Church-wide Service Opportunities
ELCA National Youth Gathering (NYG)
Every three years, as many Lutheran youth in North America as possible (usually somewhere between 30,000-40,000 of them) meet together in a city to become acquainted, to deepen their faith, and to bring peace and justice to that place. The Gatherings in 2009 and 2012 took the youth to New Orleans, which continues to renew and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in 2007. The folks of New Orleans ministered to the young folks as much as the young folks brought the Gospel and their hands and feet to New Orleans.
In 2015, the NYG will take place in Detroit, Michigan. For all the glory and bustle that Detroit was famous for, it is now an urban area struggling to re-vision what a 21st century metropolis will look like. Detroit is now famous for all of its highs – high unemployment, high murder & violence rates, high poverty. But there are also plenty of bible stories where a city has been destroyed and then rebuilt even better. And we are called to love one another – so off to Detroit we go.
ELCA Economic and Health Programs
As part of the global church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has partnered with several organizations to bring economic and social justice to all parts of the world. The ELCA also provides opportunities for congregations and individuals to participate through a variety of programs. SOTH has found two and are looking for more:
Buck –a – chick:
By donating one dollar, a new chick is delivered to a family. Why chickens? They provide a source of food and income for families that are impoverished. The eggs that are laid are either sold for income or eaten for protein by the family. With enough chickens, a family is able to support themselves.
For SOTH, our Buck-a-chick campaign is a Lenten Project. To support our own knowledge of poultry, we watch chicks grow from fluffy balls of feathers into a juvenile hens and roosters (in church no less). It is something that we all get excited about. This past year, the youth raised over $500.
End Malaria Campaign:
One project that the ELCA is working hard on is the “End Malaria” Campaign. Malaria kills 1 child every 60 seconds. The ELCA is committed to raise $15 million to prevent, treat and educate communities in Africa about malaria to end the disease (information from the ELCA). One $10 donation buys a mosquito net for a family.
This fund was the recipient of the VBS offering in 2012 and remains a project that is in our hearts. Being a lake community, we have no shortage of mosquitoes during the summer months. It is but one way to help others live full lives.
ELCA Good Gifts:
Gifts that make a difference – that’s the headline. Through the ELCA, you are able to help share your abundance with those in need a variety of ways. Animals, education, tomorrow’s leader, even support international emergencies. Don’t know what to get the person who has everything? Buy 10 chicks or part of a water well in their honor. By sharing our money together for the ministries, we are able to live into our baptismal promise of growing the church and helping those in need.