Ministry of Service
We believe that just as serving others was a central part of the ministry that Jesus led, it is also a central part of our calling as well. We believe that we are called to act with compassion and to reach out without concern of what we might (or might not) receive in return.
Since God’s love is given to us by grace alone (“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-- not the result of works, so that no one may boast” Ephesians 2.8-9) we feel led to reach out to others simply as an act of grace as well. The missions of this church reflect our desire to share God’s love through straightforward acts of kindness without regard to who might (or might not) join us, or if God might reward us, or if the receiver of our gifts would agree with our theology.
Various missions of this church are listed below:
Communion Visitation Team—We are dedicated to maintaining our relationships with those members of our church who are no longer able to come and worship with us. Members of our Communion Visitation Team receive training and support as they take communion to those of our members who are no longer able to come to us for worship and fellowship. Once a month we recognize this team and the compassion they share as we offer a blessing of the communion they bring out into the community.
Maple Creek Communion and Fellowship—A good number of our members now live on the Maple Creek Campus, and we love gathering with them on the third Thursday of each month (at 3:30) to share in an informal Communion service followed by refreshments and a time of casual fellowship. This ministry has really blossomed over the past two years! We’re so pleased that our friends at Maple Creek have invited their friends to come and join them for this time.
Quilting—Each week (during the school year) a group of our members gather to share lunch and put together quilts. Many of the finished quilts decorate our sanctuary before being given away to hospitals, new born babies, and local (as well as distant) missions. They are artistic expressions of the gifts that our members have, lovingly made, and freely shared for those in need.
Knitting--Our Faithful Knitters continue a wonderful ministry of knitting or crocheting prayer shawls and baby blankets. These are distributed to places like Alpha Women's Center, Michigan Veterans Facility, Ronald McDonald House, Kent County Health Department and Booth Family Center.
Samaritans Purse—This congregation participates in Operation Christmas Child by gathering small gifts for children around the world. Shoeboxes are filled with gifts appropriate to boys and girls in different age ranges. The boxes are then gathered and delivered to those in need... often in far away places.
Angel Tree—During Advent we have an Angel Tree in the Narthex (Lobby) on which you will find labels that identify a person by age and gender. Members of our congregation are encouraged to take a label and shop for a gift that would be appropriate for this person. These gifts are then gathered and distributed throughout the community.
Mitten Tree—The mitten tree reminds us not to let anyone go to school or work during the cold winter months without something to keep their hands and head warm. Gloves, mittens and hats of various styles and sizes are donated through this project to those in need in our community and around the state.
Holiday Food Baskets—Before Thanksgiving and Christmas our congregation gathers food and donates money to fill food baskets for families in need in our neighborhoods. Then we gather as a community, young and old, to assemble the food—turkeys and hams and stuffing and cranberries, and a variety of other staples—in boxes in time for a very special Holiday meal. Last year we assembled and distributed over thirty-five boxes for each Holiday.
Latvia, Honduras, and Papua, New Guinea—These our companion churches around the globe. We strive to remember and support them through prayer and financial offerings as the share in the mission of Christ with us in their contexts and among the people in their communities.
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (LSSM)—This expression of our church reaches out to the elderly, refugees, and children in need of Foster Care around our state. We are excited by the work they do as they express God’s love through concrete acts of compassion and we strive to support this organization through volunteer participation in their work and financial support of their programs.
North West Lower Michigan Synod and ELCA—The people of Faith Lutheran Church support the ongoing missions of our Synod and the national ELCA organizations. The funds we send to these larger expressions of our body provide for higher education settings (Lutheran Colleges and Seminaries), assistance for new churches, and coordinated efforts for providing services to those in need.
Special Appeals and Special Projects—Along with these missions we also remain open and attentive to the needs of those around neighborhoods, and around our world, who are in need. In the last few years, the people of Faith have responded with generosity to the victims of floods, earthquakes, storms, and violence. We have donated to the health and welfare of others through the Heifer Project, malaria prevention and protection campaigns, clean and accessible water projects, Lutheran World relief.
North End Community Ministry (NECM) - Provides services in those within the community. NECM offers a pantry 9am to 12:30pm Tuesday-Thursday. Parking in the city lot at Carman and Spencer. Some of the resources include a personal care pantry, food pantry, a supper house - offering warms meals on Tuesday & Thursdays, educational classes, infant and toy closet, back to school resources & so much more! www.necmgr.org