Each year when Thanksgiving boxes are distributed, Carol Brashears and her team of volunteers give our community recipients an opportunity to fill out a prayer request as they leave. TLC members then pray for these people. Here are two examples of what we have received:
This is the first time I have had to ask for help and it’s very hard. This is not really a prayer but a thank you because I did not believe I was about to lose my home that I worked very hard and something happened. So thank you. God bless you.
Love, Taylor & Eric.
I pray to love God and I hope He loves me and everybody else. I hope, I hope. That’s what I want to say.
LETTER FROM GRATEFUL SCHOOL STAFF
Dear Carol, Jeff, and volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church,
At the end of another school year, we are taking time to reflect back and thank members of a community who have supported our students’ needs. When communities and schools work together, students are more successful!
Eastern Elementary staff members are beyond appre- ciative of all the services that Trinity provided this past year to make our school a better place! We thank you for weekly nutritious Micah’s food bags and the turkeys and Thanksgiving food boxes for our students and families in need. Thanks too for the testing mints and all the prize incentives for students who receive them for showing re- spect, readiness, and responsibility.
The generous support from individuals like you made it possible for our school to better meet the needs of our students and families. Again, thank you! You truly made a difference! Looking forward to continuing our partner- ship with Trinity Lutheran Church!
Vanessa Mannick, School Family Liaison
Picking up a bag of lentils offered at our Food Pantry, the woman asked us, “How do I eat this?”
Often preparation of fresh foods given us by our local grocery is also questioned. So Tim Higgins (a dietitian, nutritionist, and chef at Meritus Medical Center) and Jeff Reed presented a three-day program at our Food Pantry, “Cooking for the Seasons,” this past November. Tim, along with Catherine Feaga, DO, a family practice physician, and Kezia Ellison, MD, a Meritus family medicine resi- dent, set up tables of food prepared for our outreach guests, using provisions provided to us by the Maryland Food
Bank. To taste and learn how to make healthy recipes with ingredients from the Food Pantry, guests were shown the products before use (in this case lentils, pork loin, rice, green peppers, peas), the recipes to follow, and then an opportunity to sample the dishes, which included lentil soup, lentil tacos, lentils and rice, pork stew, pork roast, and roasted peppers.
The result was wonderful warm samplings, appreciative guests, and a desire to continue this collaboration in 2020. Thanks to Tim, Jeff, and the team at Meritus for making the sharing of food with families more practical, healthy, and meaningful.
ON THE MOVE
As the number of hungry grows and as TLC volun- teers continue to age, the Outreach Team, in collabora- tion with the Property Team, determined new room as- signments to allow easier access to the tons of food moved into and around the church for distribution. Food that had been stored two hallways away from the Food Pantry is now more available to staff, located in Jeff’s old office next to the Food Pantry. Jeff is down the hall next to the Lit- eracy Council Room. Thanks to all who helped make the moving possible during the holiday break!
Also, many thanks to Ed and Jane Drawbaugh for put- ting new flooring over the asbestos tiles of the Food Pan- try. It is a cleaner, safer, and padded(!) surface for volun- teers to use.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The Food Pantry needs cereal, chicken noodle soup, boxed desserts, and crackers. The Clothing Bank needs towels, blankets, sheets, toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, and shampoo.
“And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth. We get to give away what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect it will haveforyearstocome.Andallofit…allofitiscom- pletely worth it.”—Nadia Bolz-Weber, Lutheran minister
– June Habeck Holler
Here are some ways you may become involved in this ministry:
- Join a team that meets once a month to pack the bags. This takes approximately ½ hour of time and is usually done on a Sunday or Monday.
- Deliver the bags to the schools. This is a once a month commitment. This is done on a Wednesday or Thursday and can be anytime from early morning (7 am) to early evening (6pm) at Bester Elementary and 9 am to 4 pm at Eastern.
- Contribute financially to Micah’s so food may be purchased.
We could use any help. It is possible for you to even pair with another person to help out on an every other month basis.
Interested in helping Pack or Deliver?
Please contact Carol Brashears
301-992-5016 or Brash115@aol.com.
Please pray this week a prayer from Moravian Daily Texts 2020 for January 9: Lord, you breathed life into us; Christ, you have paid the price for our sins. Each day the Holy Spirit surrounds, encourages, and guides us. May our life be a window for others to see our faith in action and lead them to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
We also ask God to bless the efforts of Trinity staff and members to be aware of, and minister to, the needs in the congregation and in the Hagerstown community.
PRAYER VENTURES: January 2020
These petitions are offered as guides to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.
1 What is the significance of your name? On this day we recall the naming of Jesus and pray that when we hear, say or think his name, we will recognize him as our salvation, our uniter and our sure source of love, forgiveness and new life.
2 Throughout National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, remember in prayer the men, women and children who are victims of this global tragedy, which disproportionately affects women and girls. Pray for an end to human trafficking and that all who suffer its abuse, injustice and oppression may find freedom, support, healing and safety, especially in our communities of faith.
3 Give thanks for the cloud of faith-filled witnesses who surround us as mentors of faith, vocation and life skills, enriching our lives through their example and sharing their faith, wisdom and knowledge.
4 Pray for the people and communities affected by the recent fires in California, that they will not lose hope but will experience God’s presence and encouragement through the care and support of others. Give thanks for the work of Lutheran Disaster Response — with the California synods, Lutheran Social Services of Northern California and Lutheran Social Services of Southern California — to respond with physical, emotional and spiritual care.
5 Pray that the Holy Spirit will help us bear witness in the world to the light and truth of Jesus Christ, that we will be infused with enthusiasm for inviting others to believe and follow, and that all will experience the grace and fullness of God.
6 Feast of Epiphany God’s glory is revealed to us in Jesus Christ, born among us and immersed in the messiness, complexity and commonness of humanity for the sake of the world. Pray that we will recognize God’s divine presence and activity in the world for the redemption and healing of humankind and for the nurturing of our lives to better emulate Jesus.
7 Give thanks for the gift of wisdom that comes from God. Pray that our faith, with the encouragement of the Spirit, will compel us to share, teach and cultivate God’s wisdom and ways among all people — young and old alike.
8 Give thanks and praise to God that we are adopted and called children of God through Jesus Christ, an immeasurable gift of grace, love and forgiveness in which we are immersed.
9 Pray for the ministries that have received ELCA World Hunger Big Dream Grants, which support domestic ministries as they pursue innovative and sustainable approaches to ending hunger. Ask God to help their work flourish and inspire others to seek new ways of ending hunger and lifting the human family.
10 The good news of Jesus Christ embodying God’s love, forgiveness and promise of eternal life is for all humanity; no one should be excluded from this good news and mystery of grace. Ask that the Spirit fill and inspire us to speak enthusiastically about our faith and serve our neighbor — every neighbor — in the name of Christ.
11 Do you have goals, plans, hopes and ventures for this new year? Give thanks and take comfort and courage in the promise of God’s love, forgiveness, renewing Spirit and acceptance of us just as we are — in all our human endeavors.
12 Washed in the waters of baptism and touched by the Spirit, Jesus began his ministry and was made known to the world as the Son of God bringing the light and truth of God to the world. Remember in prayer how we are cleansed and renewed daily through our baptism, filled with the Holy Spirit, prepared for a life of praising God and serving our neighbor, and called to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
13 Pray for people who struggle with substance abuse and addictions and for those who are working to rebuild their lives and relationships through sobriety and the support of companions who understand the challenges of recovery. Pray that they will have faith in God’s unwavering love and forgiveness in moments of despair, joy, accomplishment, weakness and stumbling.
14 God’s voice and presence throughout creation are powerful and awesome. Give glory and praise to God as a humble member of the body of Christ, seeking God’s strength each day.
15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Give thanks for saints, martyrs and leaders, throughout history and today, who have dedicated their lives to racial justice, equality for all people and an end to racism and discrimination, and who stand with the neglected or weary. Pray that our actions, words and service for the sake of our neighbor will be inspired and guided by the witness and example of these bold leaders.
16 Pray for ELCA churchwide staff, volunteers and planning committees as they prepare for “boundless: God beyond measure,” the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis. Ask the Spirit to guide them as they help youth, young adults and adults catch a glimpse and develop a deeper understanding of Christ’s love and what it means to live a life filled with God.
17 Give thanks that God shows no partiality or exclusivity in sharing love, mercy and forgiveness; the good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone and every nation!
18 The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins today. Give thanks for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical organizations and ministries with whom we journey together toward unity — unity that we celebrate and share in Jesus Christ.
19 Pray that in moments when God says, “Come and see” (meaning “trust and follow”), we demonstrate the same curiosity, hope and faith that moved the first disciples of Jesus, imperfect and uncertain as they were even when face-to-face with the Messiah.
20 Lift up in prayer the names of staff — paid and volunteer — whose vocation and faithful, generous service enhance and support the daily ministry and mission of our congregations and synods, including administrative assistants, business managers, custodians and people responsible for digital communications.
21 Pray for the leaders of every nation, including our own, that they will heal long-standing and recent rifts, pursue just and peaceful agreements and solutions for the well-being of the people they serve, and share resources to relieve hunger and poverty everywhere, without concern for profit or gain for any single nation.
22 Ask God to help us actively mend the suspicion and hatred in our nation and around the world that divide us, frustrate compassion and generosity, and undermine our understanding of how to live in community. Pray that where we are broken or in conflict, God will show us how to be whole.
23 Pray that we will find joy in following the will of God as it is written in our hearts and revealed in Scripture.
24 Thank God for our special relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a full communion partner with the ELCA since 1997; pray for the church, its diverse ministries and its members and leaders; and pray that together we will find mutual support, new partnerships and new resources for the work of sharing the gospel and serving our neighbor.
25 Conversion of Paul Reflect on how God has transformed you. Give thanks and praise to God for stirring our lives and calling us to be witnesses and servants doing God’s work in the world. And give thanks for our faith, our unique personal histories, our strengths and weaknesses, and our gifts and skills, even when we are uncertain of their usefulness and relevance in the body of Christ.
26 Praise God for Jesus’ life, teachings, ministry and personal example, which instruct us today as modern-day disciples called to follow Christ, share the gospel, serve our neighbor and grow the church in an ever-changing world.
27 Remember in prayer women of the early church, throughout history and today, whom God has called and equipped as witnesses, bearers and teachers of the faith, and leaders in every corner of the world. They are a blessing to the church.
28 Give thanks for theologians and teachers in our church, in our educational institutions and in our midst. Pray that God will grant them insight and wisdom to help us connect faith with daily life and deepen our understanding of God’s word, ways and desires for us.
29 Ask God for forgiveness for the conflicts that divide our church and our congregations. Pray that when we disagree, we will exercise humility, love, respect and reconciliation, remembering and reaffirming our unity of spirit and purpose as siblings in Christ.
30 Ask God to help us when we feel discouraged or overwhelmed by or detached from the difficult challenge of reducing gun violence. Pray for wisdom, courage and boldness in advocating for legislation and cultural shifts that, though complex or unpopular, will protect the gift of life and honor the handiwork of our Creator.
31 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Praise God and shout with joy!
Joyful Noise. Our children’s choir has been going full steam since early September. Each week we learn songs for the vari- ous seasons and have a craft project or a group activity. The children this “semester” have been quite energetic, but wonderful. The children have learned songs for autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and are now working on Christmas songs to be presented at a program sometime in December. The date is not yet available, but we will announce it as soon as we know it. The children seem to be responding and have slowly learned to trust us to be there and work with them each week. Jane Drawbaugh has been my right-hand resource in this venture, and we are thankful for our assisting “elves,” Marty Blake, Barb Jones, and Kathy King. This is a wonderful and very welcomed outreach from our church. Watch for updates.
If you have children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren who like to sing, we invite them to be part of this community children’s musical experience. Mondays, 4:30-5:15 p.m. Young people ages 5 thru 9 are welcome at the Elgin Station Community Center, 40 Elgin Blvd., Hagerstown.
for more information!
The Food Pantry needs any nonperishable items are welcome – crackers, oatmeal, and cake and cookie box mixes.
The Clothing Bank greatly needs blankets, sheets, towels, mens shoes, men’s boxer shorts, washcloths, and toiletries—especially shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and deodorant.
Please consider donating.
Join us at 9 a.m. at the Dutch Market at the Long Meadow Shopping Center. Not an exclusive group, just a gaggle of Lutherans enjoying breakfast and fellowship time. Started several years ago with a few men having coffee and now can number up to 20! Come as you are able to join. No assigned seats, no membership fee, just fun.
Ron Fisher will be hosting a Crochet and Knitting Fellowship Group in the parlor from 6p-8p. The group will meet the first and third Wednesday of each month. Come together to share ideas, work on projects for the community, do your own project, and bring your questions. Learning from each other is a great way to make friends and share ideas and a fun way to network and build your confidence in these arta! All who love the art of crochet and knitting are welcome; some basic skills are needed to work on projects.