One of the most significant messages received over and over again within the Gospels and from the life of Jesus is that we are to care for others and engage in life with others. As a community of faith, Messiah works hard to seek ways in which we can be blessed and be a blessing to those around us both in our immediate neighborhood and beyond nationally and globally. In stepping OUT, we are able to care for those in need in a variety of ways by providing meals, support in difficult times, conversation and generally reaching out to those we don’t know yet. Our missional efforts to live a life that emulates Christ are most effective through relationships and therefore, while we do engage in missional efforts that reach beyond where we live, we also strive to ensure that there is always the possibility of engaging in relationship with those we serve. We recognize that in serving others, we receive the opportunity to gain as much, if not more, through the relationships we develop than we can offer in terms of missional support. For us, this is stepping OUT with the love of Christ.
God’s Work; Our Hands Day of Service
Annually, in conjunction with our neighboring congregation, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos, we join with many congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accross the country by stepping out in service to the community and the world. There is no regularly scheduled worship service that day in order to engage in mission projects throughout the Redwood City area. We also take part in projects that serve those in need globally as well through our partners at Lutheran World Relief. After our service efforts, we gather together to share in a brief celebratory worship service and community bar-b-que. We are continuing with several of these projects on an ongoing basis. See below to find descriptions and pictures from the various projects that we've done in the past.
Lutheran World Relief - Personal Hygene Kits
Approximately 15 people gathered in Capel Hall to assemble LWR personal hygiene kits using the materials that were donated in the previous weeks. We were able to assemble over 200 kits that were shipped off for delivery to those in refugee camps or enduring suffering following natural disasters all over the world. We have continued this particular project through our PrimeTimers lunch group.
Breakfast at Maple Street Shelter (Redwood City)
A group of 10-12 people joined together in preparing, delivering and serving breakfast at the Maple Street Homeless Shelter here in Redwood City serving between 50 & 60 people. This was a wonderful experience that afforded the opportunity for our volunteers to both serve and eat with the residents which leads to a very enriching experience and one that begins relationships - one of the key aspects of living the OUT expression of our faith. This has become one of our ongoing service opportunities.
St James park - bag lunches for the homeless (San Jose)
About 12 of us met in Capel Hall to make sandwiches, sort snacks and assemble bag lunches for over 150 people living in St. James Park in San Jose. We drove down to the park and distributed the lunches to anyone who was hungry. The surprise was how quickly this project was completed but it’s safe to say that there were a lot of people who didn’t have to worry about where their next meal was coming from when we were done. In the past, families at Messiah had done similar projects at St. James park with leftovers from Thanksgiving meals. It is truly a blessing to be able to serve those in need. We often find that living into the OUT expression of our faith leads to us growing and gaining much more than we are able to offer to those in need.
Glide Memorial - serving breakfast (San Francisco - Tenderloin District)
A small group of 5 left early in the morning to be ready to go at Glide Memorial to serve breakfast to crowds of hungry homeless people in San Francisco. Our team was put to work right away in various capacities. Glide is a well-known mission in the Bay Area and beyond. They have been feeding people and celebrating with an extremely lively worship experience for many many years.
Greeting Cards / Art project for shut-ins
Many of our youngest members participated in creating greeting cards to be delivered to our shut-ins who are unable to attend church activities and to those receiving Meals-on-Wheels in the community. Scissors, glue and glitter were flying as they created beautiful greeting cards and smiles throughout the morning. It’s hard to say who received more joy, those receiving the cards, thoughts and prayers or the team assembling them!