Update: Happy Birthday, Jesus!

This past Saturday, we threw our first annual Birthday Party for Jesus at All Souls Presbyterian in Barton Heights; Richmond, VA!  We had a GREAT time! Jesse the Juggler wowed us all with his juggling expertise, while telling us the story of Creation and the birth of Jesus.  Some of the kids got in on the juggling action as well!  I think at least one of them has a future in juggling…at least we know the Isaiah has quite an arm!

The story of the Birth of Jesus was read to the kids…taken from the Bible… Luke 2:1-20.

Then, Santa showed up to celebrate Jesus’s birthday; and he even brought gifts for kids of all ages!!!  After singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, we had cake, candy canes and cookies with our lemonade.

In addition, we had a chance to color…although I didn’t realize that we had been given “Multicultural” Crayons, which had no bright colors like…blue, red and green!  So…after a quick run to the Family Dollar (Thanks, Lauren and Rush!!!) we were in business.

Another big hit was the guessing game!  Clint was the closest (without going over!!!) with his guess of 87…when there were 89 mint patties in the jar.  I hope it’s all good at home…with all that chocolate in the house!  Congratulations, Clint!

We all had such a terrific time!  Thanks to all who helped!  You guys totally rock!  Special “shout out” to All Souls Pres, Commonwealth Chapel, and WEAG.  Thanks for the support! In addition…major thanks my loving and supportive hubby, Louis, and the rest of my elves…Terence, Abbie, Paul, Lauren, Rush, Bishop, Jesse, Vashti, Gloria and my sweet, sweet Mom!

Last note….

What great news to know that Jesus didn’t stay a little baby.  I have peace, hope and joy in knowing that He grew up, died on the cross, rose from the dead (Easter), and will come again!  THAT is the Good News of Jesus Christ!  Who do you know that needs to hear that part of the story this season?

Joy to the World…and Peace on Earth.

….more blessed to give than receive.

Today in SBH

Although I am often reminded of Richmond’s homeless population, when it is below freezing, windy and snowing outside…I am REALLY reminded of them….and my heart breaks. According to the July 2010 research data provided by a local organization, Homeward, that works to prevent and end homelessness:

  • 73.9% of adults are males, 25.9% are females, and .2% are transgendered. Most homeless persons are single, never married adults (52.6%). 6.4% are married, and 47.4% of people
  • experiencing homelessness are or have been in families, including those who are married, as well as those who are separated, widowed, or divorced.
  • 10.9% of homeless persons have children living with them.
  • A majority of persons report that they are African-American (60.6%), followed by White (31.6%).  4.1% indicated that they are Hispanic.
  • The average age for adults is 43.7 years.
  • 54.5% have just a high school education or GED. 22.4% attended some college, and 6.9% have a college degree or higher.
  • 18.2% are veterans.

There is a lot of great work currently taking place to meet the needs of the homeless in Richmond at an organizational level.  But, I was recently inspired by 2 new friends (Mary and Jordan Niermeyer) this fall.  They moved in not too far from me 9 months ago, but I just met them a couple of months ago. Each year Mary and Jordan put together ziploc bags for the homeless, but this year, they opted to invite their friends to join them.  In lieu of a housewarming party, they asked their friends to bring items that would help them build a bunch of bags to hand out.  These bags consist of a piece of fruit, water bottle, crackers, granola bars, personal items, hand warmers, a couple of sweet treats, etc.  In addition, we also included a list of resources for them to use.  What a selfless, inspirational act!

So…today…it’s really really cold and snowing…and our homeless friends come to mind.  A local church, West End Assembly of God (WEAG), recently gave me 50 bags with similar items…chapstick, crackers, soap, etc.  But, I’d like to add a few more items to what is already there.  I would love and NEED your help!  If you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing, bring your items by the house…stuff a few bags then, take some with you!  These are the items that we need (#s vary because we have already received some contributions):

  • 50 pairs of gloves
  • 45 stocking caps
  • 35 pairs of socks (both men and women)
  • 50 bottles of water
  • 45 hand warmers

Thanks to you for giving!  And…special shout out to Mary and Jordan for inspiring me!  And to WEAG for getting me started!

Maybe this will inspire you as well!  Grab your friends, family, children and make up some bags…and the next time you see a homeless person or someone in need, offer them a smile and a bag.  In the Holy Bible, Paul reminds us in Acts 20:35b…

…You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus:

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

May you be blessed abundantly as you give!  Joy to the World!

If you can supply some of our needs or have questions, please reply below!  Thanks!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!





Wanna Help?

A number of people have contacted me recently wanting to know where we stand…are we a non-profit…how can they give to the work that we are doing in Southern Barton Heights, etc.  So, this is a quick post to explain.

Louis and I are still doing our due diligence on the whole non-profit thing.  Is it better to set up our own non-profit? continue to flow money they way that we have been? partner with another non-profit?  We haven’t landed on exactly what we are going to do just yet.  BUT, we would love to utilize any gifts or donations you would like to send our way. 

So, in the meantime…if you would like to make an end-of-the-year (actually we will take your gifts anytime of the year!!!) tax deductible donation, please write a check to my church, Commonwealth Chapel (placing m2h in the memo portion) and send it to:

Commonwealth Chapel
1836 Park Ave
Richmond, VA 23220


Your gift will be used to meet the needs of the community, provide resources for the neighborhood kids, single moms, homeless, etc.  In addition, we are looking to partner with Jobs for Life next year to provide job skills training to youth and the un- and under-employed adults.  A lot is in the works!

Louis and I thank you for reading and for your support!  We are looking forward to what the future has to hold!  If you want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening…be sure to subscribe for updates by providing your email to the right!

Joy to the World and Peace on Earth!

Marti and Louis

on a blogging break…

I’ve been breaking from the blogging thing since October. Been too busy doin’ it to write about it…and frankly, just appreciating the lack of blogging downtime!

Louis and I have the tree and other decorations up (still need to lose the geraniums on the front porch tho!!!). Our travel will soon be over (1 more trilp to StL for me this week!). My job soon comes to an end after nearly 8 years (18 working days and counting). Now, we are going to take more time to love on our family and friends, spend more time with the Lord in prayer and in the Word, and look toward the future with much anticipation.

In the meantime, answer me this…What are YOU up to these days???

Also…enjoy the new WordPress effect…”Snow Falling” at Miss Marti’s House!

October Meeting of the Northside (Sinners and) Saints This Sunday!!!

Monthly Gathering

of the


(Sinners and) Saints


October 17, 2010


All Christ-following Northside residents and those who love or serve the Northside are invited to attend.

All Souls Presbyterian Church

19 Overbrook Road   (enter on the Miller Avenue side entrance)
Richmond, VA 23222

Purpose of the Gathering

1 – Fellowship – get to know one another
2 – Learn – to hear what Jesus is doing in our community
3 – Share – to encourage one another
4 – Pray – to lift up community needs and to glorify and worship the Lord.

Future Dates (3-4:30pm)

2010                                                      2011

Sunday, November 14                           Sunday, January 9

Sunday, December 5                             Sunday, February 6

For More Information

Please contact Marti Williams

North Ave. Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

THIS FRIDAY….10/15 at 3pm.

YAY!  We are excited to have our library fully open again after being closed for renovations!  Come check out the new and improved library!  Even better…check out a book while you are there!

“Helping Neighbors Build Communities” Contest

LISC Virginia (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is celebrating their 20th anniversary by inviting young photographers (ages 12-18) to submit original photos!  An anonymous donor is providing disposable digital cameras to Miss Marti’s House for 20-30 Northside youth to participate in this contest. For a printable version, click LISC Photo Contest!  Please contact me if you are interested!  See more details below!

logo LISC Virginia’s
20th Anniversary Photo Contest

“Helping Neighbors Build Communities”
To celebrate 20 years of “Supporting Revitalization of Local Neighborhoods,” LISC is inviting young photographers ages 12-18 to submit original photos taken in their neighborhood that best represent the tagline, “Helping Neighbors Build Communities.”Eligible Participants

Students ages 12-18 who live in one of LISC’s five neighborhoods, including Battersea and Halifax in Petersburg; and Northside, Southside and Greater Fulton in Richmond.


GRAND PRIZE (sponsored by CRT/tanaka): • iPod Touch
For Each Neighborhood: • 1st place: $50 gift certificate • 2nd place: $25 gift certificate

Winners of the photo contest also will be featured on Richmond.com.
Be sure to share this contest with friends and family who may be interested in participating!

Photo entries are due Friday, October 15 before 4:30 p.m.
Late entries will not be considered. Click here for contest information and rules.
CRT/tanaka Thanks to CRT/tanaka Public Relations and Marketing for sponsoring our Grand Prize.

Submissions Due: Before 4:30 p.m. October 15, 2010. Late entries will not be accepted.


  • Participants must submit their photos via our website. Any photos mailed in will not be accepted. Enter Contest Now!
  • You may submit up to 3 photos.
  • All photos submitted must be unedited and taken by you. Cropped photos are allowed.
  • File format of all photos must be jpg or jpeg.
  • All photos must be 3 megabytes or smaller.
  • All photos must have a title.
  • You have 400 characters or less to tell us why you took the photo and how it represents, ‘Helping Neighbors Build Communities’.
  • If your photo includes people, you must mail a Personal Release Form for each person within 7 days of your photo submission.
    Mail Personal Release Forms to::

    Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
    Attn: Frances D. Stanley – Photo Contest
    413 Stuart Circle, Suite 300
    Richmond, Virginia 23220

    Any person appearing in your photo under the age of 18 must have the Personal Release Form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
    Check here to download the Personal Release Form. Personal Release Form

  • Incomplete submissions will not be considered.


Grand Prize: iPod Touch – sponsored by CRT-tanka

From each Targeted Area

  • Grand Prize: iPod Touch – sponsored by CRT-tanka  
  • From each Targeted Area
    • 1st Place: $50 Gift certificate
    • 2nd Place: $25 Gift certificate

Winners of the photo contest will be interviewed by Richmond.com. Richmond.com

Questions? Please contact Frances Stanley (804) 358-7602 ext 13.

Northside (Sinners and) Saints Gathering

Today, we had our first gathering of Christ-followers in the Northside, and we look forward to meeting again!  It was a blessed afternoon in the presence of the Lord.  Thanks to All Souls Presbyterian for hosting us. And..thanks to everyone who attended and helped out!  For more info on our gathering, read Gathering of Northside Saints.

There was a diverse group of 30 people present…from 16 different churches, with no more than 2-3 families/individuals from any one church. People responded to email invitations, phone calls, invitations mailed to the local churches, from the blog post and from Facebook.  Most live in the community, although several attend church or serve the community through ministries.

Many of us didn’t know each other.  After a short welcome and opening prayer, we spent some time getting to know one another through a normal icebreaker.

  • Find 3 people who you haven’t met before and get their name, neighborhood and why they came.
  • Find 3 people to finish these 2 sentences…”Our God can….” and “Our community can….”
  • Find 3 people to learn 2 things you have in common.  Needless to say….it got kinda noisy and energetic….but it was FUN!!!

Then, we broke up into small groups of 6 people and discussed the following questions.

  • What has God been doing in Northside? How have you seen God at work in Northside?
  • How has the Lord been at work on your street?
  • What has God been saying to you? What has scriptures been speaking to you?
  • What should we be praying/interceding for?

Lastly, we spent time in prayer for the local church, the community, new ministries, etc. A lot of good stuff came out of our time together; and we hope to do this more often – on a monthly basis.  Please join us in praying for the Northside of Richmond!

Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done.                             On Earth as it is in Heaven.

To God be the Glory!

(The rest of the summary and future gathering dates will be forthcoming. If you are interested in being a part of future gatherings, be sure to let me know.)

Gathering of Northside Saints


It’s not too late to attend….RSVP not required!

There’s no doubt that God is moving in Northside of Richmond, VA, and it’s so exciting to hear and see what He is doing!  You are invited to a Gathering of Northside Saints to….

1 – Fellowship – get to know one another
2 – Learn – to hear what the Lord is doing in our community
3 – Share – to encourage one another
4 – Pray – to lift up the needs of our community and to glorify and worship the Lord.

We hope to see you….

Sunday, September 26th at 3pm

All Souls Presbyterian Church
19 Overbrook Road
Richmond, VA 23222
(enter on the Miller Avenue side entrance)

We would appreciate an RSVP to missmartishouse[at]me[dot]com by 9/25, so we can be prepared with a headcount.  Please be sure to include the following information…

  • Names attending
  • Contact information like – email addresses/phone numbers
  • Willingness to volunteer

In the meantime, be praying for our community and our gathering.  In addition, be sure to invite other Northside Saints to attend!

May the peace of our Lord Jesus be with you!

Blessings, Marti

Marti Williams
loving God and others in Southern Barton Heights; Richmond, VA