Stories from “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday

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“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday 2020

Christ United, Ashland

Christ United in Ashland celebrated God’s Work. Our Hands. on September 13.  In worship we used the “God’s Work, Our Hands” song with text by Wayne L. Wold sung (actually hummed due to COVID-19) to hymn tune EARTH AND ALL STARS.  We also used a God’s Work, Our Hands Sending Rite that included blessing of our hands.

Our Social Ministry team provided a temple talk that included telling about our monthly Christ’s Cupboard food pantry and every-other-month American Red Cross Blood Drive.  Then one team member dressed as a cow came forward to tell of our congregation’s goal of raising $500 for a cow to a family in need through ELCA Good Gifts.  This presentation was not only “udderly” adorable but also inspired the assembly that day to give several hundred dollars toward the cow.

 

 

Advent, West Lawn

Advent in West Lawn received a grant of 2,000 pairs of socks from the Bombas Sock Company and shared them in the community for our 2020 God’s Work Our Hands project. Here’s what we did:
– Located local organizations that need socks
– Packaged the socks for each group based on the sizes they need
– Delivered the socks to six local organizations (this part is underway)
These groups will receive the socks: Common Ground Recovery Community, Mary’s Shelter, Safe Berks, Veterans Making a Difference, Bethany Children’s Home and Hope Rescue Mission.

Common Ground Recovery Community

Common Ground Recovery Community provided to-go meals, toiletries, and waterproof ponchos to needy individuals and families in the Reading area. Common Ground is a compassionate, spiritual community that embraces the worthiness and brokenness of all people. Many, but not all of us are part of recovery communities and together we are exploring the “common ground” that lies beneath the 12-steps and inclusive Christian faith. For more information please visit our website http://cgrcommunity.org/

Christ, Hellertown

Christ Lutheran Hellertown hosted our annual GWOH on Sunday, September 20th, though we did have service projects during a range of dates on Sat 9/12, Friday & Sat 9/18 & 9/19, Sunday 9/20, and the final project Tuesday, 9/22. Take a look at the 9 projects we did to be God’s hands in our community.


“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday 2018

Faith, Mount Penn

On September 9, “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, 25 worshipers at Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Penn, PA, assembled 30 hygiene kits and 50 school kits for use by Church World Service in ministry to victims of disasters and students in need.  The supplies for the kits were donated from members of the congregation and also purchased with a “Service Team” grant from Thrivent Financial.

Good Shepherd, Reading

For one month ahead of the date (9/9), members from Good Shepherd Lutheran in Reading brought in items for a hygiene kit for homeless in Reading.  We made up 60 bags containing a face towel, wash cloth, bar soap, shampoo, tooth paste, tooth brush, towelettes, deodorant, and tissues.  We also made up smaller bags with nine healthy snacks each in them.  These were given to Hope’s Table (at Hope, Reading) where they have a dinner once a week for homeless persons.  The whole congregation was involved in assembling these items during worship on 9/9.  We used a Thrivent Action Grant to purchase items needed to “round out” what members brought in for the month preceding the event.

Jordan, Orefiled


On September 9th, 2018, our Family Center became the launching pad for 55 missionaries from Jordan as we enjoyed an energized Launch Luncheon then dispersed to serve our God, our church and our community, promoting God’s Work in varied capacities.  Following our missions, we returned Jordan and shared our experiences.  The common thread woven in each testimonial was the incredible rewards we received through the gift of sharing our time and talent.

Provided were five mission opportunities from which our congregation could choose.  Each one being different from the other, the multiple service options provided our “missionaries” options where they felt they could effectively serve. Click here to read excerpts from each of the project team leaders.

Nativity, Allentown

In the morning , our Sunday School children and youth donated backpacks and filled them with school supplies purchase using a Thriven Action Team request.  We had 72 volunteers from the congregation, ranging in age from 4 to 80,  who served in our community the afternoon of September 9.  We donated and delivered the following to both McKinley and Roosevelt Elementary Schools: 45 backpacks filled with school supplies, 38 school uniforms, 100 boxes of tissues and 75 containers of hand sanitizer. The following is a list of service sites and the project(s) completed in the afternoon:
  • McKinley Elementary School – Painted bathroom stalls in four bathrooms and painted a wall in the hall
  • Synod office – Painted the stage area
  • Rescue Mission – Prepared three meals and served dinner to the residents
  • Above and Beyond Senior Living Community – Played bingo with the residents, provided bingo prizes and snacks for the residents
  • Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries – filled thirty bags with non-perishable Thanksgiving food items
  • Roosevelt Elementary School – decorative painting in two bathrooms and in the cafeteria and created an attendance wall
  • Haafsville Animal Shelter – walked dogs and cleaned areas in the facility

Reformation, Reading


God’s work. Our hands. Sunday was celebrated on September 9th with a Festive Worship service, 5K Run, and Community Block Party. The Rev. Dr. Michael Bennethum was the guest preacher and local First Responders were honored. A rain-soaked Community Unity 5K Run, Kids Fun Run and community Block Party featuring service projects, inflatable games, music, food, and more raised $2,275.00 for West Berks Mission District food pantries in the city of Reading. Congregation members also donated over $750. towards chicken BBQ meals for the First Responders. God’s work. Our hands. Sharing the love of God with our community!

St. John, Hamburg


At St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hamburg, Rally Day is more than the kick-off to Sunday School, it is an introduction to a yearlong focus not only for Sunday School, but for the entire congregation.  The ELCA theme, “God’s Work Our Hands” was selected by the Parish Education Committee to celebrate the talents which we have been given by God to serve our community and the world. In order to introduce the theme to the children, they brought cans of food to donate to a local food pantry, made first aid kits, and sang songs about being a helping hand. Hand prints listing community service ideas, were hung on the church walls to encourage young and old to offer their gifts to others.  Located around the church are specific “God’s Work Our Hands” crosses.  St. John’s members place a “hand” sticker on one of the crosses when they have used their hands to do God’s work.  As the crosses fill up with hands this year, they serve as a way to celebrate all the good work being done from one church in Berks County, collectively using unique God-given gifts to make a difference in the world.

St. Paul, Dallas

Members of our congregation participated in GWOH in three different ways:

1.       Since a Luzerne County Head Start Center meets at our educational facilities, we collected 45 new sneakers for the children.  This was done over a two-month period culminating on Sept. 9.  The sneakers were on display in our narthex, given to the Head Start teachers and distributed to the children by the teachers. 

2.       Over the course of a 2-3-month period prior to Sept. 9, we prepared 20 fleece blankets and delivered them to Camp Noah being held in Reading, PA.

3.       On GWOH Day, our Social Ministry chairperson requested that worshippers send notes or cards to people in Nursing Homes, first responders, veterans, etc.  Thank you cards were set out on a table for people to take and use to write their personal notes.  We also are continuing the suggestion by encouraging people to send cards each week for the month of September either to thank people for their service or to let them know that they are being thought about and prayed for.

Trinity, Wernersville

Trinity Lutheran Church in Wernersville hosted a spectacular Bring-a-Friend Free Spaghetti Dinner with blood pressure checks on Sunday September 9th for God’s Work Our Hands. We vigorously advertised in the community and people came! Our church family brought friends and many came in from the community. We fed around 80 guests. A large number had blood pressures checked by our wonderful, gifted church healthcare professionals.

United Proclamation of the Gospel


Members of the United Proclamation of the Gospel (worshipping at Light of Christ and St. Peter’s congregations in Bethlehem) united to make a difference in our community with these service projects on God’s Work.Our Hands Day, September 9th. Volunteers finished six quilts for Lutheran World Relief; a bake sale raised approximately $500 for Truth for Women, a Bethlehem agency that supports women in crisis; Sunday school children made greeting cards for homebound members; and the congregation made “clip-its” – written messages on clothespins combined with a card listing our worship services to spread the word. Inclement weather meant that the car wash to support an animal shelter and a cleanup at a local cemetery were rescheduled.

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