Our Justice and Service Team plans regularly plans events to serve the local community, region, and world. Here’s some of what we have been engaged in recently:
Gathering of Food: in response to food insecurity among international students at a local university we are contributing to a food pantry there, as well as to an informal one in our own church building.
Refugee Support: a collection of personal care items was donated thru Ascentria and given to resettled refugees and others in the Worcester area.
Diaper Donation: in honor of children baptized in the congregation donated to the Diaper Depot at Christ Episcopal Church
Summer Habitat for Humanity Build in El Salvador: Every other summer a First Lutheran team travels to El Salvador to participate in a build. During the trip, team members engage in rigorous work, and foster relationships through a local Salvadoran Lutheran congregation. Our most recent trip was in August of 2018 and our next build is being planned for the summer of 2020. Youth aged 16 and older may participate if accompanied by a parent.
The intersection of faith and life. We are continually seeking to foster conversations on relevant issues and address the intersection of faith and the complexities in daily life.
Flash Events: Roughly once a month we organize a “flash event” for after worship. Borrowing from the idea of “flash mobs” where people come together for specific purpose, work together, and then quickly disperse; at our “flash events” children, youth, and adults leave worship and engage in a service project. Through these events we have:
- Regularly prepared lunch for guests of the Waltham Community Day Center.
- Packed Cold Weather Kits and Valentine’s Day Goodie Bags for homeless persons in our community.
- Prepared blankets and personal care kits shared with refugees and others through our partnership with Lutheran World Relief.
We also engage in Justice and Service in a variety of other ways; here are a few current examples.
- Engaged our children and youth in supporting local and national feeding programs through Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger.
- Helped plan The Waltham Community Food Walk to support the Waltham Fields Community Farms Outreach Market
- We welcomed 95 children and youth to our one-week, 9 am to 3 pm, vacation Bible school program where we provided a robust program, lunch and snack, Bible stories and engagement in issues of food justice … all at no charge to the participants.