Back Pack Ministry
Cove Church graciously provides a low cost alternative to purchasing school supplies for the parents of MCES students. Cove volunteers purchase all items by grade level and parents pay only $7 to have their child's back pack filled and ready for them before the school year starts! This ministry is offered in late spring and backpacks are available for pickup at Graces of Gurley the weekend before school starts.
Bags of Blessings
Madison County Elementary School serves the highest proportion of students whose family income falls at or below the national poverty level in all of Madison County. What this means is that 55% to 60% of students enrolled qualify for free lunch.
Food scarcity is VERY real for these families. As a result, many children go hungry when school is not in session where they can get at least breakfast and lunch on school days. For the past 5 years, The Bags of Blessings program has been able to provide weekend and holiday break food bags for these identified children so that they have access to food when school is not in session. These additional food items provide much needed nutrition to prepare students for learning when they return to school each week.
During the 2018/2019 school year, we provided 2200 large grocery bags during holidays and 6600 weekend bags to more than 220 students at MCES.
We need your help! YOUR donation can PREVENT “The Missing Meal”. $100 can send a child home with a bag every weekend during the school year. You can donate here.
The Christmas Store
Graces of Gurley is partnering with Christmas Charities Year Round to provide MCES students with items for Christmas. Applications are available at the Graces of Gurley building during September and October and are available for children that attend MCES and their siblings up to age 18. Graces will submit applications to Christmas Charities November 1 and items will be available for pick up the Saturday before Christmas.
Graces of Gurley is focused on glorifying God. Our discipleship classes are wide-open, fun and a warm, accepting community bound together by a desire to learn more about God's will through scripture. We currently hold a women's small group on Sundays at 9:00 am at our Refuge location behind First Baptist Church Gurley. If you desire a safe place to learn about the Lord, surrounded by friendly faces and exceptional instruction, this is the place for you!
NEW CLASS Starting September 8, 8:30 AM at the Refuge!
This program encompasses all that we hope to accomplish. Jacobs Ladder is an intervention program for at risk teens from middle school through high school graduation where we’ve taken the best ideas from the best programs around and pulled them together to CHANGE KIDS LIVES! We started this program in August 2018 and it is going great! We’ve had Godly men and women to step into the life of one or two teens and model what it’s like to be a father/mother, husband/wife, leader, hard worker, and a follower of Jesus Christ.
The building blocks are: spending quality time with mentee at least twice a month, attending monthly events as a group, attending the mentees sporting events, keeping a check on their grades and recommending tutors and counseling as needed, and any other physical, mental, social, or spiritual need. We hold a weekly Bible study and complete service projects each year and sponsor our children so they can participate in the extra-curricular activity of their choice. We also assist with transportation and cheer them on in their endeavors.
Students are recommended to us by their teachers and school staff for their need and ability to do well under extreme circumstances. Our goal is to generate Godly young adults who will go on to excel in their spiritual life, as well as be productive in the workforce, and one day become Godly husbands, fathers and wives and mothers.
We have opportunities for volunteers to be mentors, fill-in mentors (attend monthly events in case a mentor is unavailable) prayer warriors, hosts of events, and donors. Please join us and receive the joy of personally making a difference in the life of a child.
Love One Food Box
Graces of Gurley has the privilege of partnering with For Life Ministries. Graces of Gurley sees families in need and For Life Ministries finds sponsors to provide funds for a monthly food box. Alongside this ministry, we ask that you also commit to praying for the family you sponsor. We have seen lives transformed through prayer, a community develop and friendships form.
Through partnership with For Life Ministries "Love One" Program, you can help feed a family by sponsoring a food box for $50 a month. The box is full of nutritious, protein packed items to make healthy meals for a family. These families are screened and accepted through For Life and come to Graces of Gurley once a month to pick up their food boxes. Upon arrival, they are greeted, prayed with, loved on, and encouraged.
Our expectation is that the sponsor would not only support the family monetarily through their donation, but would pray for their family by name, write cards, and encourage them through their day-to-day lives.
After much prayer, birth was given to Jacobs Ladder and The Refuge as the result of a dream from a teacher, who saw a great need. So many of her students did not have a safe or quiet place to go home to, food in their refrigerator, or someone to help them with their homework.
First Baptist Church of Gurley opened the doors to its parsonage for Graces of Gurley to open The Refuge. The Refuge is exactly what its name says: a place our Jacob’s Ladder students can come after school to relax, eat, get help with homework, and spend time with friends and adult volunteers in a safe and quiet place. The volunteers will build relationships, help the kids prepare meals, teach them life skills, host a weekly Bible study and more.
Graces of Gurley works with MCES to identify children needing assistance with their course work. We host a structured program that starts in the fall and begins at 8:00AM each morning with the last session ending at 11:00AM. Each session is 30–45 minutes long and contains up to 4 Kindergarten or 1st grade students. A tutoring session might involve any of the following:
Reading to the students
Practicing the recognition of individual letters of the alphabetand sounding these letters out loud
Understanding the difference between vowels, and consonants
Naming a picture like umbrella and stating what letter the picture starts with
Understanding the difference between capitals and lower case letters
Writing the alphabet
Practicing writing the letters that pose a challenge for individual students
Matching game with alphabet letters
Recognizing site words
We also have a need for volunteers that can assist older students with reading, math, and science. These sessions usually take place after school or sometimes during the school day if arrangements can be worked out with teachers.
Graces of Gurley partners with many organizations but our strongest partnership is with Madison County Elementary School. We work closely with the principal, counselor, and teachers in identifying needs of the students and the school. Graces of Gurley has a building located on school property where we keep office hours during the school year and meet with faculty members to discuss how we can assist each other to meet our end goal of helping the kids. We provide financial assistance for items that aren't in the school budget. Some examples are:
Sponsor students who cannot pay to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports and band
Formula and diapers for special needs student
Gas cards for parents during a community emergency
A small discretionary fund (overseen by the principal) that teachers can purchase much needed items
In addition, we are working closer with Madison County High School as more volunteers and funds are made available.
Interested In Becoming