Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

A Baby Shower for Mary


Becky Aguilar (left), and Lauren Miller, CCFI, along with Goodrich senior pastor Rev. Stephen Lashley take a moment to pose with the large donation gathered by members of Goodrich United Methodist Church in Norman. Photo by Manny Aguilar.

By Becky Aguilar

Can you imagine being a young mother-to-be with an unexpected child on the way? Your fiancé is willing to step up and take responsibility for you and the child, whom he did not father, but there is very little money and few supplies to care for the infant once he is born. Sound familiar? A similar occurrence happens every day for many women, and without community connections to provide support, the consequences could be distressing or worse.

Goodrich Memorial UMC in Norman looked at how they could fill just a small need at a local non-profit that assists those moms and families each day. They decided that Christmas was the perfect time to throw a “Baby Shower for Mary” and contacted the Center for Children and Families, Inc. (CCFI). CCFI is a non-profit in Norman which operates a baby pantry as one of its supportive services; they were excited about the church’s idea.

This is just one of CCFI’s programs. Their mission is to heal and strengthen children, youth, and families. To accomplish this, they offer several types of counseling, divorce and co-parenting services, parenting assistance classes, the Boys & Girls Club of Norman, a Bringing Up Babies program, and a baby pantry.

CCFI’s baby pantry is stocked by in-kind donations from the community and offers families emergency baby supplies free of charge. Families may come in twice a month to receive diapers and wipes and are also invited to select a book from the Book Barn to encourage reading to their babies and young children.

Goodrich chose to ask its congregation to gift diapers for the pantry. Donations were made to remember the tiny baby Mary would birth, and that even though he would be our Lord, he too needed clean swaddling cloths for his care!

The shower went on through the month of December and as Mary and Joseph made their way to Bethlehem, the diaper donations grew. By the time the Holy Family was quickly moving on to Egypt, the total number of newborn-through-toddler diapers grew to 1,915. Those were delivered the first week of January and they were greatly welcomed by CCFI. In December, they had given double the usual number of diapers to each family as a gift.

Goodrich is thankful it was able to be used by God through this church-to-community donation which also allowed all members to participate and feel that in a small way they were serving the Lord.




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