Know someone who could use some encouragement this season? Nominate a neighbor or friend to receive a Blast of Love on February 12th between 12 and 2pm. Bags are filled with hot cocoa, popcorn, valentines, and encouragement. When you fill out the form, you can commit to delivering the bag yourself or having a member of the team deliver it for you.
Blast of Love 2022
Blast of Love is a ministry of Middletown United Methodist Church that seeks to share love in the community, born out of the Baltimore-Washington Conference's Catalyst Initiative.
Around 230 Blast of Love bags were distributed into the Middletown and Myersville Communities this year. For a month, the church collected nominations of persons to receive the bags. Groups of volunteers from the community, including members of the High School UNICEF club, came and stuffed bags before teams of drivers delivered the bags on Saturday and Sunday, spreading love over the Valentine’s Day Weekend.
Children in the Middletown UMC Preschool and Before and After Care Kids Club programs made valentines along with community members. Donations of tea lights, seed packets, hand lotion, gloves, lip balm, and snacks like Hershey Kisses and popcorn were dropped in the collection bin outside of the church building or delivered by mail. The Prayer Shawl ministry team spent hours knitting and crocheting pocket prayer shawls to be added to the bags. Rev. Katie Bishop, senior pastor, Rev. Kirstin Shrom-Rhoads, the church deacon, and the congregation, prayed a blessing over the bags.
“It doesn’t matter that I don’t know who is getting the valentine,” one of the children shared as they wrote a word of encouragement across the front of the card, “I think they will feel the love I put into it.” For “extra” love, she added a second layer of glitter and a few more stickers.
“We know that the bags will mean different things to each person who receives them,” Pastor Katie shared. “For some, it is a lifeline in a season of isolation. For others, it will be a chance to find the hope of community. We pray everyone will feel loved.”
“This bag is really going to make a difference,” one volunteer said, as she picked up her set of bags for delivery. The individual they had nominated to receive a bag has been dealing with a health concern that has left them feeling isolated. Another person receiving a bag had nominated themselves. “Things are really hard right now,” they wrote on their form, “and this would help me remember that I am not alone.”
“Thank you,” one recipient wrote, “that was just the best surprise! It brought tears to my eyes.” Another shared that it made her day.
“Lip balm and a bag of popcorn might not feel like much individually," Pastor Katie prayed, "but these bags are more than just the items in them. They are a blast of love!”