Social Concerns Committee Activities for 2011-2012
The Social Concerns Committee at Christ Lutheran Church supports a variety of agencies and causes which advocate for the poor, the hungry and the oppressed. Because God calls us all to serve others, many individuals in the congregation and several other groups in the Church are also involved with social concerns endeavors such as CROP Walk and Habitat for Humanity.
Vision Statement: In support of the mission of the church, we seek to develop and advocate policies and programs that advance justice, peace, and the care of creation. Our goal is to inform, educate, and provide a variety of opportunities for action and financial support.
The Social Concerns Committee Members: Wanda Weinberg,- Chair , Dick Brackin, Adele Hanson, Jeanne Haseley, Betsy Knies, Bill Kuhre, Sue Righi, Linda Sauer, Carl Savage, Karla Schneider,
Supporting the homeless and those with inadequate housing
• Collected household goods needed at Good Work's Timothy House on a quarterly basis.
• Participated in the Walk for the Homeless which raised funds and awareness.
• As part of the distribution of Special Music Fund monies from the FY2011 budget, donated $1,500 to Good Works to buy a riding lawnmower, and $1,500 to the Athens Habitat for Humanity Faith Builds chapter.
Clothing Those in Need
• Our Undie Sundays project gathered eighty packages of underwear and enough money to buy twenty-four pairs of sweat pants so that emergency clothing supplies could be distributed to eleven Athens County schools.
• Donated one hundred thirteen items such as mittens, scarves, and hats to Athens County Children's Services.
Feeding the Hungry
• On a monthly basis, collected food and monetary donations brought in by congregation members for Food Pantry Sunday.
• Provided meals and hospitality for those attending three Good Works Friday Night Suppers this year. Two were picnics held at Hannah House, and one was a meal held at The Plains United Methodist Church.
• CROP Walk was supported quite well this year. Congregational members, including the Energizers and the Middle Schoolers, participated and raised $1,520.
• As part of the distribution of Special Music Fund monies from the FY2011 budget, $1,000 was donated to Athens County Children's Services for their Summer Lunch program, and $1,000 was donated to the Athens County Food Pantry to help purchase a new freezer.
• Lenten offerings went to World Hunger.
Raising Awareness about National and International Concerns
• A seminar about the impact of the federal budget cuts on the needy was held after a Sunday service in July. Wendy Patton from Policy Matters was our speaker.
• A seminar about food insecurity was held in conjunction with Bread for the World Sunday. Dr. Dave Holben from Ohio University was the speaker.
• Bread for the World Offering of Letters was held in March.
Promoting Economic Justice
• A Good Gifts Sale was held in December to give people the opportunity to buy fair trade items as Christmas gifts. Unsold items were offered to the Calliope Choir which purchased almost all remaining items. This year, items were purchased directly from Lutheran World Services.
Promoting Earth Justice
• Decided to use the award money from the Ohio Power and Light competition to help purchase a more energy efficient refrigerator for the church kitchen.
• Participated in a panel discussion at an Ohio Power and Light conference describing our church's efforts in energy efficiency.
• Presented a documentary entitled Journey of the Universe which draws together scientific discoveries in as tronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.
• Presented Economics of Happiness which is a documentary describing the worldwide movement for eco nomic localization.
Supporting Others in Need
• A Red Cross Blood Drive in July resulted in fifteen units of blood.
• We signed a Shelter Agreement with the Red Cross promising to provide services in our building should there be a local disaster.
• As part of the distribution of Special Music Fund monies from the FY2011 budget, we donated $2,500 to ELCA Disaster Relief and $2,500 to Partners in Health for Haiti.
• Held a fundraiser for Montana de Luz, an orphanage in Honduras for children affected by HIV/AIDS. The dinner and silent auction raised over $3,000 for the orphanage. To raise awareness, a program about Montana de Luz was given to the Bridge and to the O'Bleness Senior Beat group. Our next service trip is planned for January 2013.
• The uses for our Undesignated Benevolences this year went to the Youth Group for their Christmas Santa Project, to Hopes and Possibilities to buy gas vouchers for those in need, and to Lutheran Disaster Relief to help those affected by spring tornadoes in Southern Ohio. Other benevolences in the church budget went to Lutheran Social Services, Bread for the World, Global Mission, Good Works, Athens County Food Pantry, My Sister's Place, Habitat for Humanity, Rural Action, the Gathering Place, and Hopes and Possibilities.
• Two special offerings were collected this year, one for the East Africa Drought, and one for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative.
"Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
— Matthew 25.40b