Where is God leading Elim?
At our congregational meeting in January 2016, we adopted a proposal to explore to what mission and ministry God is calling the people of Elim. We were invited to a discussion of how to discern this through a time of listening and a time of each member recommitting their own involvement in the life of Elim through worshiping, learning, serving and giving.
For a year a small group met to discuss this and be in prayer together. A prayer service focused on God’s vision for us. We gathered together for quiet prayer, Scripture reading, and song as we listened for God’s voice. During Sunday morning fellowship times we had lively discussions about the four areas being considered. (To read a summary of these discussions, please click here.)
AREAS OF FOCUS:
- Generating respite care for families and patients in hospice, exploring ways to support the ill and dying and their caregivers. This idea is being expanded to include looking at senior services in general.
- Building caring relationships with military families of our community, seeking to serve them and make their transitions more joyous and peaceful.
- Sharing our land as a place of healing and prayer by creating a community garden, a labyrinth/healing garden, and spiritual walkway.
- Listening to the needs of the homeless and hungry, pursuing ways to meet their needs of home, food and friendship. To gain more information, members have attended city council meetings on homelessness and a volunteer training at Coffee Oasis (which has a ministry with homeless and at-risk youth in our community). Pastor Tim Blair shared what is being done in Port Orchard for the homeless. “Food on the 1st” builds on what we have already ready been doing to support Helpline, our local food bank.
PROPOSAL PRESENTED AND ADOPTED AT 2017 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING:
We, as the faith community gathered at Elim Lutheran Church, embrace our mission to be to aid in ending hunger and homelessness, both locally and globally, and to develop a ministry that supports that mission.
The Mission Discernment Team presented the above proposal to our people for approval and support at the 2017 annual congregational meeting and it was adopted by those gathered at the meeting. Please click here to read more.
PUTTING OUR MISSION INTO ACTION:
The following activities have been started or continued as we move our mission into the world:
- During Sunday morning fellowship we make “plarn” (yarn out of plastic bags) to be used to make sleeping mats for the homeless and assemble care packs to be given to the homeless.
- Thursdays our women use part of their gathering time to crochet the plarn into sleeping mats.
- A community garden was begun the summer 2017 with six raised beds producing about 30 pounds of produce. In 2018 we added height to the beds as well as better garden soil and steer manure. Tools, a wheelbarrow and materials for a storage box were purchased and 166 pounds of produce were harvested! Funding for our garden has been provided through the generosity of Thrivent Financial and their Thrivent Action Team grants.
- Food on the 1st, a monthly focus of bringing donations for Helpline, has yielded over four tons of donations since January 2017! We are well on our way to our 5th ton.
- A monthly meal is served at Family Kitchen.
- Quilts, health kits, and school kits have been sent overseas through Lutheran World Relief.
God is on the move among us! We look forward to sharing this time with you!