Ways to Serve
"When you do it to the least of these..."
Following the example of Jesus
Following the example of Jesus, who came “not to be served but to serve,” so do we “offer ourselves, our time and our possessions” in grateful response to God’s wondrous love in Jesus.
We strongly believe here at St. John Lutheran Church that God, through the Holy Spirit has equipped and empowered us with specific gifts that are to be used for the proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed, and for the upbuilding of the body of Christ.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates them in all. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” I Corinthians 12:4-7
“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostle’s, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12
“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:11
“Truly, I tell you just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
Listed below are some ways that you can serve at the present time. You may also download the “Opportunities to Serve Survey,” marking those ways that you feel called by God to use your gifts and return the form to the office at St. John Lutheran Church.
OUTREACH MINISTRIES HERE AT ST. JOHN
As a part of the conversation that has been taking place between local Lutherans and Roman Catholics, each community of faith was asked to provide a list of outreach ministries that are carried out in Christ’s name to make a difference in the lives of people in our community and beyond.
Here is the list that I came up with “off the top of my head.” If you notice I have “overlooked” something, please let me know.
MINISTRIES CARRIED OUT THROUGH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
1. Firelands Presbyterian Food Bank
a. On first Sunday of each month we collect food and supplies to support those with food insecurities.
2. Fill the Gap
a. Program to purchase and warehouse items that cannot be purchased with SNAP cards. This is carried out in cooperation with United Way
3. Needs of the Saints
a. Contributions are received and re-directed to those from our faith community who need financial assistance.
4. United Way and Salvation Army
a. We partner with both of these community-based organizations to assist those in need providing resources throughout the year.
5. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
a. Providing beds and bedding to children in Ottawa County. This is in cooperation with Firelands Presbyterian Church and United Way
6. Knitting Ministry
a. Shawls and afghans are knitted and provided to all in need and to those at marking special times along their faith journey.
7. Lutheran World Relief
a. We send quilts and health kits, sewing kits and school kits that are distributed throughout the world.
8. Souper Bowl
a. We partner with tens of thousands of congregations across the USA to receive a special offering to feed the hungry on the weekend of the Super Bowl.
9. Haiti Loving Hearts
a. We are currently sponsoring the educational costs for four children to attend school in Haiti.
10. Noisy Offerings
a. On the second weekend of the month we collect “extra” change to enhance the mission of the ELCA and Northwestern Ohio Synod
11. Mission Support to ELCA and Northwestern Ohio Synod
a. These offerings support the local, national and world-wide ministries of our part of the Lutheran church.
12. Provide building space to the following:
a. Ottawa County Common Pleas Court for Intensive Outreach Alcohol and Drug Programs
b. AA and NA
c. Cub Scouts
d. Girl Scouts
13. Christmas Efforts
a. Collect groceries and staples to Holiday Bureau
b. Collect socks, mittens and hats
c. Collect toys for Toys for Tots
14. Summer Day Camp
a. Host a week-long program of Christian nurture and fun for kids from our community in cooperation with Peace Lutheran.
15. St. John@TheBay Lutheran MissioN
16. ELCA God's Work. Our Hands Sunday
Carry out a ministry to those who live, work and play on South Bass Island.
Our Visitation Ministry Team has been hard at work over the past few months, and what a blessing it has been for those who receive the visits and for those who are being visited. It has been one of those "God at work moments" to see how our ministry has been extended and enhanced through the sharing of gifts. So ... thanks be to God!
If you are called to serve in this way, please join this Visitation Ministry Team.
NEEDS OF THE SAINTS FUND …
In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul draws attention to an effort taking place that gives concrete expression to the oneness of the Church. The reality is that the saints in Jerusalem are experiencing great hardship, and so a collection of resources is begun to help alleviate this suffering. Offerings were being gathered from “saint to saint.” Paul writes, “For the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.”
We have become aware that there are some “saints” among us who experience hardship due to the economic instability of our time. Following in the steps of the early Church, your Church Council has established the Needs of the Saints Fund here at St. John. Designated offerings will be received in order to provide financial resources that can then be shared with those from within our faith community who are experiencing economic hardships. Disbursements will be made at the discretion of your pastor(s). The privacy of who seek his assistance will be respected. Those who receive assistance may choose to reimburse this fund when they are able in order to provide resources for future needs.
How can you participate? Make a gift … designate it for the Needs of the Saints … and place it in the offering plate or send it to the Church Office. Special envelopes are available in the pews, and on the table at the top of the Parish Hall stairs.
Our Mission … We are a Christ-centered and Caring Congregation called by God to Share the good news of salvation for all people.
FILL THE GAP
One way that we here at St. John live out our values … as a Caring Community … is through the, “Fill the Gap” Ministry that was initiated by the 2012 Confirmation Class. We provide many “necessities” that are not able to be purchased through the SNAP program. While our closet has most of the items on hand, there are a few items that we are low on. If you would like to go shopping to help sustain this ministry, here are our current needs.
Laundry Detergent … Toilet Paper …
Disposable Diapers (Particularly Size 5)
A box can be found at the top of the Parish Hall stairs where you may place these items.