Our Justice and Service Team plans regularly plans events to serve the local community, region, and world. Here are examples:
Food: We regularly contribute to local food pantries and keep an informal one in our own building.
Refugee Support: Each Fall we collect personal care items that are donated to Ascentria Care Alliance and then shared with resettled refugees and others.
Diapers: We contribute diapers to the Diaper Depot at Christ Episcopal Church and they are then shared with the wider Waltham community.
Summer Habitat for Humanity Build in El Salvador: Roughly 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 next build is being planned for the summer of 2021. 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: We regularly organize “flash events” held after Sunday worship services. Borrowing from the idea of “flash mobs” where people come together for a specific purpose and then quickly disperse, at our “flash events” children, youth, and adults are invited to engage in a service project as they leave worship. Through these events we have:
- Prepared lunches 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.
- Written Christmas cards to women and children in detention centers
Engaging Children: We also seek opportunities for engaging children. Examples include:
- Having children and youth support local and national feeding programs through Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger.
- Having children share in the support of the Waltham Fields Community Farms Outreach Market
- Each July welcome nearly 100 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 justice … all at no charge to the participants.
Affordable Housing: Through a separate 501c-3 non-profit corporation set up by church members in the 1970s, members of our congregation (serving on the Nelson Board) oversee nine units of affordable housing and care for tenant concerns. A portion of this housing is reserved for senior citizens.