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2018 Calendar

Looking for Mission Service Activities in advance?

nullHere's a year's worth of simple mission service activities, laid out in one document for ease of use. Print and display the calendar of activities, and mark them off as you do them.

Sharing Jesus' Love Through Action — A Year's Worth of Mission Service Activities PDF 

 

Get Started with the July Ideas

Nurturing Faith in Christ

Use the time you spend in your vehicle commuting to work or running errands to listen to a spiritually uplifting audio CD.

Making Our Faith Meaningful

Collect restaurant gift cards for caregivers in your church family. Or, collect donations toward a massage or spa day for them. EXTRA CREDIT: Provide respite help for a caregiver. Call to set up a time you could stay with their loved one so they can get a break.

Sharing Encouragement

Spend some time with someone newly widowed. Take her out to lunch, volunteer to help clean out her loved one’s closet, or ask if there is any other thing that she’s having trouble facing alone.

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July 2018

Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action — Loving through Laundrynull

Laundry! That’s something most of us are not crazy about, right? It’s one of those mundane chores that we typically dread. But, what if you didn’t have a washer and dryer? Or, what if you didn’t even have the money to wash your clothes at a laundromat? Sadly, it is the people in high-density, blue-collar, ethnically-diverse areas who are most dependent on laundromats. With average costs around $2 per wash and dry, a family with four loads of wash per week would spend $16 per week or $64 per month. For low-income families that’s a big chunk of change! So, what can we do to help? Enter “Loads of Love” as implemented by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Russellville, Arkansas.

The concept behind “Loads of Love” is simple. Find a laundromat that will let your church team come once a month and pay for the clients’ laundry. At St John’s, the team selected the last Saturday of the month since that’s when people tend to be crunched for cash. They serve from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM or until the allotment of quarters ($300 per month) runs out. They also provide a free lunch which normally consists of a hot dog, chips, water, and cookie.

Another congregation, Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, enlists the youth to put the money in the machines and hand out the laundry soap. They even carry the finished laundry out to the clients’ cars! The LWML provides cookies and punch as well as church brochures. The event is so popular that the laundromat puts out a sign a week ahead announcing when the free laundry is available.

Of course, clean laundry isn’t the only objective of “Loads of Love.” While the clients are waiting for the wash and dry cycles to complete, the church team has an opportunity to visit with, listen to, and show Christ’s love to them. Many of the clients are regulars who have come to know and love the volunteers. This is also an opportunity to share Christian literature, including information about the church and services, with the clients and to pray with and for them.

For more information about starting a “Loads of Love” ministry contact Mollie Haines at 479-567-0935 or mmh2718@gmail.com.

God’s word commands us to take care of the poor:

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land (Deuteronomy 15:11, NIV).

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along (Galatians 2:10, NIV).

Other Ways to Show “Laundry Love”:

laundry basket with colorful towels and flowersIn every community there are ministries and agencies that house people (homeless, disabled, at risk, etc.) In most cases those facilities may have washers and dryers but they are usually in need of detergent and fabric softener. Others may not have laundry facilities but would like to install them. Here are some ways you can reach out to them.

  • Contact the ministry and ask if they need laundry supplies. Ask if they have specific requirements since some washing machines require special detergents.
  • Organize a collection of laundry supplies. Use a hamper and a laundry basket as receptacles for the contributions.
  • Collect cash donations to fund laundry supplies. Send a small “laundry basket” home with each family to remind them to contribute to their laundry fund. You can furnish a list of thank-offering prompts such as “put in a nickel for every pair of socks you own”.
  • Hold a fund-raiser in the form of a game night. Serve light refreshments, award laundry-themed door prizes (mesh bags for delicate items, hanging clothes pins, dryer balls, etc.), collect laundry supplies, and set up games such as “pin the sock on the dryer,” “dryer sheet toss,” and “match the socks.”

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, so often we take for granted the simple gifts you’ve given us, like clean clothes. Please make us aware of those for whom clean clothing is not so simple, especially when that might impede their ability to find work. Particularly help us recognize the needs in our community and show us how to satisfy them. Make us bold, Father, to go out into our community to meet the people who need our help. Send the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say and to be able to show love to people who might not be just like us. They are all your precious children. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

June 2018

Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action — Plan a Refugee Sunday Service

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The Constitution of the United States of America outlines our freedoms! As Citizens, we are free to share the love of Jesus with people of all ages who do not know Christ! Plan a Refugee Sunday Service at your church to help our Sisters and Brothers in Christ to learn more about the refugees in their community and churches.

Ideas for your worship service:

  1. Share with your Pastor sermon notes provided by LCMS on Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) website.
  2. Sign-up for a free poster to advertise your service from LIRS and hang your poster up in your local store.
  3. Invite refugees in your area to attend.
  4. Invite a speaker from LIRS to attend your service and have them speak.

Ideas for a fellowship meal following your service:

  1. Have an ethnic meal and share recipes from different countries.
  2. Charge $5 per person per table and donate the money to LIRS.
  3. Each table might represent a country related to particular refugee areas; the table would have a host from the represented country who would:
    1. decorate their table with things from the represented country;
    2. make a typical dessert to share; and
    3. invite guests from their country to sit with them.

Ideas for awareness:

  1. Refugee Simulation Game from LIRS.
  2. Take a quiz to learn more from LIRS.
  3. Be an advocate to help support the refugees provided on LIRS website.
  4. Watch a Video on LIRS website to learn more about refugees.

Ways to help:

  1. Have your offering go to help support refugees and their families.
  2. Volunteer by connecting with a local partner, visit refugees in a detention facility, or give a donation to LIRS.
  3. Pray for the safety and protection of refugees and immigrants. Set aside one Sunday of your choosing to celebrate Refugee Sunday.

Our freedoms as citizens of the United States of America allows us to share Christ and that spiritual freedom we enjoy, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation only through Him.

Let us set aside one (1) Sunday a year to help support our refugee families in our church and in our communities. These people need our love, support, and encouragement as they adjust to living in a new country.

What a wonderful way to help support refugees!

Resources:

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: www.lirs.org/refugee-sunday

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

May 2018

Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action — Mother’s Day and Beyond

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What’s the first thing you think of when May rolls around? Most people would say “Mother’s Day” of course! How wonderful it is that we have a day set aside to appreciate our mothers and to thank them for all they’ve done for us. But, there is an entire population of people who may see Mother’s Day through a different lens. Consider those who are unable to conceive or who have suffered a miscarriage or the death of a child. To those who have suffered a terrible loss or who are struggling to conceive, Mother’s Day can be a miserable time with countless reminders of what life could be like “if only.” Even those who have other children will never stop mourning the child they lost.

nullAs the month of May begins, make a pledge to reach out to at least one person who may not see Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate. Consider sending a Mother’s Day card honoring “someone special” (or make one of your own) and include a special message and a Bible verse. Just spending time together can be a special gift, especially when it allows the grieving mother to share memories of the child they lost.

There are many resources available to either help you educate yourself or to provide guidance and comfort to someone who is suffering. Here are some suggested resources:

  • Pastors and other trained counselors — If you know someone who is grieving over a loss let your pastor know and ask if he would mind if you referred that person. Or, your pastor should know of other Christian counseling resources.
  • Those within your congregation who have faced this type of loss and who might be willing to talk to others who are newly grieving.
  • Christian adoption services — Make a point of learning about what options are available and how arduous (and costly) the adoption process might be.
  • The book He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann and the associated web site www.heremembersthebarren.com. This web site includes a blog on a variety of topics as well as a comprehensive list of resources.
  • The Bible study The Master’s Touch: Living with Infertility. Though geared toward infertile couples, the study would be appropriate for any audience who desires to better understand what infertile couples face.
  • Martin Luther’s statement Comfort for Women Who Have Had a Miscarriage.
  • Lutherans for Life has several articles and blog posts related to stillbirth and miscarriage.

Often we just don’t know what to say to someone facing these situations. There is definitely a long list of what NOT to say, for example, “you’re young, you’ll eventually have a baby” or “have you thought about adoption?” But, we can never go wrong by just being with someone, praying with and for them, or providing a loving gesture like a hug or a card of encouragement.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

Reaching Out in the Community

  • Research the availability of local grief support groups in your community for those who have lost children to miscarriage or early death. Perhaps start a group at your church. Or, invite a representative to speak at your church and open the talk to the public.
  • nullContact a local hospital to find out how you might support families of stillborn infants. Perhaps assemble a basket or bag containing:
    • The devotional Into His Loving Care
    • Comfort from the Psalms Mustard Seeds
    • A list of resources such as those mentioned above
    • A journal and pen
    • A charm bracelet with a cross, angel, heart, baby shoes, etc.
    • Practical items such as tissues, snacks, and bottled water
  • Another way to support families of stillborn or premature infants who did not live is to get involved with (or start!) a group that makes burial clothes for these tiny infants. Refer to the March 2016 mission servant activity to learn more. Or develop a process for collecting used wedding gowns to send to groups who make burial gowns from wedding gowns. One example is The Angel Gown® program.
  • Hold an annual remembrance service for those who have lost children and publicize it as a community event. After the service provide light refreshments and have resources available to help with the grief process.

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the wonderful women you have placed in our lives who have nurtured and encouraged us. You have blessed us with their presence in our lives. Help us to be a blessing to other women who are childless or have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage or other tragedy. Remind us to be sensitive to others in their grief and to share the love and hope of Jesus with them. We ask that you give us opportunities to help and encourage others as we reflect and give thanks for the special women in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Resources:

Concordia Publishing House: www.cph.org
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Store: www.lwml.org/store

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

April 2018

Friendship Tea and Youth Fashion Show

Friendship Tea: Taking Time for Tea with Family and Friends
Invite your family, friends and neighbors too!
You may bring your favorite tea cup and share your story.
Bring a canned good for the Community Food Bank.

At Easter we celebrate new life in Jesus Christ.  The joy of our living Savior invites us to share His Love with others. Spring is a great time to celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors. Here is an inspirational spring event that will allow you to share time and express your love with those you care about and those you have just met.

  • Put together a planning committee and/or a Thrivent Action Team. Consider the following tasks:
    • Reserve the fellowship hall for the event.
    • Request that men from the congregation to act as servers.
    • Solicit volunteers for the clean-up committee.
  • Recruit children to be models in the fashion show. Action Team funds can be used purchase an outfit up to $25 for each model. The children can be from the congregation, preschool or a school, or children that the LWML ladies have taken under their wing.
  • Send out invitations – encourage attendees to bring family members, friends, or someone new. Provide opportunities for shut-ins and those in assisted living or nursing homes to join you.
  • Plan a menu such as finger sandwiches, fruit, desserts and a variety of teas.
  • nullSet up the day before so there is plenty of time to decorate tables with table cloths, flowers, teacups, plates, cookie trays, etc. Include a recipe for friendship tea or a Mustard Seed devotion at each place.
  • Consider activities such as:
    • A Maypole
    • A PowerPoint slide of each attendee including five pictures of them at various stages in their life with the last picture on the slide transitioning into what they look like now
    • A Candyland prayer walk
    • Sharing stories about the favorite teacup they brought with them
    • A service activity (food for the food bank, diapers for a pregnancy center, etc.)
    • Providing vintage hats for all the ladies to wear; have everyone make their own hats; or have a vintage fashion show
  • See the suggested invitation text here: sample invite Word doc

Extending Jesus’ Love in Action to the Community

Take the tea party to the community using these ideas:

  • Have a simple tea party at a nursing home, women’s shelter, homeless shelter, or half-way house for women. Work with the nursing home or shelter to determine whether there are any restrictions and then keep it simple. Bring everything needed — mugs or teacups, simple cookies or finger foods, a devotion (perhaps Comfort from the Psalms Mustard Seeds) and an eagerness to make new friends.
  • Assemble “Mug Devotions” to hand out to women who visit your church or who become new members. Start with a mug (check out the LWML mugs at CPH.org!) then include the following:
    • An herbal tea bag or two
    • Honey sticks
    • A Mustard Seed devotion (such as Living as a Woman in Mission)
    • Contact information and meeting times for LWML and Bible study groups
  • Visit a shut-in or someone who hasn’t been in church for a while. Or, perhaps there’s a new mom or a neighbor you’ve not yet met. Bring one of the aforementioned “Mug Devotions” as a gift as well as tea preparations for the two of you.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

March 2018

Sharing Jesus' Love in Action — with an Easter Basket

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Easter gives joy! Share the joy of Jesus’ resurrection with people of all ages during this blessed and holy season! Remember the thrill of getting an Easter basket as a kid? Create a basket for shut-ins, someone in a nursing home, or widows/widowers. Form a Thrivent Action Team and use the seed money to help purchase your items.

Ideas of items to put in your Easter basket for shut-ins could be:
  1. From Quiet Times to Noisy Love: Dead End from LWML Store
  2. Living in Joy Mustard Seed Devotion from LWML Store
  3. Eyewitnesses Bookmark Set from CPH. Stop and visit them each week during Lent and give them a new bookmark.
  4. Purchase a chocolate cross from the Grocery Store or a Dollar Store.
Ideas of items to put in your Easter basket for that special person in a nursing home:
  1. Joyfully Aging: A Christian’s Guide from CPH. The special person will gain insight on the limitless opportunities to witness their faith to others and live vibrant, grace-filled lives.
  2. He Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! (CD) from CPH. This CD will be uplifting as they sing along with hymns such as “I Know My Redeemer Lives”
  3. Portals of Prayer from CPH or you may have extra copies of the large print at church that you could add to your basket. OR several sisters in Christ from your church could come with you and bring several Portals of Prayer for all the women in a wing of the nursing home.
  4. Spend time visiting them, pray with them or sing hymns from the new CD that you provided for them.
Ideas of items to put in your Easter basket for widows or widowers you may know at church or maybe someone who does not go to church and does not yet know Jesus:
  1. Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation – 2017 Edition from CPH
  2. Eyewitnesses Magnet Puzzle from CPH and visit them each week for six (6) weeks during Lent. Bring them one puzzle piece each week and explain the puzzle piece and share God’s word with them.
  3. Lutheran Witness from CPH
  4. Joyful, Joyful Mustard Seeds from the LWML Store. Bring your hymnal and sing hymns that go with the devotional.
  5. There are several large print Mustard Seeds also available.
Resources:

Concordia Publishing House: www.cph.org
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Store: www.lwml.org/store

One precious gift is our time. God seeks each of us to use our personal time in service to Him. One such way is to interact with people in faith that God places into our daily life. Visiting an individual or several individuals on a regular basis is one such opportunity. You may also go and visit a nursing home, visit a widow/widower or a shut in, go and serve a meal to the homeless or in a soup kitchen. When we take time to be there for them, bring a bright smile and some joy to the homeless, the sick, the lonely, this is truly Jesus’ love in action.

This is where the conversation can begin, the mustard seed may be planted, where hope, mercy, love and forgiveness are given so that in joy they may know the Lord and His love through your service. What a wonderful way to live, showing the love of our Lord during the Lent and Easter seasons.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

February 2018

Sharing God’s Love on Valentine’s Day

nullWhat better time to share God’s love than on Valentine’s Day (or a Friday or Saturday near it)? Here is one example of how you might celebrate the day as well as serving others:

  • Create a night of fine dining at its best with an Italian theme and romantic music.
  • Select a chef and kitchen staff to cook an Italian favorite with all the trimmings.
  • Have the men cook the meal and serve all the ladies that attend.
  • Offer a “selfie-spot” or a decorated backdrop for photos.
  • Develop a hand-out that has the story of Saint Valentine.
  • Enjoy the festivities and fellowship while collecting Gifts from the Heart for a community charity such as a food bank, pregnancy center, or domestic abuse center.
  • Place an article in your church newsletter and bulletin to encourage participation and make sure the article mentions the community group the event will support.
  • Create a printed invitation that members can use when inviting others.
  • Sell tickets prior to the event. Tell everyone that the money collected for the tickets will go towards the charity you have chosen to support for this event.
Get everyone in the act!null
  • Encourage everyone in the congregation to contribute their time and talents to this event.
  • Form a Thrivent Action Team and use the seed money to purchase the food for the meal.
  • Your team should include:
    • a decorating committee
    • a ticket and invitation staff
    • kitchen staff  
    • servers (all men attending)
    • a DJ and photographer
    • a clean-up committee
  • End the evening with a litany for Gifts from the Heart. This includes all of the ticket money as well as extra added donations. The event will surely be a blessed gift to be used for those in need.
Reach out to others —
  • Don’t forget to invite neighbors and friends that don’t go to your church. Remember to include widows and widowers as well as other single people.
  • Arrange to pick up guests and bring them to the dinner.
  • Do you know someone who can’t afford a ticket? Why not treat them to a night out. It is a great way to make new friends and encourage those who don’t like to come alone to a social gathering.
  • Let’s make this celebrated holiday more than just hearts and lace. Show Jesus’ love in action by reaching out to others in your neighborhood and community.

Extension — Sharing God’s Love — Feeding the Hungry

nullMost community food banks are desperate for donations during the winter months.  This is the time when seasonal work is scarce, limited funds are diverted to heating costs, and many people have put the generosity of the Christmas holiday behind them. Make an effort in your congregation to collect food and cash donations for a local food bank. Here are some suggestions:

  • Contact the food bank to get a specific list of the most-needed items
  • Publish the list of items in your church bulletin and newsletter and make sure to set a deadline
  • Encourage people to check their own cupboards for items they don’t plan to use but to be sure to check expiration dates!
  • Clearly identify the collection point — you may want to set up a poster and a large collection box (or a grocery cart if you can get one on loan!) in the church narthex
  • Involve the youth group in sorting, packing and delivering the donations

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

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