help, encouragement, and companionship by a multigenerational team. – Paul J.

We are looking forward to “showing up” in 2021, if the way be clear, to make new memories and to share God’s love in our service through Mission at the Eastward.

Nancy Flint, MATE Board of Directors
MATE Celebrates!
MATE is celebrating some exciting support from community partners and changes for 2021!

We received a $30,000 Affordable Housing Challenge Grant for work on the McCleary House from our community partners United Way and the Leap Explosion Fund. The grant allows us to begin work in earnest on our transitional housing project. YES! Help is on the way! The Affordable Housing Challenge Grant was formed after the explosion of the LEAP, Inc. building in Farmington, in order to meet the emergency and long-term housing needs of those affected by the blast. It is administered by United Way; community members reviewed the proposals. When fully renovated, the McCleary House will serve as transitional housing for families, individuals and vulnerable youth, as well as volunteer work teams from all over the country.
 
We have a new Operations Manager for MHM, Dan Flint, who is a long-time MATE volunteer. He is already planning for the work season and dreaming about solutions for homelessness with our superb Executive Director, Thea Kornelius. Welcome, Dan Flint, to your new role. Roger Lambert will still be
involved with MHM but will slide over to work on the McCleary House. We are SO happy and thankful about this!
Happy Valentine's Day
To: Our Valentines
From: Mission at the Eastward
 
Dear Valentine,

Love is…Church work teams, who so love the work they do at Mission at the Eastward, they come back year after year, 10, 20, 30, 40 times over.
 
Love is…donors and grantors who love mission work and consider it an extension of their faith, who give generous gifts of treasure and in-kind donations to make sure people know about the wonderful life-changing impact MATE has on its clients, and they want to be a part of it all.
 
Love is…the enlargement of a person’s heart and faith, and the transformation that happens inside one’s being, when a volunteer or donor realizes that they truly have made a difference in the life of a person or family they helped at MATE. They helped to build a life!

Thank you for being the very best Valentine!

We love you and thank you! We hope to see you at MATE this summer. Until then, may the Lord bless and keep you and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love, MATE
MATE Youth Connection (MYC)
A Little GLOW
Attention All Youth 12 and up!!! Check out the New England Glow- Middle & High School Youth Group. This is a group committed to providing fun and engaging opportunities for our older youth in New England. They have events that will allow youth all over the region to connect with other teens. Stay tuned for more information about in-person events that are being planned as well as weekly online opportunities for fun. Check out the new website http://www.newenglandglow.org/ and the public New England GLOW Facebook page.

The Gift of Volunteering - Teaching Our Youth
I am writing this article a few days before our nation honors and remembers
Dr. Martin Luther King and his important and faithful work. One of my favorite quotes about volunteering comes from him. It begins with, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve...” Even children and youth, because all’s you need to serve is, “a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love,” says Dr. King.
 
As a pastor and a parent, I found that the best way to introduce the young to mission and compassionate outreach was to help them learn through volunteering. My approach was “do-together projects.” Make them fun and relational, sometimes informal and spontaneous, but always with the purpose to “love thy neighbor.” It was never too early to introduce kids to the mission field. From having my own kids or my church family’s young doing “stuff” for their community, they learned to put their faith into action. By making cookies to surprise a neighbor, coloring pictures for a nursing home, holding scavenger hunts for food for a local soup kitchen, or repairing houses on a work team at MATE, youth learn by doing. By volunteering their gifts in service to others when they are young, the young begin to create a heart full of grace that lasts a lifetime!
 
Volunteering has so many wonderful outcomes: It builds life skills, provides opportunities to learn, boosts confidence, grows leaders, reduces stress, inspires happiness, helps create new friends and appreciate diversity, and it can even plant seeds for future careers! We can volunteer any time, even amidst these very challenging times!
 
If you are interested in talking about or sharing resources or ideas about children and youth and mission and volunteering, or you want to know more about what it takes to bring a team of youth up to MATE to work with MATE’s Housing Ministry please email me at karen.j.hagy@gmail.com. I would love to get a group together for an online chat via ZOOM to do just that!
 
“Volunteering helps to change lives, because it changes yours!”

Karen Hagy, Volunteer and MATE Board Chair
MATE's Giving Partners - 2021

At the start of 2021, we are blessed! Thank you, All, for your generous gifts!

Mission Partner Grantors
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area

Mission Partner Churches
First Presbyterian Church of Springfield NJ
The Dover Church, UCC, MA
First Presbyterian Church of Dutchneck, NJ
New Portland Community Church, MA
Fairbanks Church, MA
Church of the Covenant, MA

Mission Partner Community Members
David Mackey, NH
MATE is looking to the future!
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