Share stories of mission and ministry inside and outside your congregation. Email your stories to Dan Glamann, firstname.lastname@example.org along with images and/or other media — we will be happy to share your ideas and stories with others.
Here Comes the ‘Son’ — Christ and Trinity Lutheran Goes SolarSubmitted by Pr. Kim Knowle-Zeller
The idea of going solar began with an observation and a question. During the monthly council meeting, a member said, “You know I drove by this church the other day and they had solar panels. I talked to a member there and they only had positive things to say. Is this something we might consider?”
And so began the dream, the vision, and the hope for not only the community at Christ and Trinity Lutheran but for the larger Sedalia community and for generations to come. After that first meeting other members became excited at the prospect of installing solar panels at the church. Many had observed the large solar panels at the neighboring Methodist church and were intrigued.
This could be a possibility for Christ and Trinity, some shared … This could save money on our electric bill, some hoped … This is what we are called to do as stewards of God’s creation, some echoed.
A phone call was made and folks gathered to meet with the local solar company to begin the conversation. As the pastor with very little real-life knowledge of solar, I enlisted the help of a retired civil engineer who had been recommended by a colleague. Lynn proved to be a valuable gift to the congregation and to our learning. Lynn gave us a lesson in Solar 101 and his passion and enthusiasm was infectious. He encouraged us to consider the prospect of solar not only for the church but for our homes. He shared statistics regarding solar usage in Germany and America and how much further Germany is than America. He shared about the rebate system and the inner workings of dealing with Kansas City Power and Electric. He explained in as understandable a way as possible how solar works.
Throughout the summer, the summer of Son, a solar committee was formed and met with different companies to receive bids. Our understanding of solar and the importance of caring for creation began to rise. Newsletter articles, one-on-one conversations, emails, announcements, educational forums - the word on solar was spreading and the word was calling forth the light. We all wanted to be a part of ensuring a home for generations to come by reducing our carbon footprint.
Thanks to the work of our solar committee, who spent hour upon hour comparing bids, asking questions, researching, visiting businesses in town with solar panels, and sharing in understandable ways with others, the congregation fully supported moving forward with the purchase and installation of solar panels. A congregational vote was called and a unanimous vote received. In further affirmation of the congregation’s commitment to our community, financial support for 92% of the total cost has already been pledged.
Throughout the fall, the congregation will see part of the roof transformed with solar panels thanks to the work of Brightergy, a Missouri clean-energy company. From the time of signing the contract to finish, the project will take roughly six months.
As a Christian community we are committed to serving God and serving our neighbors – near and far. Moving towards solar electricity is one way we are letting the Son shine.
St. Louis Area Youth Work Camp in Michigan
Twelve youth from the Southside Cluster of St. Louis traveled to the southwestern Michigan town of Hastings to do work, and to build and live out faith. Representing Christ Lutheran Church, Webster Groves, St. Thomas/Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Sunset Hills, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, the group was gone July 20 through July 27.
An overnight was spent enroute at St. John Lutheran Church in Joliet, Illinois, where the congregation valued the ministry of the youth and gave them warm reception and plentiful food.
Traveling Sunday morning, the group worshiped on the shores of Lake Michigan in sight of the towering sand dunes of Warren Dunes State Park.
That afternoon they arrived with 400 other youth and adult leaders from seven states ranging from Iowa to New York. After settling in at the local high school which would be home for the next week, the general theme, “What Do You Stand For?” was presented that first night and developed each morning and night following by the staff of Group Workcamps.
Days were spent fixing up and painting pre-selected homes of a targeted area of need in the city of 7,000. As the teams of six spread through the town wearing the same shirt color and design, a visible impact was made upon the town. Spirits were lifted and those who noticed were happy to honk their horns in appreciation as they drove by or offer food or labor to the workers.
One resident living under financial stress openly cried when the youth appeared on her front door to begin work. Her verbal response through the tears was, “You are a blessing from God.” Through the week the relationship developed between her and the team. A Christian herself, she was able to describe how this event was an encouragement to her as she deals with other difficulties in life.
As the teams worked, they were able to get to know one another. No two people on the work teams were from the same church. New relationships were formed through the week. Devotions both as work teams and church groups gave time to reflect on the experience, to integrate it with faith, and to pray.
In the case of the St. Louis group, relationships were developed between the participating congregations as those youth strengthened relationships, too.
Through out the week youth were encouraged to report “God-sightings.” Any number had their eyes of faith open to see God at work.
Youth were changed by the week. One reported a new priority to listen to those who are viewed as “the least.” Another is committed to her generation as they work to improve conditions for those who are older. Another commented that she was changed to become more of a “listener” to God than a “teller” to God.
Adult leaders of the group were Ms. Rhonda Dunbar, Pastor Keith Holste, and Pastor Zac Sturm. Dunbar is shared part time youth worker for four of the cluster congregations. Sturm was overall trip coordinator.
13th Annual Quilt AuctionCamp Tomah Shinga • July 13, 2013 Junction City, Kansas
Click the image (above) to be redirected to an online photo album.
The Bridge featured on Living Lutheran
One of the new mission starts in Central States Synod, The Bridge, in St. Charles (New Town), Mo. is a feature story. Go to http://www.livinglutheran.com/stories/the-bridge.html for the article. For more information on The Bridge, visit their web site, http://www.thebridge-online.org/.
From News of Peace, March 2013
Peace Lutheran Church, Joplin
These are such exciting times. Every time we drive by and visit the new home of Peace there is such progress. It is amazing how things change just from one day to the next. The walls to rooms are now being framed and we will soon have the electrical wired in the building. The progress continues to visible to the community as well. And as we move forward planning and making this new church home a reality we are also excited about the possibilities of ministry that may be carried out within and beyond those walls.
The Building Committee continues to be diligent, meeting more frequently now that the building is taking shape so quickly. Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns that your Building Committee is always willing to take the time to make sure that everyone is well informed as we move forward.
[Ed. Note: The address for the future home of Peace Lutheran is 3100 N. St. Louis Ave., Joplin, MO 64801. The congregation still has a list of needs for furnishing the new building and has set up a “gift registry” at Walmart to allow individuals to select a gift of their choice. The gift could then be picked up at the local Walmart in Joplin. Questions? Please contact Pr. Kathy Redpath at 567-224-8133.]
Celebrating Bold Women’s Day — When one woman actsby Linda Post Bushkofsky (0213)
When we celebrate Bold Women’s Day this month we’ll be honoring women who act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. We know that boldness comes in many forms—some boldness is firm and quiet, some is bright and loud. Our celebrations, too, take many forms. Some congregational units honor one of their own participants, others honor women in the community. Some women gather over dinner, others gather in worship. Others, like Kathy Nelson Regehr of Inman, Kansas, are bold even as they plan a Bold Women’s Day event.
Kathy organized a spa-like retreat for Bold Women’s Day in 2012. She had heard about Bold Women’s Day, read some of our materials and then “just ran with it,” she says. “I wanted women to be pampered, recognized for their hard work, and shown how they could grow in faith.” Open to the public, the day included coffee foot soaks, facials, relaxation therapy, “lunch and laughter,” a silent auction and more.
Lives were changed because of this retreat. Three women visited with a fitness coach at the event, then
joined a club and started a fitness program. “They all have stuck with the plan and feel fabulous,” Kathy
says. One woman who was going through a divorce and needed some time away found comfort in meeting another woman going through the same thing. “The support and comfort they offered towards each other lifted me and them with much love and joy,” says Kathy. Proceeds from the day went to Feed The Kids, a summer food program in Kansas’s McPherson County that weekly provides healthy snacks for elementary and middle school children along with fun learning activities on the first Saturday of June, July and August. The event raised $2,800 for the program. How did the kids receive their food this past summer? In Women of the ELCA tote bags, of course!
This was a bold new venture for Kathy who reports that “weeks before the event, I prayed that the Lord
might touch each woman with his love and his words and that they might be lifted up. But in return, God not only touched many, God uplifted me, too.” Kathy is able to say this coming off a most challenging
year in 2011: her stepmother died in February, her mother died in March, she was laid off from work in
July and her older brother died in August. In the midst of 2011, Kathy attended our triennial gathering. “I was mentally and spiritually challenged, but with the inspiring women and the uplifting experience, I
know God… [put me] there to lift me up and have great women of spiritual faith surround me,” says Kathy.
The Central States Synodical Women’s Organization is blessed to have Kathy Nelson Regehr as its triennial gathering promoter, spreading the word about our 2014 Triennial Gathering in Charlotte, N.C. Reflecting upon her own experience at our 2011 gathering, Kathy says, “I want to share that experience with other women and share support to other women. I want women to know that all their hard work is recognized and appreciated.”Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director.
Zion Women Donate Time & Talent … In a BIG WayBy Pr. Rick Raymer, Zion Lutheran, Beloit, Kan. — 11/12
A relatively small handful of women at Zion Lutheran Church in Beloit, Kan. have shared their talents and in doing so, have donated countless, thousands of hours of work to support Lutheran World Relief (LWR). At the end of October the women shipped the following to LWR:
- 127 layettes
- 51 School kits
- 100 quilts
- 112 bars of soap
- 15 sewing kits and
- 23 personal-care kits
Central States Synod Musician Attends Lutheran Summer Music AcademyBy Susan Olstad, Director of Admissions — Lutheran Summer Music Academy (080612)
(Minneapolis, MN / Decorah, IA) Lutheran Summer Music Academy (LSM) was recently held at Luther College in Decorah, IA, from June 24 to July 22, 2012. Cady Thomas of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield, MO, was one of the students chosen to participate in the program.
The goal of Lutheran Summer Music is simple — to train and empower the future musicians of the church. LSM features an outstanding faculty of artists and teachers who guide gifted high school students from around the country through four weeks of intensive musical study and performance. The program promotes a rich canon of music and trains young musicians of all faith backgrounds. Students receive individual lessons; play in a chamber ensemble; participate in band, orchestra, or choir; study musicianship; take electives such as handbells, conducting, jazz, or church music; and attend recitals.
Lutheran Music Program’s national offices are located year-round in Minneapolis, MN, and the Academy itself has rotated its location among various Lutheran colleges. Since its founding in 1982, more than 4,000 students have attended Lutheran Summer Music. Hundreds of these alumni have pursued careers in music education, church music and performance. LSM 2013 will be held June 23 to July 21 on the campus of Luther College in Decorah, IA. MORE
Youth Get a Feel for HomelessnessBy Pr. Chad Langdon, Christ Lutheran, Wichita
On Saturday, May 19, the youth from Christ Lutheran Church in Wichita got to experience a small taste of what its like to be homeless. This was their first annual Homeless Night Lock-Out. They gathered on Saturday evening and were allowed to bring only a box to sleep in and one luxury item, i.e., a sleeping bag, a pillow, a chair, etc. Unfortunately for the youth, the evening began with a thunderstorm, so for safety sake, they formed the homeless village in the entryway to the church until the lightning stopped.
That provided a great opportunity for Pastor Chad Langdon to lead them in Bible study and they learned more about the local homeless population. They talked about causes of homelessness, their own experiences with students who they knew struggled with homelessness, and came up with some ideas to address poverty in the Wichita area. After the storm passed, they moved to the parking lot and spent the rest of the night gathering around a fire pit and sleeping on the hard ground. In they morning, with hungry bellies, they attended worship together and talked about their experience with arriving parishioners.
The Homeless Night Lock-Out is an event that Pastor Chad brought over from his previous church, Hope Lutheran, in St. Charles, Mo. where they’ve been doing annual homeless nights for the last seven years, often incorporating some sort of service project as part of it. He “stole” the idea from his own youth group experiences growing up at First Lutheran in St. Joseph, Mo.
Redeemer’s Middle School Youth Take a Step in Restoring God’s CreationBy Pr. Chris Hawkins, Redeemer Lutheran, Salina
More than 70 percent of flowering plants (including many of our favorite vegetables and fruits) are pollinated by bees, wasps, butterflies and other insects. However, Redeemer’s Middle School students discovered that North America’s native pollinators face many threats. Urban and agricultural development has greatly reduced the prairie habitat found around Salina.
The 6th, 7th and 8th graders learned that the Smoky Hills Audubon Society encourages churches, business owners and homeowners to develop “Urban Pocket Prairie” gardens to benefit native pollinators. Following the lead of Doug Rudick, Smoky Hills Audubon Vice President and Redeemer Sunday School teacher, the students planted fourteen native prairie wildflowers in an area adjacent to Redeemer’s main entrance. This “pocket” of prairie flowers will not only beautify the entryway of Redeemer, but will provide needed habitat for native pollinators.