Pastor Jerry Gutierrez knows people are experiencing trouble these days, and he hopes he can help. The pastor of My Father's House Ministries is holding a toy and shoe giveaway from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 13 at Irvington Covenant Church, 4046 NE MLK Blvd.
"We just want to be a blessing for people," he said.
The free goods are first-come, first-served, and are meant for children and teens in need of footwear or something to play with. Everyone is welcome, but Gutierrez mentions that supplies are limited. The donations were provided by members of Wood Haven Community Church, who is partnering with My Father's House for the event.
The Los-Angeles native just celebrated his one-year anniversary at the Irvington location, a rented space, where he's seen his congregation grow from about 25 to about 200. Before moving to a regular 7 p.m. Friday night, Gutierrez held services out of his home.
This Friday, Gutierrez welcomes Irvington Covenant's longtime pastor, the Rev. Henry Greenidge as a guest during the service. Gutierrez hopes the visit by such a well known and respected man will encourage people to visit his ministry. He says the congregation is already a very diverse mix, but he's always looking for ways to reach more people.
He says he and Greenidge share common beliefs and he believes the message Greenidge will deliver will match with his own. In January, Gutierrez will welcome Pastor Larry Huch of Dallas/Fort Worth's New Beginnings. In June, Gutierrez is planning on holding a pastor's conference to help educate church leaders how to attract and keep congregations.
Because of his Friday night time slot, Gutierrez finds many parishioners who are members of other churches looking to check out what he has to offer. The non-denominational pastor says many members of his congregation enjoy avoiding the Sunday worship rush – it frees up the weekend for other pursuits.
For more opportunities of giving for the holidays:
OREGON FOOD DRIVE
SALVATION ARMY GIVING TREES
TOYS FOR TOTS
TOY 'N' JOY
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION