Monday, August 11, 2008

New ORBCARE Projects, plus updates on other projects

This is Christopher Dela Cruz, from ORBCARE, the service group at ORB. I wanted to let you know that fellow ORBer Susan Haugenes and I recently met about the future of ORBCARE and our renewed focus and direction. Here are three things we concluded:

1) ORB CARE would specifically focus on needs outside the immediate ORB Community.
ORB does a great job of really running to help those inside the community in need. So Susan and I concluded that ORB CARE would focus on bringing members of our community to serve those in Red Bank and beyond that they may not be familiar with -- perhaps even making people uncomfortable.

2) ORB CARE, in the next coming months, will focus on a few projects, rather than spread ourselves thin -- but projects that require a commitment and are uniquely ORB's.

3) For ORB CARE to work, the whole community needs to be informed, a good number need to be at least occasionally involved, and at least a few need to make real commitments.


So here are the projects that we are focusing on for the rest of the year:

* Delivering Communion outside Service *

I'm glad to say that this young ministry is going great! The goal is to take Sunday Service to those who physically cannot make it to service - whether because of sickness, old age, disabilities. We have been serving communion to Vivian, an elderly woman in a retirement home, for a few months now. From personal experience, I know she has moved my heart and revealed Christ to me just as much as we have been serving her.

PLEASE, Let us know if there are other people that want us to come to them and bring Sunday Service to them. Also let me know if you're interested in either going once or joining the regular rotation --

* Food Drive for Red Bank Soup Kitchen "Lunch Break" *

We are going to regularly collect canned good and other non-perishable items for the local Red Bank soup kitchen "Lunch Break." Paper bags with a list of items to collect are available every Sunday at the back bench. You can drop off the items at the same place.

Take a bag to work, and ask co-workers to bring in even just one can! Give it to family members, friends, etc etc.

* Ronald McDonald House *

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Branch provides "home away from home" for the families of seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment at area hospitals. They offer a safe, comfortable, supportive haven for families during a time of uncertainty, stress and difficulty. We go serve dinner the first Tuesday of every month, 4 - 6 p.m.

If you're interested in joining this group, or even for just coming out once to check it out, call Susan at 732-887-0511 or email

*** NEW PROJECT: Lunch Break Lunches for Sunday ***

Here's the big project we want to focus on in the fall. The "Lunch Break" soup kitchen in West Red Bank serves big lunches Monday through Friday. On Saturday, St. Leo's Church goes to the parking lot of Lunch Break to serve sandwiches. But there's a hole for Sunday. ORB CARE should fill that hole and make lunches on Sunday at the Lunch Break parking lot. What makes this a good project is:
a) It is local
b) It is not ORB giving to another project but uniquely ours and requires a commitment. In other words, people can't just bail out.
c) It will make communities from different sides of the Red Bank divide to interact with each other
d) It does not require our building.

The Lunch Break Board is talking about the idea at their next board meeting, Wednesday. We will keep you posted, but ORB CARE wants to know who would be interested in that project, and what resources and time people could give.

PLEASE let me know your talents, time you could give, resources (ie house, food, business connections, etc) you have, or even if you're just interested in helping out once a year!

We will have a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss the project.

*** LONG TERM PROJECT : Missions trip to West Virginia ***

Next summer, we have been thinking about a possible week-long missions trip to a Christian organization in West Virginia that deals with rural poverty. For those who would love to go on a missions trip but cannot go to the DR, or for those who feel called to deal with poverty in our own country, this would be great. Is there anyone out there interested in possibly helping organize this? And who would be interested?

Thanks for hearing me out!
Chris Dela Cruz