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2018 Calendar

Looking for Mission Service Activities in advance?

nullHere's a year's worth of simple mission service activities, laid out in one document for ease of use. Print and display the calendar of activities, and mark them off as you do them.

Sharing Jesus' Love Through Action — A Year's Worth of Mission Service Activities PDF 


Get Started with the December Ideas

Nurturing Faith in Christ

Use an Advent wreath as more than a decoration. As you do your daily Advent devotion, light the candles and remember their significance.

Making Our Faith Meaningful

Sponsor a parents’ night out so that parents are able to do some Christmas shopping or decorating without little ones underfoot. Be sure to have licensed/certified babysitters on hand.
EXTRA CREDIT: Involve the youth from the congregation in caring for the children.

Sharing Encouragement

Organize a workshop for families to talk about what the Advent wreath means and help them create one for their home.

Reveal yourself to your “secret pal” prayer partner by inviting her to lunch or dinner.

View More Activities

December 2018


Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! - assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:17-24).

What a wonderful reminder from Saint Paul that we have been taught to put off our old selves and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. That’s why we make those New Year’s resolutions isn’t it – to try to put on our new self. Research reveals that New Year’s resolutions go back four thousand years to the ancient Babylonians. But, in modern times, we know what most resolutions amount to – losing weight, stopping smoking or other addictive habits, etc. What if we stopped focusing on the bad habits and worked on developing good habits? Of course, healthy eating is a good habit. But what about increased Bible reading/study, more daily prayer time, and working on memorization of key Bible passages? Likewise, we can vow to increase our time “out of the pew” by serving in our communities and professing our faith to those who don’t know about Jesus.

Do we need to wait until January 1 to do this? Of course not! But, we do need to be mindful about the goals we set. Who better to help us with that than the Holy Spirit? Before you make a list of resolutions for 2019, take plenty of time to pray about what God’s will is for you in the coming year. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you toward what’s most important. While you’re at it, take some time for self-examination to identify any “time wasters” that can be replaced with “faith sharing” activities. Consider the magnitude of Paul’s commitment in the passage below where, in the NIV version, the word “resolved” is used instead of “decided”. That’s some resolution!

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (1 Corinthians 2:1-3).

There is an abundance of resources available through the LWML and other LCMS organizations to help you find ideas for your resolutions. Some are categorized below. Perhaps begin your new year by selecting a different resource to review from each category.

LWML Christian Life Resources for Spiritual Growth:

  • Gather your LWML sisters together and start the New Year with this LWML Bible study on Resolutions.
  • Sign up for Mustard Seed Devotions and Two Minute Tuesday emails – click HERE

LWML Gospel Outreach Resources for Mission Service:

  • Read the stories on the I Love to Tell the Story page, and then resolve to write a story of your own!
  • Review the Paint the Planet Purple page to see what other groups are up to and then let the Gospel Outreach committee know what your group is up to!
  • Check out other opportunities for service by browsing the list of Gospel Outreach Resources outside of the LWML. Here you’ll find links to LCMS ministries (for example, the Lutheran Hour and the Lutheran Heritage Foundation) and LCMS recognized service organizations (RSO) (for example, Lutheran Bible Translators).

Keep Up with What’s Happening:

Get Organized:

  • Create a “year at a glance” calendar for your group which shows monthly deadlines, events, and opportunities for mission service. Be sure to get those on your congregational calendar as well so they appear in announcements, etc.
  • Review the LWML Leader Development resources available for help with mentoring, leader training, and event planning.

Take it to the Community:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (James 4:13-14).

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Father in Heaven, as we once again come to the end of one year and look toward the beginning of another, remind us that our plans are not always Your plans. Help us remember to always look to You for guidance. Help us to seek Your wisdom whenever we are making plans. Please Father, help us to know Your will and to pursue only what is pleasing to you. And, more than anything, Dear Father, help us to focus on our eternal life and to help others realize the same hope that we have in Your saving grace. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear what you resolved for 2019! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

November 2018


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).

The word “advent” is from the Latin word for “coming”, and as such, describes the “coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ into the flesh.

The traditional use of advent candle, sometimes held in a wreath, originated in eastern Germany even prior to the reformation. As this tradition came down to us by the beginning of this century, it involved three purple candles and one pink candle. Often a Christ candle is used in the center of the wreath and is lit along with the four advent candles.

The purple candles matched the purple paraments on the altar (purple for the royalty of the coming King). The pink candle was the third candle to be lit (not the fourth) on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent. “Gaudete” means “rejoice” in Latin, which is taken from Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice...the Lord is near!” Hence, a pink candle was used to signify rejoicing. Some also included a white “Christ candle” in the middle to be lit during the 12 days of Christmas, December 25 to January 5.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Organize a Wreath-Making Party at Your Church:

Creating an Advent wreath is a wonderful activity to do with children of all ages. And, a wreath-making party is a great way to invite unchurched friends, family and neighbors to your church!

Here are some tips for a successful gathering:

  1. Be sure to schedule the event well in advance of Thanksgiving before people are consumed with all the other holiday distractions. Publicize it well!
  2. Plan to offer child care or alternate activities for infants and toddlers. That will allow parents with school-aged children to work together without distractions.
  3. To insure a smooth flow and to allow time for other activities, consider preparing kits ahead of time. The kit should include:
    1. The wreath components – candles, base, candle-holders, artificial greenery, decorations, holly, pine cones, fasteners, etc.
    2. Detailed step-by-step instructions
    3. Descriptions of what each component of the wreath represents – you may find this FAQ entry from the LCMS web site useful.
    4. A family Advent devotion booklet or these resources:
      1. LCMS Evening Meal Advent Devotions - Note: you may wish to download the Word version and update the dates for 2018 or the current year.
      2. LWML Advent Paper Chain
      3. LWML Reverse Advent Calendar
  4. Recruit the youth group to be helpers.
  5. Offer simple snacks like popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate or cider.
  6. Finish the evening off with a short Christmas video and a devotion.
Taking it to the Community:

You can also share Advent wreaths and devotions in other ways such as:

  • Advent wreath kits and child-friendly devotions could be included in Thanksgiving baskets distributed to needy families.
  • Already assembled Advent wreaths and Advent devotional booklets could be taken to shut-ins, nursing homes, homeless shelters, safe houses for domestic abuse, and facilities for unwed mothers.
Other Resources:

There are countless videos and web sites with ideas for making Advent wreaths. Here are just a few:

Resources such as children’s books and activities can be found on the Concordia Publishing House web site. Here are some suggestions:

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for sending your Son Jesus to us. Please now send Your Holy Spirit to us that we might prepare our hearts for Jesus’ return. We ask that you keep us focused on what is important during the season of Advent. Help us to seize the many opportunities to share the joy of Christmas with others, especially those who do not know of Your precious saving grace. Amen.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

October 2018


Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action — An Attitude of Gratitude!

We certainly can find many scripture references to confirm that our great God expects us all to have an “Attitude of Gratitude.” For example:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).

And, we know that God encourages us to share what He provides and to care for those less fortunate:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:26-27).

God empowers our attitude with action for others …

One way to prompt action is to organize your thanks-giving into categories such as personal, community, and global. SPECIAL NOTE: The ideas listed below apply to ALL generations — this is a wonderful way to help children learn to have an “attitude of gratitude”!

For personal blessings you might take action in these ways:

  1. Write thank-you notes to all the people who serve you in some way — doctors, teachers, supervisors, babysitters, you name it! Be specific about how they are a blessing to you. Include a Bible verse such as — I thank my God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:3). If possible, hand-deliver these.
  2. Share time with people who have blessed you, find ways to be a blessing to them. Take your parents to lunch, babysit for a neighbor who has mowed your lawn — the possibilities are endless!
  3. Send a special mite offering in honor of someone who has been a blessing to you.

For local and community blessings, consider these options:

  1. Assemble Thanksgiving baskets (bags, boxes, etc.) for families in need.
    1. Solicit names of families from local schools, food banks, or social service agencies such as the Salvation Army. Be sure to ask your pastor if there is anyone in your own congregation who might be in need.
    2. Include everything needed to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, etc. Some churches include a Bible or a child’s Bible.
    3. Have volunteers deliver the baskets the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Prepare Thanksgiving treat bags for distribution at a nursing home. Be sure to check with the nursing home staff to get a list of things that are most useful and safe for the residents.
    1. Include non-food items such as socks, lotion, stamps, and note cards. For more ideas refer to the Gospel Outreach Toolkit.
    2. Be sure to include a devotional such as Comfort from the Psalms Large Print Mustard Seeds.
    3. Gather a group to go to a facility and hand out the treat bags.
  3. Consider having Sunday school classes write letters to nursing home residents or church members who are shut-ins.
  4. Some churches gather for a Thanksgiving dinner for members who have no family nearby, other than their church family of course! Why not extend that to the community?
  5. Remember first responders in your community by baking cookies for the closest police department or fire house. Deliver them before lunch time with a heartfelt note of thanks for their service. Let them know you pray for their safety — and then follow through on that!
  6. Reach out to the military service people in your church and community by sending them care packages. Include a note thanking them for their service and promising to pray for them. You might also have a special offering for the purchase of Military BibleSticks. Your donations allow military chaplains to order the Military BibleSticks at no charge for the troops who protect our nation and preserve our freedoms.

For global blessings, remember missionaries around the world in these ways:

  1. Send care packages to missionaries supported by your congregation. Refer to the Caring for Missionaries page on the LWML website.
  2. Publicize LWML mission projects at both the district and national level by displaying posters and featuring them in church bulletins and newsletters. Refer to the Mission Grant Resources page on the LWML website.
  3. Hold a special LWML mite thank-offering one Sunday at church. Suggest that people dedicate their mite offering in the name of someone special.

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Father in Heaven, how can I possibly find enough words to express my thanks to you for sending your Son to die in my place? Father, I can’t ever be perfect like Jesus but I can strive to adopt a servant attitude like His. Please, through the gift of your Holy Spirit, lead me in the direction you would have me go — put people in my path and love in my heart. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Looking Ahead:

Get ready for Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. You can practice your “attitude of gratitude” AND double your impact thanks to the generosity of two donors who will match up to $20,000. Find out more at

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

September 2018

Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action –  October is Pastor Appreciation Month!


[Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons] Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap (I Timothy 3:1-7).

Can you think of any other job where an employee must be on call 24x7x365, carry the emotional burdens of dozens of people, be held to a higher standard of behavior just because of the position, and still find time for a personal and family life? It’s no wonder we hear some depressing statistics around pastor burnout. Take a few moments to think about your pastor (or pastors) or other church workers you know. Do you think there might be something you and your LWML sisters might be able to do to lighten their loads and lift them up? The month of October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month so now is the time to organize some activities to do just that!

Pastors and Church Workers are God’s Gifts to Us:

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Let’s remember that pastors and teachers are given to us to help us learn God’s word and to carry out God’s will on Earth. Where would we be without them!? Who would we ask when we have tough questions? Who would we turn to when faced with illness or grief? Who joins with us in the celebrations of baptism and marriage? Why, of course, our pastors!

Ways to Show Support:

Here are just a few ways you can support the pastors and church workers in your congregation:

  • Take some time to talk with your pastor one-on-one to tell him how much you appreciate him and ask what you and your LWML sisters can do to support him.
  • Review the LWML Toolkit for Pastor Support. This resource has several ideas for encouraging and uplifting your pastor.
  • Refer your pastor and other church workers to the LWML Church Workers in Mission page on the LWML web site.
  • Share this LWML Leader Development tip titled Staying Energized as a Leader.
  • Suggest that your congregational leaders review the tasks your pastor performs with the goal of identifying those tasks that could be performed by lay workers. In other words, if your pastor is regularly doing things that don’t require a seminary degree – maybe someone else should be doing them!

Additional Resources:

Here are some links to other resources you may find helpful:

  • An LCMS blog post titled An Ounce of Prevention provides information about Grace Place Lutheran Wellness Ministries, a Registered Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS.
  • Another LCMS blog post, Church-Worker Wellness: When One Suffers…, provides additional information about resources to support church workers.
  • The article How to Avoid Pastor Burnout from “The Parish Paper”, published by the Michigan District, explains major causes of burnout and how to address them.

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Father in Heaven, please bring to our minds all those who serve us as pastors and teachers. Help us be mindful of their needs and to show support for them. Father, help us also remember that we are partners in ministry with them and that we too are charged with bringing your Word to the lost and erring. Thank you God for placing these men and women in our lives. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

August 2018

School Kits for Youth in Mexico


When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:14–16).

As our summer is soon coming to an end we need to start thinking about our children, grand-children and great-grand-children returning back to school. In this month’s Mission Servant Activity we will look at ways that we can help those families who may be struggling to make ends meet and how we can help support their children as they return to school.

Education in Mexico is only free through the sixth grade, and if a child or family desires to continue their education, there are tuition payments to make. Often, these children are needed to enter the job market in order to help the family earn money, or because there is no money to pay for middle school, high school, and college.

Ysleta Lutheran Mission wants children and teens to escape the cycle of poverty, crime, and violence that is ravaging the communities they serve in Juarez and Anapra in Mexico. A “Stay in School” scholarship is available to youth in Mexico who demonstrate academic potential and great economic hardship. This year, Ysleta Lutheran Mission (YLM) will be distributing school kits (backpacks or bags filled with assorted school supplies) on August twentieth and in mid-December.

Ideas to help YLM and children as they return to school:

  1. Have an ingathering at your church and collect school supplies and backpacks.
  2. Apply for Thrivent Action Team money to help with your collection of items.
  3. Serve a meal to help raise funds but collect a free-will offering instead of setting a price. Encourage attendees to donate school supplies and backpacks.
  4. At your Sunday service take a special offering for YLM school supplies and backpacks or have your Sunday school offering go to support YLM.

Other ways to help:

  1. Collect gently-worn or outgrown clothing for YLM. Engage, children, grand-children and great-grand-children by having them help clean out their closets.
  2. Hold a sneaker drive and see how many pairs of shoes you can collect.
  3. Collect new underwear and designate an “Undies Sunday” to pray for the children who will receive the underwear.

Other Resources:

  1. Orphan Grain Train School Kits and gently used or new clothing
  2. Lutheran World Relief School Kits
  3. Lutheran Border Concerns Ministry School Kits
  4. Give locally to ‘back to school’ efforts in your town, church, zone, or district.

Sharing Your Servant Activities:

Border Mission Gifts

Orphan Grain Train Headliner on May 31, 2018 stated that recently the Mitchell Zone, South Dakota District LWML had a spring workshop supporting OGT. They had Gifts from the Heart gathering which included putting together 130 school kits with backpacks for OGT to deliver to Ysleta Mission in El Paso, Texas. Some ladies from Armour Redeemer Lutheran Church in South Dakota brought the backpacks to OGT and then had a tour and volunteered for a few hours in the warehouse.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

July 2018

Sharing Jesus’ Love in Action — Loving through Laundrynull

Laundry! That’s something most of us are not crazy about, right? It’s one of those mundane chores that we typically dread. But, what if you didn’t have a washer and dryer? Or, what if you didn’t even have the money to wash your clothes at a laundromat? Sadly, it is the people in high-density, blue-collar, ethnically-diverse areas who are most dependent on laundromats. With average costs around $2 per wash and dry, a family with four loads of wash per week would spend $16 per week or $64 per month. For low-income families that’s a big chunk of change! So, what can we do to help? Enter “Loads of Love” as implemented by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Russellville, Arkansas.

The concept behind “Loads of Love” is simple. Find a laundromat that will let your church team come once a month and pay for the clients’ laundry. At St John’s, the team selected the last Saturday of the month since that’s when people tend to be crunched for cash. They serve from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM or until the allotment of quarters ($300 per month) runs out. They also provide a free lunch which normally consists of a hot dog, chips, water, and cookie.

Another congregation, Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, enlists the youth to put the money in the machines and hand out the laundry soap. They even carry the finished laundry out to the clients’ cars! The LWML provides cookies and punch as well as church brochures. The event is so popular that the laundromat puts out a sign a week ahead announcing when the free laundry is available.

Of course, clean laundry isn’t the only objective of “Loads of Love.” While the clients are waiting for the wash and dry cycles to complete, the church team has an opportunity to visit with, listen to, and show Christ’s love to them. Many of the clients are regulars who have come to know and love the volunteers. This is also an opportunity to share Christian literature, including information about the church and services, with the clients and to pray with and for them.

For more information about starting a “Loads of Love” ministry contact Mollie Haines at 479-567-0935 or

God’s word commands us to take care of the poor:

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land (Deuteronomy 15:11, NIV).

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along (Galatians 2:10, NIV).

Other Ways to Show “Laundry Love”:

laundry basket with colorful towels and flowersIn every community there are ministries and agencies that house people (homeless, disabled, at risk, etc.) In most cases those facilities may have washers and dryers but they are usually in need of detergent and fabric softener. Others may not have laundry facilities but would like to install them. Here are some ways you can reach out to them.

  • Contact the ministry and ask if they need laundry supplies. Ask if they have specific requirements since some washing machines require special detergents.
  • Organize a collection of laundry supplies. Use a hamper and a laundry basket as receptacles for the contributions.
  • Collect cash donations to fund laundry supplies. Send a small “laundry basket” home with each family to remind them to contribute to their laundry fund. You can furnish a list of thank-offering prompts such as “put in a nickel for every pair of socks you own”.
  • Hold a fund-raiser in the form of a game night. Serve light refreshments, award laundry-themed door prizes (mesh bags for delicate items, hanging clothes pins, dryer balls, etc.), collect laundry supplies, and set up games such as “pin the sock on the dryer,” “dryer sheet toss,” and “match the socks.”

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Heavenly Father, so often we take for granted the simple gifts you’ve given us, like clean clothes. Please make us aware of those for whom clean clothing is not so simple, especially when that might impede their ability to find work. Particularly help us recognize the needs in our community and show us how to satisfy them. Make us bold, Father, to go out into our community to meet the people who need our help. Send the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say and to be able to show love to people who might not be just like us. They are all your precious children. Amen.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities


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