Mission Interpretation is telling the stories of Our Hands doing God’s Work. Mission Interpreters share the stories of the ELCA’s mission and ministry within their congregations. Your congregation may already have someone who tells the story of how our offerings and gifts are transformed into effective ministries. Mission Interpreters remind us of how we make a difference in Christ’s mission and the work of the church, and they thank our people for their faithful giving. Your gifts are making a difference and changing lives.
For more information or to submit a story about how your congregation is “Doing God’s Work, with Our Hands and making a difference in the world,” contact Claudia Harrington!
ELCA assesses needs in response to flooding in Colorado, New Mexico
Following a record-breaking rainfall September 2013 that produced flooding in 15 Colorado counties, our ELCA and its partner affiliates are working to assess the immediate and long-term needs of people and communities affected. In a report from James Horan of Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains – an affiliate of Lutheran Disaster Response, the disaster response ministry of the ELCA – nearly 12,000 residents have evacuated with “many evacuation orders still standing or new orders issued and reissued, “he said. The flood affected a 4,500 square mile area. While a “major disaster declaration was made for Adams, Boulder, Larimer (Fort Collins) and Weld counties,” said Horan, “eleven additional counties are significantly affected.” Colorado state officials have requested that the federal declaration be expanded to include these additional counties. As immediate and long-term needs continue to be assessed, Lutheran Disaster Response and its partners will work to provide assistance to flood-affected communities. The property of Atonement Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Boulder, CO, sustained extensive damage to the sanctuary, which will require the removal of pews, flooring and parts of the ceiling. Even in the midst of their own situation, members are showing the community that “the church is there for them,” said the Rev. Chad Kohlmeyer, pastor of Atonement. He said nearly 40 members of Atonement have been working with residents to help with water mitigation. “I am so amazed and impressed by the members of all ages who have rallied around our community. The spirit and attitude in our church has been so uplifting,” said Kohlmeter. Horan also reported that agricultural land has been inundated and more than 60,000 cattle are stranded. In New Mexico, the flooding has impacted most of the state, but no deaths have been reported and fewer than 100 homes have been damaged. The Rev. Dan Rift, director of the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, has invited prayers for the people of Colorado and other areas impacted by the flooding. “Financial gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will be used (100 percent) to help disaster survivors clean-up, rebuild and recover,” he said. Our dollars can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Thank you!
Trinity Lutheran Church’s Garden Ministry
Something special is happening at Trinity Lutheran Church in Nampa, Idaho – and our faithful giving to ELCA World Hunger is helping to make it possible! The people at Trinity are dedicated to ending hunger – for good. Our gifts to ELCA World Hunger support something that makes Trinity’s way of acting on that dedication especially inspiring and especially useful to neighbors in Nampa. Trinity’s gardens ministry started with a garden in the back yard of the church, but it has grown over the years to include two flourishing vegetable plots as well as fields of a neighboring farmer who welcomes the ministry’s gleaners. All the produce – more than 28 tons of it last season! – is distributed to Nampa’s food banks and pantries so that neighbors can enjoy fresh, nutritious, locally grown vegetables all through the growing season. However, the congregation wondered what they could do about the rest of the year. Thanks to an ELCA World Hunger Domestic Grant Program, Trinity was able to start offering After the Harvest workshops. These workshops enable members of the congregation to teach neighbors how to preserve produce at home, so that the garden’s bounty may be enjoyed year round. The workshops are held in the congregation’s own kitchen, led by parishioners who have been trained and certified as Master Food Safety Advisors by the University of Idaho Extension Service. When Pastor Meggan Manlove asked Amanda Hanson if she’d like to take the seven – week training course and then help lead the workshops, she hesitated. It was such a commitment. “Then, I took a moment and thought about my promise,” she said. Amanda had made a special promise to reach out in service to her neighbors. And so she said “Yes.” The grant has enabled Trinity to expand how the congregation responds to hunger. Our gifts to ELCA World Hunger support a comprehensive and integrated program of hunger work in the United States and 50 other countries around the world. Thank you!
If you might like to be involved with Mission Interpretation, here are the qualifications:
- Faith-filled: a love of Christ and the church
- A heart for mission and ministry
- Good Communication Skills (speak, write, share information)
- Knowledgeable about the ELCA
- Active member and supporter of an ELCA congregation
- Willing to attend a training session