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"God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been a church deeply rooted in faith
and in sharing its passion for making positive changes in the world. On Sunday, September 11, 2016 thousands of members of the ELCA around the nation expressed love through service to their communities. This dedicated day of service was an effort to build upon work done day to day.  

Congregations throughout the Southeastern Synod are sharing stories and photos from their service projects on their websites and through social media. Following are stories from this year and past years. If you would like to see your congregation featured here, email photos and stories from your day of service to
Carolyn Davis.

Memphis Deanery Feeds Souls & Tummies with "Street Church"

posted Nov 7, 2016, 5:56 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Nov 7, 2016, 6:10 PM ]

The four Memphis deanery congregations, (Epiphany, Living Word, Peace and St Luke), brought "Street Church" to homeless persons for "God's Work. Our Hands. Day", celebrated on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The event promoted The Carpenter's House, an ecumenical hospitality ministry initiated by Memphis' First United Methodist Church.
"Street Church" took place on a downtown corner lot transformed into a sanctuary and buffet station. 
Pastors co-presided at the half-hour Word & Sacrament service and invited attendees to lector. After worship, attendees were served breakfast and given a one-day bus pass and $5 restaurant card.
Thrivent provided grant funding and t-shirts for the needy; donations from Kroger, ChikFilA, and the churches covered remaining expenses. After all attendees were served, a team assisted The Carpenter's House to clean and sort donated clothing. "Street Church" highlighted the dehumanization of God's people by systemic poverty, and moved many street persons and volunteers to request additional worship opportunities.

St. John's, Nashville, TN

posted Nov 7, 2016, 5:53 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Nov 8, 2016, 7:54 AM ]

In celebration of "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday and their 60th Anniversary, St. John's, Nashville collected and distributed items to those in need.  
Among the items collected were: 4 tents; 16 single burner stoves, 102 canisters of propane; 63 packs of 6-8 per pack hand warmers; and over 100 cases of water.  

Trinity, Lilburn,GA

posted Nov 7, 2016, 4:29 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Nov 7, 2016, 4:35 PM ]

About 200 members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, Georgia had a great time on September 10th and 11th participating in the ELCA "God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday".  We were able to complete fifteen different service projects.  
Some of us took on more demanding tasks such as painting the exterior of a house in Snellville for Habitat’s “A Brush with Kindness” program while others wrote “thank you” notes or delivered cookie platters to a dozen local fire stations.  Our music ministry shared their talents by providing a  choral presentation and their signature Mexican dinner to
cancer patients at the American Cancer Society’s Winn Dixie Hope Lodge.  Members of Trinity were pleased for the chance to be a blessing to our community.  It was a special opportunity once again to participate knowing that we were part of a collective effort joining with many other Lutheran congregations in the United States to be of service to others.

Prince of Peace, Johns Creek, GA

posted Nov 7, 2016, 4:24 PM by Carolyn Davis

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Johns Creek, GA participated in God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday on September 11, 2016. Over 100 attendees of all ages enjoyed the time together making cards for First Responders and mats for the homeless.

The Philippians Korean Church attended services with us and stayed for the service projects. We also welcomed Beraca SDA and Roswell Community Masjid. The fellowship hall was filled with activity. Every table was filled and the floor space too!

The cards are ready for delivery to our local fire department and police department, both with offices right around the corner on Old Alabama Rd. Together we made 51 cards. We will continue making mats for the homeless as this has become an ongoing monthly project. The mats will be delivered to those in need in Atlanta as a continuation of a service project by our youth over the summer.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Athens, GA

posted Oct 13, 2015, 12:09 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 11:59 AM ]

The congregation of Holy Cross, Athens celebrated "God's work. Our hands." Sunday by preparing "goodie baskets" for the nurses at St. Mary's, a neighborhood hospital. Other activities included trash pick-up along the nearby streets; praying for the children and families at Alps Road School; and making baskets for their home bound members. Realizing the importance of everyone's involvement on this special Sunday, the children of Holy Cross (pictured here) wrote letters to United States veterans.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Lilburn, GA

posted Feb 16, 2015, 2:57 PM by Southeastern Synod   [ updated Feb 16, 2015, 4:36 PM ]

At Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, GA participation in “God’s Work, Our Hands.” Sunday began with projects before the Saturday evening service and concluded with more projects after services on Sunday.

Members of Trinity participated in projects before and after the Saturday evening service.  They led the way for the rest by making Brown Bag Ministry lunches, and stuffing and sewing special pillows for use by breast cancer patients recovering from surgery.  

Sunday's projects were plentiful:

Musicians visited Park Springs, a retirement and assisted living community in Stone Mountain.  They sang hymns and the anthems from earlier that day during the worship services.  

Notes of thanks and encouragement were written to the students of Lutheran Southern Theological Seminary.  In addition, the Sunday school classes made pictures to send with the note.

Children made “cookies in a jar” gifts to be donated to the Lilburn Cooperative Ministry using cookie ingredients and decorations donated by parents.

A group, including Youth and their families, went to Ronald Reagan Park in Lawrenceville to remove fallen tree limbs, clear out undergrowth and pick up trash at the park. 

Letters of encouragement and thanks were written to ELCA missionaries in Egypt, Malaysia,

Singapore, Central African Republic, Costa Rica and India.

Appreciation for local police and fire fighters was expressed by baking and distributing platters of homemade cookies to two police precincts and ten fire stations.

“The Piecemakers” made four quilts in one afternoon!  They will be donated to Lutheran World Relief to be included with thousands of quilts to be distributed around the world. 

Yard work and home repair was completed for members in need of a helping hand.  Several worked on improving the landscape at the Quinn House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation home in Lawrenceville, GA. Funding from Thrivent was very helpful for this project.

Letters of appreciation were written to those in active duty military service, to be distributed with care packages by Operation Gratitude.

An Adopt-A-Road cleanup of Paxton Lane, a street near the church property, was accomplished. 

Members went to Egleston Children’s Hospital to assist medically fragile children with craft projects. 

The Brown Bag ministry assembled 300 brown bag lunches.  They were provided to about 40 members participating in other events of the day with the remainder transported to the Pine Street Homeless Shelter in Atlanta. 

The tireless workers at Trinity, Lilburn enjoyed the opportunity to be of service to their community and were warmed by the responses in return.  Paul Kuester shared:  “To participate along with ELCA congregations all over the United States made it a very special day.  We look forward to doing it again next year.”

St. Luke Lutheran Church, Cordova, TN

posted Nov 21, 2014, 2:36 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Nov 21, 2014, 2:38 PM ]

On "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday, St. Luke, Cordova, TN, began the day with devotions at 9:00 a.m., followed by service activities. Afterwards, all workers were invited back to the church to enjoy an afternoon of food, fellowship and games for all ages. At this gathering, the members of St. Luke took the opportunity to dedicate their new electronic sign, part of a Capital Campaign to also remodel the sanctuary and build an outdoor recreation-picnic pavilion. The entire project will be completed by Easter of 2015.

Living Word Lutheran Church, Arlington, TN,

posted Nov 11, 2014, 3:48 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Feb 11, 2015, 2:33 PM ]

In celebration of “God’s Work. Our Hands.", sixteen members from Living Word met at Peace Lutheran Church in Memphis to participate in a community service project for the benefit of Trinity Ministries. Newly formed, Trinity Ministries is housed at Peace and is under the leadership of the Rev. Antoinette Robinson. This ministry will assist families experiencing difficulties with daily living, including meals and housing.

The work for the day involved removing tiles 
and old carpet, painting and cleaning.  All members experienced a sense of satisfaction in having participated in the project. With the help of additional volunteers, the project was completed in early October. Funding was provided by Thrivent Financial for this hands-on service project as part of their “Care Abounds in Communities Program.”

Celebration of Grace Lutheran Church, Canton, GA

posted Oct 7, 2014, 1:37 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Oct 7, 2014, 1:49 PM ]

Celebration of Grace Lutheran Church (COG) in Canton decided to direct their service to meeting the needs of the Baby Layette Ministry sponsored by MUST Ministries of Cherokee County, GA. Members of COG donated 1,267 items for newborn babies, to include: receiving blankets, diapers, nightgowns, towels, washcloths and baby oil. These items will be distributed to families with children in need throughout Cherokee County. 

Celebration of Grace Lutheran Church donates to the Baby Layette Ministry. Pictured (left to right): Herb Lambert, COG, Dale Cooper, Executive Director, MUST Ministries and Charlotte Dibbles, COG.

St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Decatur, GA

posted Oct 1, 2014, 1:49 PM by Carolyn Davis   [ updated Oct 2, 2014, 9:17 AM ]

The members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Decatur, GA chose three projects for "God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday."  First, they decided to re-introduce themselves to the community. Setting up a table at the local Family Dollar, members engaged in conversation with their neighbors as they shared snacks, water and church information. Second, in support of the fight against Ebola, they collected supplies (masks, gloves, bleach, sanitizing and cleaning supplies) for delivery to Tegloma Charity to benefit medical teams in Sierra Leone. Last, the team feed the homeless and hungry by packing and distributing over 150 lunch boxes to those who came to the church and those located in the area.  

Many participated in the projects and felt good about their work. "This is a project we look forward to and are very happy to participate."

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