Sugarloaf UMC blesses more than one child when the congregation celebrates an infant baptism. The church uses the celebration as an opportunity to bless children in foster care through The United Methodist Children’s Home.
The congregation at Sugarloaf recognizes that while most who are baptized in the church sanctuary are surrounded by family and loved ones, there are other children who need the love and care that is provided through the ministry of the Children’s Home.
Many of North Georgia’s United Methodist Churches find creative ways to help and raise money to benefit the work of the home, and Sugarloaf is no different.
“We focus a lot on local ministry at Sugarloaf UMC. We like to keep it on the forefront,” says Rev. Matthew Mitchell, who enthusiastically embraced the tradition started by former pastor, Rev. Stuart Greene. “It shows our connectional ability as a church.”
After a child has been baptized and prayed for, an offering is taken for the Children’s Home. Often $500 to $1,000 is collected.
“Sugarloaf's partnership with The United Methodist Children's Home helps us live into our vision of every child raised in a loving, compassionate, and nurturing home,” says Rev. Dave Allen Grady, Director of Church and Community Relations at the Children’s Home.
“What a servant's heart. This kind of leadership, rooted in an understanding of God's abundance, shapes the life of the congregation as one of deep gratitude,” he adds. “With every baptism, the congregation is reminded that our baptism is rooted in not only God's love for us but also a calling to love our neighbor as a response.”
Located in Decatur, The United Methodist Children’s Home works to both place children into foster care homes and help to restore family relationships. They work with young adults who have been in the foster care system, so that they can become independent. The home also provides housing and support to families who are at risk of homelessness.