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!





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

“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.

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

HUGE Success – North Avenue Community Day

It’s a good day in the Northside of Richmond, VA.  And it’s not too late to attend!  The North Avenue Community Day is off to a great start on this HOT HOT HOT fall day. Louis, Wesley, and I went out to “flyer” the community this morning and met some friends along the way – 2 who decided to lend us a helping hand!  Thanks to Ziyah and Amani!!!

We started off with prayer, welcome speeches, praise dancing, face painting, free snow cones (they totally rocked this blazin’ day!), free clothes, safety programs offered by the police,  moon bounce for the kids, cool antique cars, etc.

If you are looking to be blessed by unity in the community, come on out!  Today….12-8p. Thanks to ALL who helped make it a success, especially Ms. Dot from the Goal Post Restaurant and Diva Valerie!  🙂

North Avenue Community Day Saturday, 9.25 12noon -7p


Don’t forget, we need your help to set up in the morning and clean up in the evening.  We will meet at the Goal Post at 10am to set up, and then be back at 7pm for clean-up.

As Ralph says… “There will be dancing in the streets!”

Hope you can join us!

Fish (and Chicken) Fry on Friday, 8.27 $7 donation

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On Friday, 8/27/2010, STEP (Strategies to Elevate People) will be hosting a Fish Fry (and chicken too!!!) from  11-2 and 4-7.  Perfect for a work luncheon….or a cook-free dinner for the family!  Place your order by Wednesday, 8/25 to reserve your meals by using this Fish Fry Order Form.  (Note:  Free delivery for 5+ lunch meals!)

Thanks for supporting this wonderful ministry to Gilpin Court!!  To learn more about STEP, attend the reception any time from 4-7pm.

ComChap Youth Group ROCKS!

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This evening a group of middle and high school youth from Commonwealth Chapel took their Sunday evening to selflessly serve Southern Barton Heights by picking up trash around the community.  Rondell even jumped in to help; and neighbors came out to welcome and thank them!

In John 13, Jesus says…

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

These servant youth and their leaders were being the hands and feet of Jesus and will be blessed for their servant’s heart.  Louis and I appreciate their giving spirit, and we had fun getting to know them better!  Thanks again, ComChap Youth Group!!!

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