RELIGION TODAY: Local church promotes ‘Bears and Prayers’

RELIGION TODAY: Local church promotes 'Bears and Prayers'

In late April, violent tornadoes raged through much of the
Southeast, with Tuscaloosa, Ala. being especially hard hit. The
city suffered massive damage, with at least 15 people killed and
hundreds of buildings destroyed.
In late April, violent tornadoes raged through much of the Southeast, with Tuscaloosa, Ala. being especially hard hit. The city suffered massive damage, with at least 15 people killed and hundreds of buildings destroyed.

Gavilan Hills Unity Church, a New Thought church serving South County for the past 28 years, has announced a relief effort to help children who have suffered from the devastating tornadoes. The congregation is sponsoring “Teddys for Tuscaloosa” to collect stuffed animals, a widely-recognized comfort for traumatized children.

Through the generosity of the Morgan Hill Home Depot, collection bins have been placed in the following locations to solicit clean, gently-used animals:

– First Street Coffee House, 1211 First St., Gilroy

– Black Bear Diner, 395 Leavesley Road, Gilroy

– Morgan Hill United Methodist Church, 17175 Monterey St., Morgan Hill

Ramona Font is a native of Tuscaloosa. Although she has lived in California for decades, she has family and friends in her hometown and will travel there at the end of September to help distribute these toys to children in need of comfort.

Interested South County residents can assist in this effort in several ways. Besides donating teddy bears, they can volunteer to host a collection bin at a public location. Or, contributions to pay shipping expenses would be gratefully received. To offer help, please call (408) 427-8066 or (408) 778-1214 for more information. Donations will be accepted through Sept. 15.

Gavilan Hills invites locals to participate in its prayer chain, which is available to the public for any kind of need: physical, financial or emotional. By calling (408) 778-1214, people with needs can explain their prayer requests, which will be passed along to members of the congregation. Please leave a message on the answering machine when prompted.

In addition, time is set aside at each weekly worship service for trained chaplains to pray with people experiencing particular problems or troubles. Services are held at 10:30 a.m. in the Sequoia Room at the Best Western Forest Park Inn, 375 Leavesley Road in Gilroy. The sanctuary is also open from 10:10 to 10:25 a.m. for meditation and silent prayer.

The church is an affiliate of the Association of Unity Churches, and this group also offers a prayer ministry, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can find an electronic prayer request form at the organization’s web site (unity.org). “Submit a prayer request, and rest assured that your request is kept sacred and confidential. Every request receives loving, compassionate attention. Please know we are here for you and that you are never alone.”

Gavilan Hills Unity Church is a “community where people come together to share Joy and Love and the Truth of our Beings.” For more information, visit www.gavilanhillschurch.

org.

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