More than five boxes of books, magazines, crossword and word search puzzles, and toiletry items were donated to Lutheran Senior Services through a Gifts from the Heart ingathering at the October Interdepartmental Meeting.
Are you near Sioux City, Iowa?
Click to check out this service opportunity near you, which supports one of our mission grants!
Mission Servants Activity of the Month
Birthday Party for Jesus!
Everyone loves birthday parties! What better way to focus on the true meaning of Christmas by celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Invite your congregation, and the neighborhood to participate.
- DECORATE — Christmas tree decorated with mite boxes, birthday balloons, streamers, tablecloths, tableware, and party favors (Jesus’ birthday party ware is available online).
- ACTIVITIES —
- Have a Nativity play.
- Sing Christmas Hymns.
- Make Christian Christmas crafts.
- Write down things you have done for Jesus and deposit them into a decorated shoe box with a slit on top (sharing God’s love, encouraging others, obeying, doing something for someone else). Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Take time to share some of these with the group.
- Make birthday cards for Jesus, put them under your tree, and read them to Him on Christmas morning.
- Provide a Christmas book for each child that attends (see list below).
- FOOD — “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake. Sing Happy Birthday. Put candles on each piece of cake. Blow out candles. Have a discussion — “What would Jesus ask for if He blew out the candle?”
- GIFTS —
- Bring can goods to donate to the local Food Bank (place them under the tree).
- Everyone takes a mite box home to fill by December 25th. (Place a quarter in for every pair of shoes you own, for every tool you own, for every purse you own, for every Christmas present you buy for family and friends, for every blessing you received this year, etc.
Baby Shower for Jesus!
This is another fun way to look forward to the birth of our Lord and Savior. Invite your whole congregation to participate.
- DECORATE —
- You can decorate for a shower.
- Decorate your Christmas tree with baby bottles (available at local pregnancy center), and encourage everyone to take one home to fill with coins for your local pregnancy center. Set a date for return of the bottles. A suggested date is on or before January 21, 2018, which is Life Sunday.
- ACTIVITIES —
- Have a Nativity play.
- Shower games that reflect the story of Jesus' birth.
- GIFTS —
- Everyone brings a shower gift for baby Jesus. You may also ask for gently used clothes to help with the needs of older siblings. Ask your local center for their “needs list.”
Use the Celebrate Jesus ideas to spread the Gospel and inspire others to do the same. Use a Thrivent Action Team for seed money for your project to purchase items for “Birthday Party for Jesus!” or “A Baby Shower for Jesus.”
Extension — Sharing God's Love
- Invite a woman in a nursing home to come to the event with you.
- Go Christmas Caroling to the homebound in your congregation, and to a nursing home.
- Bake cookies, or make a meal for a single mom, a widow, or widower.
- Make “Bundles of Joy.” Sew baby quilts. Put diapers, baby wipes, onesie, other baby items, Bible, and Mustard Seeds for Young Mothers in the center of the quilt. Tie the quilt up into a bundle with a big ribbon. Distribute these to a hospital, pregnancy center, or other community organization.
- For the month of December:
- Set up a community babysitting service for parents on Saturdays.
- Volunteer one day a week at a nursing home, pregnancy center, hospital, mission, or food bank.
- Send an extra mite gift to LWML at www.lwml.org
- Send a mission gift to LCMS at lcms.org/givenow
Books to Celebrate Jesus’ Birth
Concordia Publishing House - Arch Books
- O Bethlehem, by Petersen Tietz, Joan Item #: 591579
- Baby Jesus Is Born, by Truitt, Gloria Item #: 591579
- When Jesus Was Born, by Hartman, Sara Item #: 592209
- Mary's Christmas Story, by Olive, Teresa Item #: 591499
- Star of Wonder, by Hinkle, Cynthia Item #: 591594
- Once Upon a Clear Dark Night, by Burkart, Jeff Item #: 592243
- The Shepherds Shook in Their Shoes, by Michelle Medlock Adams Item #: 592234
- The Christmas Promise, by Bohnet, Eric Item #: 592225
- Oh, Holy Night! by Petersen Tietz, Joan Item #: 592252
- A Birthday Party for Jesus, by Susan Jones
- 'Twas the Evening of Christmas, by Glenys Nellist
- The Christmas Baby, by Marion Dane Bauer
- God Gave Us Christmas, by Lisa Tawn Bergren
- The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, by Jan Berenstain
- Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale, by Martin Waddell
- The Legend of the Poinsettia, by Tomi dePaola.
The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission servant activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at email@example.com. Thank you!
Caring for the Needy
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. (Psalm 41:1, NIV)
One of the most common excuses for not giving to the needy is: ‘I had to work hard for what I’ve got; so should they.’ True, the Bible teaches that if you’re not willing to work you’re not entitled to support (2 Thessalonians 3:1). But did you know: 1) Six million children under five die every year of starvation? 2) One out of seven people goes to bed hungry every night? 3) The three richest people on the planet have more collective wealth than the combined gross national product of the world’s forty-eight poorest countries? General Booth, who founded the Salvation Army, said, ‘How can you convince a man of the love of God if his feet are perishing with the cold?’ If your prayers aren’t being answered, here’s something to consider. The Israelites fasted and prayed, then complained that God wasn’t answering their prayers. That’s when He told them: ‘This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice … get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts … I’m interested in seeing you … sharing your food with the hungry … putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then, when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, “Here I am”’ (Isaiah 58:6-9, MSG). When you care for the needy, the Lord promises to ‘deliver [you] in times of trouble’ (Psalm 41:1, NIV) — and you can take that to the bank.
Heavenly Father, help me to live simply so others can simply live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities, November 16, 2015.
LWML Gifts from the Heart Tool Kit is a collection of suggestions that you can use for Gifts from the Heart in your society, zone or district.
"… consecrating our hands to work for Him"
“... pledging our willing service wherever and whenever He has need of us."
"… assisting each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God"
For more information, please contact us through LWML email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving you and our Lord with gladness.
— Mission Servant Committee