Sometimes, we may find ourselves facing a life crisis or living in a vulnerable state, or perhaps we have a personal or family need. These things can happen to any of us, at one time or another.
At times like these, our pastor and members of our congregation are here to help you through the temporary rough patch in the road. We're ready to love and help serve our neighbor with care and compassion. We believe Christ has freed us to embrace and care for people of all ages, in any situation, or in any context.
These are some of the ways we help:
"Souper" Bowl of Caring
Souper Bowl of Caring equips and mobilizes congregations, schools, and businesses to positively impact their communities by collecting money or food on or near the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl Weekend. One-hundred-percent of the collections are donated directly to the charity of each group's choice.
Gethsemane Lutheran Church's charity is the Morrison County Food Shelf, and all donations we receive go to them.www.souperbowl.org
Kids Fighting Hunger
Kids Fighting Hunger is a volunteer-driven effort to provide emergency food relief where crisis has struck and there is an immediate need. We put our many hands to work to package emergency food. Our financial support goes to help offset the cost of ingredients and the distribution of food globally, www.kidsfightinghunger.org
Oasis Share-A-Meal is a free supper served every Thursday night in Little Falls, MN. Gethsemane along with other groups in the area take turns providing and serving the meal, http://www.oasiscm.org/share-a-meal
Each summer, we help apply the paint to a Morrison County home that has been selected. Most of the paint goes on the house - occasionally, we paint each other, http://www.oasiscm.org/paint-a-thon.html
Hands of Hope Resource Center
Hands of Hope Resource Center is a local resource center advocating, educating, and promoting societal change for those affected by violence and abuse. We support this center through financial gifts, and the Hands of Hope Tag Tree we put up every December, www.handsofhope.org
Morrison County Food Shelf
To help relieve hunger in our area, we provide both financial support and donations of non-perishable food items to the Morrison County Food Shelf in Little Falls, Minnesota. We donate food and money year-round, but increase our donations during the months of November and March. Visit: www.hungersolutions.org
Pack the Pews/Pie in the Face
Minnesota FoodShare, a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, helps 300 food shelves statewide keep their shelves stocked throughout the year. One of those food shelves is the Morrison County Food Shelf. Minnesota FoodShare hosts a campaign called "Pack the Pews." And in conjunction with "Pack the Pews" we are calling on you to join us in "A Different Kind of Food Fight!" During the month of March we will also be collecting cash donations for the Morrison County Food Shelf. For every dollar donated, they are able to purchase $7 worth of food! We will collect the cash donations as a freewill offering during "Bread and Broth" and Sundays. If we reach our goal for the month, we get to put a whipped pie in someone's face. For more information: gmcc.org or mcfoodshelf.org
Food Shelf Face-Off
Every November, we do a Face-Off for Food! Drop your cash and change in the jar in the Narthex. The contestant with the most money in their jar, "WINS" and gets to wear the "loser's" jersey of choice for the next two Sundays. You ask food or funds? Food is needed and appreciated; however, monetary donations go much further...a 1 to 7 ratio through Second Harvest. For more information: 2harvest.org or mcfoodshelf.org
Upsala Helping Hands Fund
Area congregations and individuals give money to the Upsala ministerial to be given to local individuals who are in need of help.
Church World Service (Blanket Sunday) Offering and Blessing
For many years, our church has been helping to keep our neighbors warm by providing blankets to families here in the United States and around the world through the Church World Service Blanket Program. We are also make tie blankets and donate them to Hands of Hope Resource Center (handsofhope.net) in Little Falls, MN.
On Mother's Day, we take a special offering for CWS as well as a special blessing. (cwsglobal.org). www.cwsglobal.org
Samaritan's Purse (Operation Christmas Child)
Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God's Love. Each October, we encourage members of our congregation to bring items to be wrapped by our Sunday School children, or to bring a shoebox already filled. We also encourage your monetary donations, which help to defray the cost of shipping these boxes fo hope and love, www.samaritanspurse.org
Wycliffe USA is an organization that works worldwide to translate the Bible, not only into the written Word of God, but also to reflect through their lives the love of God, as well, www.wycliffe.org
ELCA Global Mission (Dr. Steve & Bethany Friberg
Dr. Steve and Bethany Friberg live as missionaries in Tanzania, Africa. Steve works to reactivate medical dispensaries in North Maasailand, and Bethany works with Maasai women to create an international market for the women's beautiful beadwork. Our financial donations and prayers support their ministry, www.elca.org.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
Empowered by God's unconditional love in Jesus Christ, Lutheran World Relief envisions a world in which each person and every generation lives in justice, dignity, and peace. Lutheran World Relief works with partners in 35 countries to help people grow food, improve their health, strengthen their communities, end conflict, build livelihoods, and recover from disasters.
Gethsemane Lutheran Church holds an annual drive to send school kits and health care kits to people in need through LWR, www.lwr.org
Fair Trade Project
Fair Trade provides the means through which farmers and artisans around the globe can earn a fair wage, support and build up their communities, and protect the environment. Each of us can help by purchasing Fair Trade coffee, tea, and chocolate during church office hours, or on Sunday mornings. We also host a Serrv Fair (formerly "Fair Trade Fair") in November, at which you can purchase and/or order Fair Trade handcrafted items www.lwrcoffee.com
Fair Trade Fair
The Women of the ELCA holds a Fair Trade fair two Sundays in November, you can purchase and/or order handcrafted items through Lutheran World Relief that will be delivered in December. For more information: www.lwr.org
Twice a year, our church members along with our youth group walk the ditches, along a two-mile stretch of Highway 238, just south of Upsala, picking up trash. www.dot.state.mn.us/adopt
PV for Phebe
Women of the ELCA partnered with Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) to construct a solar array for Phebe Hospital, Liberia. This sustainable, long term solution would free up thousands of dollars annually to fight illnesses like Ebola. We hold a special "noisy" offering the first Sunday of every month. For more information: www.skipthegrid.org