Mission Moment: ELCA Hunger Fellows

Each week we are highlighting ministries that are supported by your weekly offerings.  We are grateful for your generosity as it helps us do what matters to God in Jesus’ name!  Please reprint these stories in your newsletters or share them during worship as mission moments as they help to answer the question, “Where does my offering go?”

By Abbigail Hull, ELCA World Hunger Fellow

Advocacy requires collaboration and a gaze towards the future. It was this vision that created the ELCA Hunger Advocacy fellowship. A program made possible by ELCA World Hunger, this fellowship is a year-long transformative experience that combines leadership development, faith formation, and impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed. This program is in its second year and has already received and developed thoughtful leaders with passion and fresh ideas.

Fellows are placed in various faith-driven public policy offices throughout the United States. The goal of the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is to build ELCA World Hunger’s capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

There are six hunger fellows this year, and one of them works with Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin under the leadership of its director, Rev. Cindy Crane.  We have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with both as LOPPW offices


Hunger Fellow, Kelsey Johnson – The Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW) – Madison

Kelsey Johnson has an active history with the church. Most recently, she served as a ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission (“YAGM”) volunteer in Jerusalem and the West Bank. At the Lutheran School in Ramallah (West Bank), she assisted with English and art classes. She has explored topics related to refugees, baptism, and accompaniment.

Kelsey graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. She has interests in writing, using social media and working with young people.  She shares how grateful she is for this opportunity to learn and serve:

“My experience serving as a Young Adults in Global Mission volunteer in Palestine was formative in shaping how I see accompaniment as the model for social justice in the world. I didn’t realize there was such a huge overlap and call for advocacy in the ELCA, and I was so excited when I heard the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin had received a grant for a Hunger Fellow. Though the fellowship is only in its second year, the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is an opportunity and space I have felt called to for quite a long time. So far it has been an informative and formative continuation of my YAGM year of service. It builds on the passion I have for social justice, and connects it to tangible issues in the state, while keeping a broad view of social justice and advocacy in the world.” 

Our synod and LOPPW is so blessed to have Kelsey walking together with us!  Please keep Kelsey and all the Hunger Fellows in your prayers!

Lutheran Social Services Mission Moment

 Off The Square Club Works with Neighbors to Foster Change Within Community

Fresh towels are something most of us take for granted. For members at Lutheran Social Services’ Off the Square Club in Madison, towels are a luxury. More than half the club members are homeless. With the addition of a shower thanks to ELCA congregations in the South Central Synod of Wisconsin, along with various corporations, foundations and generous individuals, club members have access to shower facilities.

This welcome addition brought with it a new challenge – providing fresh towels for clients. When Hampton Inn and Suites, of the Raymond Management Company, in downtown Madison learned of this challenge, they were determined to help LSS.

Hotel Manager Michael Luehrs and Assistant Manager Nicki Kelly came up with a plan to begin donating towels to Off the Square Club. Now two years later, Off the Square club receives three deliveries of towels from Hampton Inn and Suites Housekeeping Staff each week, with 25 towels in each delivery. Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan thanks that staff at Downtown Madison’s Hampton Inn and Suites for their commitment to meeting the needs of their neighbors.

Campaign for the ELCA and the Million Dollar Mission Jar Challenge Total Announced at Synod Assembly!

As you know, a year ago at our synod assembly, we announced the challenge for members of our congregations to raise $1/day for the ELCA.  $ 10,083.03 has been generously donated in support of the Campaign for the ELCA.  Thank you for your generosity for the ELCA mission and ministry!

 

$1 a day for the ELCA!

We invite you to prayerfully consider supporting Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA to continue and grow the work of the Church around the world. This year’s emphasis is Global Mission!

What can you do? How can your set this challenge in motion in your congregation?
Pick up a jar from the table at synod assembly and bring the jar back to your congregation. Introduce the Million Dollar Mission Jar challenge to your congregation (pastor, council, ministry teams, circles).

Look at the insert and notice that it is designed for individuals to personally choose which area(s) of the campaign they would like to support. This is where their hands will follow their heart. Individuals will be asked to send their payment directly to the synod, noting their congregation on the form. This simplifies the process for your staff.

At the end of the challenge, your congregation will receive a report of the total funds and how they were designated.

Visit the Synod website for downloadable resources, ideas for keeping the challenge going, and information on where you can purchase supplies. Watch the synod e-newsletter, What Matters, for the announcement of when these resources will be ready! (Mid-May)

Resources to help you launch the campaign in your congregation:
Mission Jar Challenge Flier
Mission Jar Challenge Labels – Black & White
Mission Jar Challenge Labels – Color
Instructions for inserts: Print these back to back & cut apart. Ther are three up on a page. They will easily insert into a mason jar. To order lids with coin slots, we recommend: http://www.fillmorecontainer.com/Closures-C26.aspx

 

What can you do? How can you personally participate and support?

  • Create your own jar and decorate with the Million Dollar Mission Jar Challenge insert.

  • Place the jar in a space where it will be seen: a kitchen counter, dining room table, night stand, etc.

  • Be reminded each time you see the jar to pray for families and communities near and far and consider how just a dollar a day will change lives.  Fill the jar!

  • When you are ready, remove the insert and tell us where you would like to designate your offering.  You can divide it or give to one initiative…this is where your heart and your hands meet.

  • You’ll need to convert your coins to a check and send it to the synod office at the address on the front of the form by March 31, 2018 to be counted in this year’s challenge.