"God's Work. Our Hands."
Across the ELCA, "God's Work, Our Hands" sends congregations into our communities to share God's love with our neighbors and serve where we are needed. Congregations are encouraged to leave the building and share the gifts and talents we have first been given to help others.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
In August, Hurricane Fred brought torrential rain and flooding to western North Carolina and a few weeks later, Hurricane Ida made landfall in southern Louisiana, plunging New Orleans into darkness and causing catastrophic damage. Our ecumenical and full communion partner The United Methodist Church's Committee on Relief (UMCOR) invited congregations to fill "flood buckets" that are being distributed in areas recovering from floods. With the help of a Thrivent Action grant, we purchased 5-gallon buckets and members were invited to fill the buckets with the requested supplies or make financial donations to Lutheran Disaster Response or the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Fund. Between buckets and donations, we contributed nearly $1,000 to flood relief efforts.
Saturday, October 11, 2020
Co-workers and companions in this Gospel work delivered care packages and yard signs proclaiming, "Peace be with you" on Saturday in this year's God's Work, Our Hands effort.
The gifts and prayers included in the gift bags were inspired by members creativity, and two Thrivent Action grants funded the effort to reach out to our members who are 75 years and older.
Saturday, September 7, 2019 and Sunday, September 8, 2019
On Saturday, September 7, volunteers worked inside and outside the church property. The sanctuary got a deep cleaning, new mulch was laid, and the second floor, newly re-carpeted, was readied for meeting and classroom use. "God's Work, Our Hands" weekend continued on Sunday, September 8 when volunteers from Kairos Outside of North Carolina shared their ministry with us. We gathered for lunch provided by a Thrivent Action grant and then learned how Kairos Outside supports women who have loved ones who are incarcerated. Together we created more than 150 small "agape" gifts that will be given to the women who participate in retreats with Kairos Outside. We also donated a pair of socks for each woman, and will donate the September Noisy Offering to Kairos Outside.
Saturday, September 8, 2018 and Sunday, September 9, 2018
On Saturday, September 8, seventeen volunteers worked inside and outside the church property donating their time and sweat to accomplish needed landscaping and cleaning. "God's Work, Our Hands" weekend continued on Sunday, September 9 with a collection of 10 lb. bags of white potatoes for the Cleveland County Potato Project. After collecting 470 pounds of potatoes, we celebrated with food and fellowship at the annual congregation picnic.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
On Sunday, September 10, we welcomed to the pulpit Kurt Hellmann, who recently completed a year of service in Cambodia with Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM). YAGM is an international mission branch of the ELCA, specifically designed for young adults (ages 21-29) to connect and serve in far reaches of the world. YAGM currently has 11 different country programs that span 6 continents.
Following a potluck lunch, we assembled ten fleece blankets that will be shipped to Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to provide a soft, cozy reminder that someone cares. Created with materials purchased with a Thrivent Action grant, these handmade blankets will provide protection and a sense of comfort to the recipients.
Sunday, September 11, 2016 and Monday, September 12, 2016
Because the 2016 "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday coincided with the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, our congregation prepared and delivered lunch to the Shelby Police Department and the Cleveland County Sheriff Department, feeding approximately 140 law enforcement personnel and officers in an expression of thanksgiving for their willingness to serve and protect our community. During worship on Sunday morning, anointing for service was offered at the baptismal font.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Twenty-three volunteers, including four youth, donated their time, elbow grease and generous spirits to serve the Cleveland County Rescue Mission's women's shelter after worship Sunday morning as Ascension Lutheran Church in Shelby, NC participated in "God's Work, Our Hands." Sunday in 2015.
The property that once housed the local men's shelter abuts our church property, and the Rescue Mission is renovating the space to accommodate women and children living in homelessness and recovery in our community. They have relied on volunteers throughout the summer to gut the building and clean, paint and prepare the space which will provide at least twenty beds, kitchen, shower and laundry facilities. Our volunteers punched through a wide array of tasks needed to make the shelter ready for its Open House next Sunday, September 20 when volunteers will be serving a BBQ lunch from our fellowship hall and kitchen, and taking people next door to see the facility and learn the shelter's story and mission. Inside, we painted doors, cubbies and a picnic table, assembled beds, hung valances and blinds, sorted donated toiletries, cleaned the donated refrigerator, scraped paint from windows and touched up wall paint. Outside, we planted flowers, collected fallen branches and blew leaves and debris out from underneath a storage building.
It was a great day that the Lord made!
Sunday, September 7, 2014
More than 27 volunteers worked at two ministry sites for the ELCA’s “God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday” in which more than 10,000 congregations throughout the ELCA witnessed to our identity as one church united by God’s love and called to serve our neighbors.
We had one group indoors sanitizing and organizing the nursery in the education building. Safety latches were installed and broken toys were discarded. A second group worked on landscaping projects at Graham Elementary School in west Shelby.
In summer cottage meetings, members affirmed interest in welcoming children and families; supporting neighborhood schools and providing up-to-date facilities and space for young children in our own facilities are two ways we can welcome families into our midst.
"God's Work, Our Hands." 2021
"God's Work, Our Hands." 2020
"God's Work, Our Hands." 2019
"God's Work, Our Hands." 2018
"God's Work, Our Hands." 2017