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  • Writer's picturePastor Alegra Lynne

Gratitude in the Year of 2022

'TIS THE SEASON for giving and receiving gifts with gratitude and love in our hearts!

As we look back on the past year, we give thanks for the many blessings that our TUMC family and Community Partners have shared to create a sacred and beautiful space that we can share together!

We are grateful for each of the people who have shared their time, talents, gifts and financial offerings to support the ministries, to care for the grounds, and to offer hope and healing to our neighbors and friends here in the Tillamook community.

Our west wing continues to be a place that offers support for our lower income neighbors and community folx. The Tillamook Food Pantry utilizes a good portion of what was previously educational space. This year they installed a walk-in refrigerator unit outside and by the end of 2022, one of our old classrooms will be transformed into a walk-in freezer, increasing the capacity of food storage and decreasing the amount of electricity used for this much-needed partner ministry serving many of our neighbors.

Head Start and Community Action Team offers early learning opportunities for folx on the margins. Teacher Cheryl and Diana provide age-appropriate development opportunities for children ages three to five years old in rooms that once served our church as the nursery. Social skills, emotional development and cooperation are learned simultaneously with the alphabet, proper handling of crafting tools, early literacy and proper hygiene habits. We provide safe places for the children to interact and play, both inside the fellowship hall and in the play garden that can be seen through the doors and windows of our Wesley Room library.

The Wesley Room is used by the Jammin for Jesus crew early in the week, and is a comfortable place to sit and have contemplative prayer, Bible Study or smaller times of worship. We offered all of these opportunities for opening our heart and deepening our spiritual development as adults.

Our children's library and sanctuary play spaces have both been updated throughout the year of 2022. We have new books with wonderful ways to learn about various cultures, religious perspectives and a healthy understanding of race, culture, emotions, as well as age-appropriate ways to worship, pray and seek the Wisdom of God. Our community has been generous with sharing new and old books that assist with this growth and development. And many of you have shared soft toys, donated financial gifts to cover the expenses of children's crafts, bulletins and worship materials. We have also received a beautiful gift of several bins of puppets for future in-person and online ministry for young folx.

The musical wing has become active once more as the TUMC choir and Pacific Chimes have gathered to share their time and talents and gifts with us again. Every Wednesday evening and most Sunday mornings, these rooms are active and filled with a joyful noise for the glory of the Lord. We are grateful for the talented musical leadership of Diane Nelson, Deb Hendrickson and Kathy Gervasi for their gifted leadership of these groups. We also host the Tillamook Marimba group in our musical wing, and are delighted to provide space for their instruments and music. We look forward to hearing more from our marimbas in the upcoming year.

Our Faith Quilters have also been tremendously busy this year! We are grateful to Cathie Favret, Carolyn Ewert and Doreen Fletch as well as many who join in throughout the year including Betty Hickey and Gen Gates, in their creative gifts that support our sanctuary, have raised money for new lights, donated benches for the beautification of the grounds, raised money towards the roof fund, and have contributed to many maintenance and upgrade projects for TUMC over the many years of active involvement. These gifted folx work diligently and joyfully each week and rarely ask for recognition.

We are grateful for the gentle leadership of our quiet ministry leaders!

Bill Farnum cares so wonderfully for our building and maintains a space of hospitality and welcome each Sunday morning, arriving early to open the doors, turn on the lights and put the kettle and coffee on before nearly anyone else enters the building on Sunday mornings.

Sara Ayers faithfully attends worship, sitting in the children's area, providing safe and welcoming space for our children and young at heart folx to be present in the times of gathering and worship. Whether or not we have young people, she is here each week, ready to welcome them with a craft, children's bulletin and toys and games so that they and their parents can feel comfortable in joining us all in worship.

Gratitude abounds for Rosemary Zimmerman, and earlier this year, for Nancy Kershaw, providing office support when we have been in search of an administrative assistant. Isabella Armenta has provided wonderful support for us, serving as our Office Manager from March until December of this year. She has provided us with wonderful communications, kept up the website and social media posts and provided assistance for Pastor Alegra to keep in contact with our homebound through weekly devotionals and kept our calendar, both online and in the office, up to date.

Financial contributions by our community have funded the office position and helped us to reboot after re-opening from the closure due to the Pandemic which began in 2020. Thank you for supporting our dreams of providing communication support through office staffing! We will be searching for a new Administrative Assistant in the new year.

Online support and technical leadership in keeping our Facebook family and extended worshipping community active through our online platforms has been provided by Betty Hickey. Upgrades to the computer, installment of our new camera and updating of our sound system was facilitated by Betty and by Steven Kershaw. Scott Casey offered his time to make these systems work well! We received a special gift from Cascadia District of the UMC with funds that were also used to support technology upgrades.

We also have a new, large screen television in the sanctuary that is now connected to our computers and iPad thanks to a donation of an apple tv device from Pastor Steven Wolff. We look forward to sharing videos and special offerings through our technology in the new year!

We are grateful for our community partners and generous donors!

During this year, we received a generous donation from one of our community members who saw our call for help with our roof. The repairs that we worked on last summer to attempt to patch the roof were not fully successful, but at least we were not left with a debt and the continued leaks! Our donor provided a good portion of what we needed to cover the cost of the initial repairs, and we also received a very low-interest loan from the Cascadia District Church Extension Society towards the bill.

We have noticed now that the stormy season has come that we will indeed have to completely resurface the roof over the sanctuary and fellowship hall, but we did try our best to simply repair and to patch the known faulty areas for the lower cost. We are grateful to all who are currently prayerfully contemplating donating to the fund for a new roof, and to Bob Teran, who is researching our options for building repair and maintenance.

This year, we also received a grant from Tillamook High School which provided us seed money for a fence that will be installed in the time of preparation for next year's garden. And we received a healthy donation of compost from Avril's Landscaping for the garden area. Our Christmas tree was donated by Rosenburg's building supply. We are grateful for our community partners, and look forward to deepening our relationship with the community in the future!

Thank you to all who have provided time, talents, gifts of service, gifts of prayer, e-cards for birthdays and special days, and have done visitation or offered tech support for worship. Thank you to our community partners and to our supporters who provide financial contributions from near and far. You are all gifted in ministry! We value your offerings to our community!

Thank you, all! God bless you! Your gifts make everything we do possible!

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