“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday — We are church together. As Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us, God has created us by grace to live in union with Jesus Christ and has prepared us to live faithful, fruitful lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ, God has reconciled us to God and to each other. As we gather around word and sacraments, this life in Christ defines, shapes and guides us as a community of faith, the church. By God’s grace we can and do live confidently and generously in this community of faith and in service of others.
We had the following options to serve here at Gethsemane (with social distancing in place):
1. Donate or Assemble Baby Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief. Thanks to your donations through the Amazon wish list, or through online giving, or by simply going out and purchasing the needed items, we had enough for 20 kits! A family assembled in the fellowship hall (distanced and masked) and we had people who assemble their own and brought them back.
2. Drive Thru Food Drop. 20 individuals or families dropped off donations of non-perishable food items, and rolling suitcases, August's "Big Ask" items: Shaving Cream, Razors, Body Lotion, and Lip Balm which will go to our ministry partners, Isaiah 58 an St. Anthony's. We collected over 920 items including: 10 suitcases, 64 boxes of cereal, 456 snack items, 28 lotions, 20 shaving creams, 171 razors!
3. Shop for bread and rolls at the Bridge Bread Truck Bridge Bread is a non-profit social enterprise that hires people experiencing homelessness and helps them help themselves get back on track through satisfying supportive employment; Gethsemane once again bought their whole truck out! They brought along $250 dollars worth goodies!
4. Shop for fair trade items from the Bridge The Bridge exists to bridge ethnic, racial, religious, and socio-economic cultures. They are concerned advocates, founded and supported by faith communities, desiring to bring peace, justice, and dignity to the world. Their Fair Trade items provide artisans, craftsmen, and farmers in developing countries an outlet to sell their goods at fair-market value. They sell Fair Trade certified products from all over the world. They sold over $1,000 worth of merchandise on Sunday!
Contactless ways to support our neighbors and community:
5. Support SLPS teachers and staff at Buder Elementary. With your generous help, Gethsemane made 60 care packages for the staff and teachers at Buder. In these difficult times, it is important that the teachers and staff know they are appreciated and cared for. The items will be delivered to the staff and teachers on Sept. 8.
6. Support Lumin (formally Lutheran Campus Ministry). This fall students returning to the St. Louis area campuses will face a new challenge - staying safe from Covid-19 while learning. Join LuMin-St. Louis in a buy one-give one Facemask Fundraiser! $18 for two masks - one for you and one for a college student! This is ongoing!
7. Advocate for change! "In the ELCA we believe that, through baptism, God is calling us into the world to serve together. We are a church that views governments as helpful ways God is active in our world and that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and public life. When we, as ELCA members, lift our voices together to influence policies that advance the common good, we further God’s work in our world. Shaped by the ELCA’s social teaching documents and the experiences of its congregations, ministries, and partners, we advocate to end world hunger and stands up for policies that create opportunities to overcome poverty, promote peace and dignity, preserve God’s creation and promote racial justice." (ELCA Advocacy) Participate in a letter-writing campaign to your representatives. Templates can be found here. Click here to find out who represents you.