The 2017-2018 Ministry Magazine is available in print at Lord of Life or by downloading the file below!
This past Memorial Day, I had lunch with some of my extended family. Right at noon, we served up hot dogs with sauerkraut, bbq chips, watermelon, cookies, and glasses of milk, punch, and water. It was your typical Memorial Day picnic fare that could’ve been served in any backyard or under any park pavilion. It wasn’t anything big or fancy. What made this gathering different, though, was that it was in the basement of First Lutheran in Over the Rhine.
As we gathered from various locations for the community meal, small moments and gestures of joy were everywhere. There were smiles and handshakes. Conversations were laced with words of gratitude. Damp washclothes wiped down tables in between guests and one guest pushed his lunch aside for a few minutes while he played spirituals and gospel hymns on the piano in the corner. By themselves, each of these didn’t amount to much, but together, these little acts of kindness swirled in a beautiful expression of our shared humanity.
God has a habit of using little things to do big stuff.
Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one care giving ministry that takes place in congregations that have a growing need to expand the ministry of caregiving. Churches that use Stephen Ministry equip and empower caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. As followers of Christ, we have been called by God to love, support, and serve one another in community. If you believe that this kind of intentional and structured ministry might be how you want to answer that calling, you are invited to attend the informational meeting in August. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, you are encouraged to prayerfully consider this opportunity to accompany and walk alongside others who are enduring the valleys of life. For further information, you can browse the website: stephenministries.org.
Contacts: Ava Fiebig, Lucas McSurley
Wednesdays, 10 am - 2 pm
Sundays, 2 pm - 4 pm
through August 5
in the Fellowship Hall
The summer reading program provides an opportunity for students to keep their skills sharp over the summer as well as providing enrichment in a topic. Research established that, without enrichment, during the summer months, children lose 50% - 85% of what they learned the previous academic year. This summer’s theme is the Human Body! The lessons will be introduced on Wednesdays. Sundays will provide an enrichment lesson. Please consider volunteering during the summer. Are all welcome, including high school and college students. No Spanish required. Join us as you are able.
The program includes lunch on Wednesdays. We also need volunteers to host the Wednesday lunches. Can you provide lunch for the children on Wednesdays? You can sign up online to provide lunch.
Pastora Carmen Colon-Brown
photo courtesy of Ben White, unsplash.com
This Sunday! March 18
Wash. Rake. Organize. Trim. Mulch. It’s time to clear away the winter grime and get the building and grounds ready for spring. Bring the whole family. There are tasks for all ages and abilities. Lunch provided.
Help us do our part to protect the environment. In the coming weeks, the Stewardship Committee will be rolling out a more defined program to identify the difference between refuse and recycling containers. Watch for better-marked containers and help us make a difference. Thanks for your support helping both our Church and Mother Earth.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, 9 am
Help stock local food banks by tending our community garden. If you would like to learn about gardening or you are a gardener we can use your help. Garden helpers plant, water, weed, harvest and deliver the vegetables to Faith Alliance Food Pantry and Haven House Homeless Shelter. Join us as you are able.
There are 34 quilts amazing quilts, made by our Quilting Ministry, hanging on the pews to be blessed this weekend. These lovely items will be heading to Haven House Emergency Shelter next Wednesday. Want to be a part of this comforting ministry? Come the 1st, 3rd (& 5th) Wednesdays of the Month 9:30 am. Meet in the fellowship hall.
Experiencing Family Promise is humbling, happy, a huge humanitarian help, and heart filling!
My heart was filled (overflowing!) through this experience and I hope and pray that I helped to fill the hearts of the wonderful families I have met through this project. We all need each other! It fills my heart to be a giver.....a giver of love, of time, of knowledge....and the list goes on.
Happy ... I am happy when I help to make others happy. Yet this experience did not lead me to unhappy families. The homeless families I encountered were playful, joyful, thankful, laughing, talkative and prayer warriors! Everyone was thankful for the littlest of things and families exhibited such a strong bond. The children ... quick to give bear hugs and quick to laugh. They were HAPPY ... so very appreciative of little crafts we were able to do together and discussions about so many things including school, free time fun, TONS of knock-knock jokes and that boys have cooties! One adult that I bonded with came to me probably 5 or 6 times one evening with funny videos she found on her phone and just wanted to share each one and then we would laugh together! I was able to get to know other church members and see Pastor Lowell play troll under the bridge as the children screamed with delight and tried to outrun him while playing outside. I was happy to share this experience with my grand-daughter and happy to try to answer all her questions, worries about the families and her heartfelt concerns. I was happy to see her go out of her way at such a young age to bond with other children and to just be another child's friend for the evening! I am HAPPY just thinking about all of these things, my list of Family Promise happiness goes on and on.
Humbling ... would I be as playful, joyful, thankful, laughable, talkative and prayerful if I were homeless? I have a house full of junk and clutter and these families have a temporary room. I have a refrigerator and pantry filled with food but am sometimes so lazy that I go through a drive through for supper, spending money unnecessarily ... etc. etc. etc. Yes, it's humbling. I pray that I remember and act upon this humbling experience by de-cluttering my life, by prioritizing, by tithing ... and the list goes on.
Volunteering in any way with the Family Promise experience is truly a huge humanitarian help. We are able to keep whole families together....especially during tough times when they need to be together. We can model what we know about parenting and Christianity and they can teach us even MORE such as true faith, believing, sacrifices, unconditional love ... and the list goes on.
John 15:12 Love each other as I have loved you.
I didn’t expect to find myself putting together a crib on Monday afternoon. My work day was almost over when I saw Pastor Lowell dashing from one part of the building to another, trying to prepare for Family Promise guests to arrive for their second day. A new family would be coming – one who was new to Family Promise and had an 18-month old and a 6-month old to care for.
Thanks to IKEA’s online assembly instructions, we finished the crib just as families began to arrive for the day. Kathy and Maddie Wagonfield were putting the finishing touches on dinner and Jenny Smith greeted several children and a few adults as they came in from a day of work, school, and job interviews.