Beans and Rice
Our ministry is emphatically local! We gather in the parking lot of our church near Joshua House and give two pounds of dried beans and three pounds of uncooked rice, mostly to our neighbors, on the second Saturday morning of each month. Additionally, we offer small toiletries, (sample size soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) as well as bread, and a varied assortment of canned goods, fruit and peanut butter generously donated by our church members. The Beans And Rice Ministry is a good outreach to join if you cannot commit much time but wish to be involved. Distributing the beans and rice happens from 9 am until 11 am on the second Saturday of each month. Scooping the beans and rice into plastic bags for distribution requires about two hours every two or three months and donating toiletries can be done instantly by dropping them into a basket by the church office.
Reality and Truth
Truth and Reality is the manifestation of Ladonna Brendle's faith. Ladonna began by taking sandwiches to homeless in the park. She met the homeless where they were and took them food and compassion. Since that time she has managed to pull together a loose confederation of organizations that help feed over a 100 people each day. On the first Monday of each month, the Church of the Ascension prepares and serves a meal. A portion of our outreach also helps Truth and Reality to support the homeless with counseling, donated cloths, haircuts and laundry service.
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to the poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Family Promise is a national organization that serves transitionally homeless families with children. In the Montgomery area Ascension and thirteen other churches of varying denominations serve as host congregations to care for participants in the Interfaith Hospitality Network program. Several times a year each church provides meals and housing for a week for several families. During the day, the group is based at the city's Family Promise Center, which is run by a director who is a social worker. There they receive counseling in financial and other matters; the adults look for employment if they don't already have a job. The older children attend local schools. At Ascension our guests stay in the Joshua House, a free-standing facility with a kitchen, living room, rooms that we convert into bedrooms, and bathrooms. Many church members volunteer a few hours to prepare the space, to be with these families in the evening, to cook for them, or to wash linens, a wonderful opportunity to minister to those in need with compassion and respect.
The Lord’s Pantry
The Church of the Ascension ongoing food ministries are complemented by the distribution of nonperishable foods boxes for families in need throughout the year. The Food Packing Program packs food boxes designed to provide a several day supply of food stuffs. Food boxes are distributed individually and delivered to needy families quarterly. Help is always welcome to assist in packing and distribution. As with all ministries it is the efforts and commitments of individuals that make this possible.
Wednesday Night Tutoring –New Beginnings
Our primary task is to help the children, most of whom come from Paterson Court, with their homework one-on-one on Wednesday evenings, so that they understand better whatever they are studying, and thus improve their grades. We help them with their manners and behavior, too, and play games with them. They come with lots of big smiles and lots of energy. It is our job to direct that energy into constructive paths and help them develop their talents, whatever they are.
The tutoring program provides us with an opportunity to reach out to our neighbors, recognize their needs, and endeavor to help them. For the children, it is an opportunity to see the world beyond their doorstep, and for us, an opportunity to expose them to more learning experiences than they otherwise might have.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far. Go together.
The 2015 Costa Rica Mission trip was an amazing gift given to Ascension. Those who went felt blessed to be there, and certainly returned home with greater understanding of why God calls for us to go in peace to serve Him. We went to Costa Rica as risk takers, working to together to serve God by serving others. Many of us had no idea what to expect.
Meals On Wheels
Twice a month volunteers gather to prepare and assemble meals for the Meals On Wheels Frozen Meals Program. The 200 meals supplied by Church of the Ascension, along with those prepared by other churches and organizations, provide weekly meals for homebound seniors in our community.
Milton Lewis Memorial Angel Tree Shopping
Each year Ascension volunteers raise money and shop for Christmas presents for needy children. Ascension members gather to shop on the first Saturday in December. Each year the church contributions make gifts a reality for many children.