What will our Service Projects be this year?
This summer, the Holy Spirit has been at work providing nudges toward our service projects and Mission Festival. Cheri Biltoft approached me in June with an idea for a Mission Festival Speaker. Her granddaughter, Jayme Smock, had just taken a job with the Child Advocacy Center of Lincoln as a forensic interviewer. Her work includes doing intake interviews for children in our area of the state who have been abused or have been victims of human trafficking and testifying in court about those interviews. Cheri thought she would make a good Mission Festival Speaker, and, after talking with Jayme, I agreed. We will not only get to host her for the Mission Festival, we will also partner with the Child Advocacy Center on God’s Work our Hands Sunday to make fleece tied blankets for those children who need to undergo an medical exam at the center.
A couple of weeks later, Crystal Krenke shared with me that she and her scrapbooking group had been to Royal Kids Family Camp, which is a camp at Covenant Cedars camp in Hordeville. The camp is for abused and trafficked children, and the scrapbooking group goes to make scrapbooks for each child with pictures from their time at camp. She wondered if there was a way that the Tri-Saints could partner with her group in the future, and we decided to help them on God’s Work our Hands Sunday by putting together background pages for the scrapbooks.
Through these two contacts, our God’s Work our Hands Sunday and Mission Festival topic began to take shape, and I began to realize that we had other connections to make. When I was at the WELCA Triennial Gathering in 2017, I met a deaconess who was involved with the SOAP Project, and organization who provides bar soap to hotels with a label on the back with the hotline number, texting info, and snapchat for the National Human Trafficking Hotline. They are a national organization based in Ohio, and on God’s Work Our Hands Sunday, we will put the labels on the soaps for the organization to distribute.
Also this summer, our Carol Joy Holling campers participated in a service project of making fleece tied blankets for those who are suffering from depression and anxiety. I contacted the camp to see if we could continue to help with this cause, and was directed to the Linus Project of Omaha. This is the organization to which we give the NICU quilts to be distributed to the NICU at the Med Center, but they also provide simple fleece blankets for all sorts of organizations who support child in medical need, physical need, or crisis. We will partner with them on these type of blankets, as well.
One organization that we partner with in an ongoing basis is Lutheran World Relief. We send kits and quilts several times per year through our women’s organizations and confirmation class. They have recently begun receiving fleece tied blankets as well, and so some of the blankets we make on God’s Work our Hands Sunday will go there. It is with joy and thanksgiving that we are able to help more generations to learn about this important and enduring work.
How can I help?
Join us at the Hardy Community Hall, one block west of the church, at 9:15 AM on Sunday, September 15 with willing hands. No experience or extra supplies are necessary, and there are projects for every age and ability. If you like, you can also bring some supplies along:
S.O.A.P. Project: Label soaps to be put into hotels to get hotline number into the hands of those who may be trafficked. No supplies needed; everything will be provided.
Child Advocacy Center of Lincoln: Tied Fleece blankets for abused and trafficked children in our area of the state. You can bring sharp fabric scissors, 1.5 yards each of a printed fleece fabric and a coordinating solid. Walmart has a great selection of fleece already cut into 1.5 yard sections. Thanks to a grant from Tri-Saints and Thrivent, some fleece will be provided.
Royal Kids Family Camp in Hordeville, NE: Scrapbook pages for children who have been abused or trafficked to remember their week at camp. You can bring paper scissors and glue sticks. All other resources will be provided.
Linus Project: Simple Fleece Blankets for Omaha area children and youth in need. You can bring sharp fabric scissors, seam rippers, 1.5 yards of printed fabric per blanket (no solid needed). Walmart has a great selection of fleece already cut into 1.5 yard sections. Thanks to a grant from Tri-Saints and Thrivent, some fleece will be provided.
Lutheran World Relief: Tied Fleece Blankets which go to all ages of people around the world and across the street. You can bring sharp fabric scissors, 1.5 yards each of a printed fleece fabric and a coordinating solid. Walmart has a great selection of fleece already cut into 1.5 yard sections. Thanks to a grant from Tri-Saints and Thrivent, some fleece will be provided.
We are looking forward to a great, Spirit-filled day of learning and service. May God bless both our hands and feet as we work together to serve the Lord!
In Christ, Pastor Breen Marie Sipes