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Back Bay Mission’s Partnership with Goodwill

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Back Bay Mission spent a recent Tuesday afternoon volunteering at a local Goodwill retail store and learning about the ways that the Mission partners with Goodwill to provide help to the people we serve. You can see the photos of our afternoon at Goodwill here.

We thought we’d share more about how we work with our friends at Goodwill.

When Back Bay Mission receives clothing donations, we keep what we can in our own clothes closet. This is a small space, however, and we aren’t able to keep everything that is donated. We donate what we can’t keep to Goodwill.

When our clients need clothing that we don’t have in stock – for example, clothing for a job interview or for a child’s first day of school – we provide vouchers that can be used at a local Goodwill. Clients can use these vouchers to purchase up to $25 worth of clothing that they need… and $25 goes a long way at Goodwill.

In the future, we hope to partner with Goodwill on workforce development.

Back Bay Mission works in partnership with many organizations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Together, we’re strengthening neighborhoods, seeking justice, and transforming lives!

Scheduled Downtime

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The Back Bay Mission website will be unavailable on Monday, March 13th, while we perform some routine maintenance. We plan for the maintenance to begin between 9 and 9:30am on Monday. We do not know how long the website will be down, but hope that it will be up again quickly.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Church Relations Associate Christopher Marlin-Warfield Consecrated as Diakonal Minister

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Our congratulations to Church Relations Associate Christopher Marlin-Warfield, who was consecrated as a diakonal minister last weekend! Diakonal ministry is a special designation granted by the United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM) and characterized by a call and commitment to servant leadership.

CHHSM’s diakonal ministers carry on a legacy found in the United Church of Christ’s – and its predecessor denominations’ – commitment to care for the poor, sick, and disabled. Diakonal ministers have served in hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aging, and other ministries of the United Church of Christ for generations.

CHHSM requires a yearlong preparatory program for diakonal ministers: the Nollau Institute. Led by a core team of four faculty members, the Nollau Institute draws upon the best in adult education and leadership training to invite participants into certain practices and disciplines in the context of a community of leaders who encourage and hold each participant accountable. The Institute is named after Louis Edward Nollau, a 19th century missionary, preacher and founder of several St. Louis-area CHHSM ministries. The Institute emphasizes the kind of integrated leadership that its namesake modeled: professional excellence rooted in faith-based purpose.

Congratulations, Chris!

Thank You

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Thank you.

Thank you for being part of Back Bay Mission. Thank you for giving. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for liking us on Facebook. Thank you for following us on Twitter. Thank you for joining us on Google+. Thank you for connecting with us on LinkedIn. Thank you for looking at our photos on Instagram. Thank you for watching our videos on YouTube.

Thank you for opening our emails. Thank you for visiting our website. Thank you for sharing our posts. Thank you for reading The Changing Tides.

Most of all, thank you for strengthening neighborhoods, seeking justice, and transforming lives.

Thank you.

Let Us Know Your Opinion

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Greetings from Back Bay Mission!

We’re reviewing our mission, vision, and values statements. As we craft statements that reflect who Back Bay Mission is to our clients, volunteers, donors, and community members, we’d appreciate hearing your opinion!

Please take a few minutes to fill out this brief five question survey. It will ask you about words and phrases that you associate with Back Bay Mission, as well as few demographic questions. Your response will be very helpful as we review our mission statement.

Thank you.

Statement on HB 1523: The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act

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On April 5, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 into law over the objections of LGBTQ advocates, business groups, and religious organizations. The law prevents the state from taking action against state employees, private businesses, or religious organizations who choose to deny services to people on the basis of very specific beliefs or moral convictions. Those beliefs are:

  • That marriage is or should be recognized as a the union of one man and one woman,
  • That sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage, and
  • That male and female (or man and woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at birth.

As a religious organization on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we recognize that our fellow Mississippians have a wide range of religious beliefs and moral convictions. We believe that those religious beliefs deserve appropriate protections.

However, as a health and human services organization of the United Church of Christ, we also love our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, and we believe that this legislation provides a license to discriminate against them. It also provides a license to discriminate against unmarried couples, single mothers, and others under the guise of religious beliefs about sexuality. We cannot and will not accept the marginalization of our brothers and sisters, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or family status.

We join Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gillich and the many other Mississippians who oppose this legislation in saying that we do not discriminate, period.

Back Bay Mission will always serve the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or family status. We will continue to advocate for housing and employment opportunities for all people. And we will do that because our religious convictions demand it.

Go Red, White, and Blue for Veterans Day!

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November 6-11, 2015 is Back Bay Missions Red, White, and Blue! Local restaurants will be supporting the Mission’s Veterans’ Support Fund on those days by contributing a portion of their earnings. If you’re in the Biloxi area, be sure to stop by these businesses; your purchase will help the veterans who use the Mission’s programs!

Participating restaurants include:

If you’re not in the Biloxi area, make a gift to the Veterans’ Support Fund through our website!

Art In Living: The Impact As Seen Through The Art Instructor

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The following was written by art instructor Roxy Trahan. Roxy is leading our art empowerment classes.

Art In Living: The Impact As Seen Through The Art Instructor

It’s said that our society is the only society worldwide that doesn’t consider the Arts to be a necessary part of our culture. It’s said that a person can travel across our planet and not find another place in which music, dance, and artistic creations are not intrinsically woven into the fabric of everyday life. Rather, the Arts can be found in their traditions and religions, their celebrations of both life and death, their homes and how they choose to adorn their bodies. It’s what makes them whole.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to use my inclination for the visual arts to open the doorways in people’s minds and hearts. It’s funny how we go into a situation with the attitude that we’ll be contributing something… Instead, it is WE who are given a gift that’s too precious for words.

When any of us have been knocked down over and over again, we tend to lose trust in humankind. We expect to have our stretched out hands slapped rather than given something we need. Just imagine having everything taken from you until you feel you are less than. That you are only someone to be considered a burden or ignored.

When we first started planning this regime of classes, we were all so fired up about the things we could do to help empower those who had lost everything, to give them a tangible product that would allow them to learn that they had something beautiful yet to give. We each brought passion and joy to the table, never stopping to think that maybe those we wanted to help most might not want what we had to offer.

Because, if you’ve been knocked down enough, you no longer trust.

So it was that we had no one sign up for our first set of classes. It was disheartening, but I understood. We needed to ask permission of them to let us in.

The Wednesday after the first class should have been held, I was invited to hang out at the Mission… to talk with the group of people there about what I wanted to share. I did so and could see a few faces light up. Once I finished talking, I simply sat there and worked on a painting. One by one a few people came and chatted with me… my smile got bigger and bigger! These people have so much beauty inside just begging to get out. Oh, how I want to help them do just that! One gentleman told me that he had all of these shapes stuck in the right side of his brain, but he didn’t even know how to begin to draw them all. I had hoped that he would come to class the following day, but…  perhaps another day, he will.

The next day was the first class in our endeavor. I had four students and that was exciting. A couple of them told me that their case workers had MADE them come. We later laughed about that!

That class session was an exercise that allows us to relax and lets the subconscious take over. We had stacks of magazines and tore out pictures, words, even articles that caught our attention at a rapid pace… no second guessing. Once we had done that, a collage was created on a board. Each person’s was so very different and I could see a light go on in their eyes as they realized that this creation was a part of THEMSELVES. We could all see the individual in each piece and that artist began to talk more and more about what was important to them.

To say this experience was everything is putting it mildly. Words do the experience no justice. We all walked away that day with new ideas, new understanding, new trust and a burgeoning self esteem where none had been before. More than what I taught my class, they taught me a renewed joy of discovery.

My students said that they’re going to pass the word that they love my class. YAY!

Mississippi Day of Giving

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October 24, 2015 is the Mississippi Day of Giving. This is a great opportunity for you to strengthen neighborhoods, seeks justice, and transform lives through a gift to Back Bay Mission!

There are three great opportunities to give to Back Bay Mission this October.

Christmas Baskets and Backpacks

Christmas should be a time of joy and fellowship for every family, but many families on the Mississippi Gulf Coast lack the resources for a festive celebration of the season. Back Bay Mission provides backpacks (for our homeless clients) and baskets (for our housed clients) containing everything a family will need for a Christmas dinner. We also include some other necessary supplies.

Our goal for this campaign is $10,000.

Give to this campaign now.

Housing Rehabilitation

Many families on the Mississippi Gulf Coast live in houses that are not fit for human habitation. Back Bay Mission is able to provide these low-income families with housing rehabilitation and renovation that gives them safe, decent, sustainable housing. Whether it’s a house that’s fallen apart over the years, been damaged by a fire or other natural disaster, or needs to be made accessible for a person with disabilities, Back Bay Mission is able to restore houses, restore families, and restore lives through our housing rehabilitation program.

Our goal for this campaign is $10,000.

Give to this campaign now.

Veterans’ Support Fund

Far too many of the people Back Bay Mission serves are veterans of the armed forces. Whether it’s assistance from our food pantry, fellowship at the Micah Day Center, or home repair through our housing rehabilitation program, all of our programs and ministries assist low-income, homeless, and at-risk veterans. Our Veterans’ Support Fund provides additional resources to serve those who served our country.

Our goal for this campaign is $10,000.

Give to this campaign now.

What You Can Do

There are two ways that you can help the poor and marginalized of the Mississippi Gulf Coast between today and October 24.

First, you can go to GiveGab – the giving platform being used for the Mississippi Day of Giving – and make a gift. Or, go directly yo one of our campaigns:

Christmas Baskets and Backpacks

Housing Rehabilitation

Veterans’ Support Fund

Second, you can fundraise for one of more of these campaigns. Just sign up on GiveGab, tell your story, set an amount, and share with your friends. This is a great opportunity to share your love of Back Bay Mission and encourage others to help the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Thank you!

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