New Orleans one more time

Hi All!  

First let me say if you are getting this email you have been blind copied on a list that is for people that have, or would like to, or I would invite you to be a part of our New Orleans Mission trip support team.  Support comes in a lot of different ways.   Some people read the emails and make themselves aware of what is happening (from our perspective) in New Orleans in terms of Hurricane Katrina relief (yes, even after 5 years).  Some people pray for us while we're gone, or if you're not the praying type, at least think happy thoughts for us.  Some people send us encouraging notes.  Some people send money.  Some people attend our Commissioning service or our "Thank You" dinners. Some people "Like" us on Facebook (search for River Bend Mission Team), or follow our blog ( In advance, thank you for your support! 
I send out emails to this team of people (today, numbering 276) regularly while we are on our trip, and an email or two before and after the trip.  If you would prefer to NOT get this email, please respond to this and tell me so, and I will take you off the list.  
This year, our trip is May 14th-22nd.  It looks like we are going to have about 20 people going.  I was a little surprised by that number.  I wasn't expecting quite as many!  We have 6 (maybe 8) coming from Pipestone, MN.  We have 3 coming from Rochester, and one from West Concord, MN.  Bob will be joining us again from Indianapolis.  Rob is joining us again from Bemidji.  I haven't accepted Roma's "I can't come on this one" yet.   That leaves 10ish people from the Twin Cities.  It is exciting to have such a big group.  We can get a lot done!  
The agency we are working with on this trip is called "The Epworth Project."  They are affiliated with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).  We will be staying at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Slidell, LA.  We have stayed in this site before.  I believe the work projects will come from the "South Shore" or in Greater New Orleans.  We have actually worked in Slidell, or the "North Shore" a few times.  The work we do will be dependent on what we are capable of doing and what projects the Epworth Project needs help with when we are there.  I am hoping to put the drywall skills that Bob taught me on the last trip to good use again.  On this trip, we will have Laban K. from Rochester who actually lays tile for a living.  
I don't usually do this next thing I'm about to do.  And I promise I'll only do it this once.  
A trip like this generally costs about $600 per person to pull off. Previously,we have been asking each person to contribute $200 each for the trips.  The remainder has always been covered by fundraisers and donations.  We do this to keep the cost down to make it doable for volunteers to go.  This time, we are asking $275.  We have had some money at the end of each trip that we have been floating from trip to trip.  This year, that seed money was lower.  Well, and without going through all the boring math, we need to raise about $4000.  To do so, we are doing two fundraisers.  The first one is that we are selling Party Lite Candles.  Party Lite has a program that we can sell certain products and 50% of the sale goes directly to us.  We are selling tea lights, votives, and pairs of some small globe candles.  The cost is $15, $20, and $20 respectively.  If you are interested in some candles, let me know.  They come in all sorts of great smelly varieties!  🙂  The other fundraiser we are doing is a jazz concert/silent auction.  This is going to be a lot of fun!  It will be at Faith United Methodist Church in West St. Paul on May 7th at 7:00pm.  There will be desserts and coffee.  If I can figure out how, we'll do coffee drinks, too.  Some of the items already donated are:  a pair of tickets to see the Twins, a four night stay at Elbow Lake Lodge, a couple different hot air balloon ride packages, a weekend at a time share at Wisc. Dells, and a few other things.  We would invite you to come participate, bid, etc.  There will be no cost to get into the event.  We are looking for more donations for the auction and people to bid on them!  And finally, any out and out donations to the trip are tax deductible.  Email me for info on how to do that.  
On our prayer list:
The funds to make the trip possible.
Donna G.'s husband is having surgery.  Obviously we want Donna to come, but more importantly, for her husband to be well.  Pray for a quick recovery.
For all the logistics to fall in to place
For team unity.  Especially for those that live outside the Twin Cities and can't make it to team meetings.  
That's it-  Again, let me know if you want off this list.  
Peace and Joy and Thank you!

The spiritual life cannot be made suburban.  It is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed.
—  Howard Macey
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