Christ Church, Fort Lauderdale
Monday, February 20, 2017

GEMS (Gracious Energetic Motivated Servers)

An adult ministry, the Gracious Energetic Motivated Servers (GEMS), is one of Christ Church's most active groups. Throughout the year, the GEMS offer opportunities for service, fellowship and education. Whether you are new to the Christ Church community or have attended for years, this is a great way to connect with vital people!

Gracious, Energetic, Motivated Servers COLLECT boxtops and school labels, unused toiletry items, disposable paper products; DONATE filled backpacks to children in need, as well as hoodies and blankets for the homeless; PREPARE life skill binders and VOLUNTEER  as reading friends to students. 
 
For more information, please click here to contact Barbara Timmerman, or join a GEMS event. All are welcome. 

UPCOMING GEMS EVENTS: 

 
COFFEE CAFE | Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 10am | Fellowship Halls 3 & 4
The theme is A Time for Love.
We'll be preparing donated books, crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals and pencils for Faith in Action and assembling toiletry kits for adults and children.  Bring toiletries, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, soaps and lotions.
 
COFFEE CAFE | Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 10am | Fellowship Halls 3 & 4
The theme is Spring Green.
We'll collect food for one meal for those served by Faith in Action and Hope South Florida.  Baskets will include a canned ham, fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, boxed raisins, cheese crackers, chocolate candy, eggs filled with jelly beans, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues, Easter games, books, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books. We'll also make treat bags for the Blessings Food Pantry.
 
COFFEE CAFE | Wednesday, April 4, 2017 | 10am | Fellowship Halls 3 & 4 
 
GEMS' LUNCHEON | Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | Coral Ridge Yacht Club
A luncheon to celebrate the previous gatherings and the services offered to others.
 

RECENT PROGRAMS:

 
GEMS' COFFEE CAFE GATHERINGS 
 
On December 7, 2016, the GEMS and guests enjoyed a Holiday Brunch. Fitting the theme, A Babe is Born, the group collected donated diapers, wipes and sippy cups for babies served by Faith in Action, a ministry of Hope South Florida.
 
On November 2, 2016, guest speaker Yvonne Womack, leader of Love in Action Pompano Beach, spoke to the GEMS and guests. Hoodies and children's socks were collected for Hope South Florida
 
On October 5, 2016, guest speaker Dr. Ted Greer, CEO of Hope South Florida, spoke to the GEMS and their guests about this partner ministry. The audience also received reports detailing the wrap-up of the Backpack Project, and an update on the Early Learning Center.
 
GEMS' SPRING LUNCHEON
On May 4, 2016, the GEMS' Annual Spring Luncheon was held at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. Guest speaker, Christ Church organist extraordinaire Julie Rozman, shared her life story. The GEMS also celebrated the achievement of the ELC (Early Learning Center) pre-K teachers Julie Bantz and Stephanie Engle, whose 2016 graduates were 100% ready for kindergarten.
 
GEMS'  COFFEE CAFE
On April 4, 2016,  Pery Canan talked about the ministry of the Blessings Food Pantry before the group  25 "Home Sweet Home" baskets, containing sponges, disinfecting soap, laundry soap, liquid dish detergent, toilet paper and paper plates, paper bowls, napkins, cups, plastic silverware for Faith In Action.  Hope South Florida was given the following for families: 1,599 plates, 1600 paper napkins, 672 cups, 62 rolls of toilet paper, 22 boxes of facial tissues, 320 forks, 150 spoons, 200 knives, three Bibles, and l blanket.  In addition, food was brought to be given to the Blessings Food Pantry.
 
GEMS' COFFEE CAFE
On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 37 GEMS enjoyed beginning with an Easter word search at tables decorated with straw, pastel colored hats filled with live flowering plants. Name tags with bunnies provided the impetus for these decorations to the Pass Forward Ministry for those unable to attend.
 
Linda Traub shared her interesting and enlightening CUBA MISSION experience, along with videos. Delicious treats included homemade banana bread, cupcakes and decorated Easter cookies. Thanks to Mary Moskel and her team of bakers. Deborah Hartman provided leadership to assemble 24 Easter Blessings Baskets that included stuffed animals, toys, books, bubbles, chocolates, and eggs, along with toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues and hand sanitizers. Fourteen dinners baskets containing canned hams, beans, tropical fruit, rice, cheese crackers and raisins were assembled, along with baskets for Hope South Florida and Faith in Action. Forty adult personal health kits were assembled, along with 50 "sweet treats" bags for the Blessings Pantry. Pat Mantis of Faith in Action and Tyronne Peterson of Hope South Florida received gift cards to be distributed to families in need.
 
GEMS' WORK GROUP

On Monday, February 22, 2016, Es Campbell and a group of 30 willing GEMS gathered to assemble all the necessary supplies to complete 100 basic skills portfolios to be distributed to Faith in Action families on the road to better lives. 

 

GEMS' DAYS FOR GIRLS
The Days for Girls project to create 100 personal hygiene kits for young women in Haiti has been completed, and delivered for distribution. Volunteers worked as cutters (to cut fabrics), sewers and surgers, and provided materials and monetary donations to reach the goal of 100 kits. Days for Girls is a grassroots non-profit dedicated to creating a more dignified, humane and sustainable world for girls through advocacy, reproductive health awareness, education and sustainable feminine hygiene. 
 
GEMS' COFFEE CAFE
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, the GEMS held their first gathering of 2016. Guest speaker Gayle Auguston Koppen shared her experiences in Africa, and told of the peoples' great need for clean water. Thanks go to the many who brought donations, as well as those involved in sewing, planning and event preparation. Several service projects were completed. 
 

ONGOING ACTIVITIES:

GEMS’ Coffee Café

Throughout the year, servers of all ages are invited to gather in fellowship for informative speakers and morning goodies. On these SOS (Servers Outreach Service) Days, we complete various services. There is usually one special themed endeavor for the event and several ongoing ventures that need attention.

"Reading Buddies" | School Volunteers
This rewarding experience is available to all who enjoy reading with or to children. Volunteers need to register at www.browardschools.com/getinvolved. Choice of grade level and flexible scheduling make this a relaxed experience. Join our team and help make reading a wonderful experience for a child. Other opportunities to volunteer as academic ambassadors, mentors or other assistance in the schools are available. Help a child in need achieve through personal, caring relationships. Contact Barbara Timmerman by email.
 
Welcome Kits for Kids
Attractive, handmade totes are prepared for the children in homeless families entering emergency housing. Each tote contains age appropriate items such as small books, a small toy, academic games or puzzle, coloring book, crayons, etc. The kits are assembled bi-annually at GEMS events.
 
Cards for St. Jude
The front covers of used greeting cards are collected by GEMS for St. Jude, where they are refurbished and used to create new cards. The cards are then sold to raise funds for St.Jude Children's Research Hospital. For further information, please call the Christ Church office at 954.771.7300 to be connected with Arlyne Griffin.
 

ANNUAL PROJECTS:

Back to School Backpacks Project
At the beginning of each school year the Back to School Backpacks Project provides new backpacks and school supplies for children in seven public schools as well as children at The Shepherds' Way, Faith in Action, God's Little Lambs and Blessings Food Pantry, etc. GEMS and FREEWAY (CCUM Student Ministry) partner for this project.
 
Easter Blessings   
Families at The Shepherd's Way shelter receive Family Easter Baskets each Spring,  filled with child favorites, gifts for mom and dad, and fixings for an Easter dinner.
 
Chilly Weather Project 
Each fall, the GEMS' Chilly Weather Project meets a need for warm hoodies and sweaters for children in the Faith in Action Ministry of Hope South Florida. These are children who are coming into emergency shelter with their parent(s), after having been homeless—living on the street or in a car. 
 

ONGOING SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES:

Health Kits are used for The Blessings Food Pantry families, homeless individuals and families, and others in need. Travel items and new items are appreciated: shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes with covers, nail clippers, dental floss, combs, new socks, and washcloths. Monetary donations are also accepted, and the GEMS team will do the shopping for you. For more information, please contact Barbara Timmerman by email
 
Campbell's Soup labels and General Mills box tops will help buy needed supplies (vans, computers, etc.) for the children at Cypress Elementary and Christ Church Early Learning Center. Save the code with the little scholar attached, or just turn in the entire label or box top. No taping or staples, please. The labels go to Cypress Elementary and the box tops go to the Early Learning Center. For more information, please call the church office at 954.771.7300 to contact Jean Henne. 
 
Taylor's Closet's Friends - Mixing fellowship with creativity, this team finds helpful projects to encourage and support Taylor's Closet, a clothing outlet for young girls in need, located on our Pompano site. Cookie dough making, furniture refinishing, administrative help and sewing instruction are among the activities this team pursues. Contact DJ Hartman by email.