Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Report of Saint Matthew Servanthood Team

It's that time of year again, time for committees and groups within our congregation, Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Logan, Ohio, to provide annual reports on their activities. The chair of our new Servanthood Team, Becky Webb, asked me to write the report for that team. I did that today. I offer it here not only for our congregational members, but also as a way of letting people who may not be part of a church see how a mid-sized congregation approaches its call from Jesus to love its neighbors.
At a 2008 retreat for Church Council members led by Pastor John Tickner, former assistant to the bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod, Saint Matthew’s leadership began to think about what assets we have as a congregation to be used toward sharing the Gospel with others and toward serving others in Jesus’ Name.

From this sprang the idea of an emphasis on servanthood during Lent, 2009, as well as recruiting a Servanthood Team. The team would be charged with lifting up service in Jesus’ Name as a priority and plan servanthood events in which the whole congregation could be involved.

The team initiated two major events in 2009.

The first was the PSST Food Drive in May. There were two parts to the drive. On May 9, thirty-four members of Saint Matthew distributed empty sacks to about 800 Logan households. Attached to each sack was a flyer asking residents to donate peanut butter, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, and tuna, place them in the sack, and then set the filled sack on their porch the following Saturday.

On May 16, Saint Matthew members went out to collect the sacks. About 40% of all the households receiving the sacks filled them with food donations.

The sacks were then brought back to Saint Matthew’s fellowship hall where, joined by six employees of Jobs and Family Services giving of their time during “off-hours,” the food was sorted into the 218 bags for distribution among needy households in our county. Jobs and Family Services saw to it that families they serve received the food.

About 50 Saint Matthew members were involved in the pick up of sacks.

On Saturday, August 22, another event was held, a Drive-Through Community Baby Shower. Through advertising in local papers, community members were invited to bring their donations of baby formula and diapers for distribution by the Hocking County Health Department and the Hocking County Developmental Disabilities agency.

The agencies with which Saint Matthew teamed receive state support. But with the challenging economy, state funding was reduced at the very time when many of our neighbors’ needs have increased. The servanthood team thought it made sense to try to work with agencies that already had direct contact with people in need. We also felt that both projects would allow the whole community to get involved as well as demonstrating that taking care of the physical needs of our neighbors is one way we express our love for both God and others.

There are several projects that the team is looking to doing in 2010. The team will also play a central part in helping the youth with its Stay-at-Home-Mission-Trip this coming summer.

The team is chaired by Becky Webb. Among the participants: Dee McLain, Fran Funk, Cindi Garrelts, Glenn Karshner, Jim Kalklosch, Julie Elhard, Ann Daniels, Christa Myers, and Kellt Taulbee.

We thank everybody for all their help in 2009. It was incredible to see the participation of our Saint Matthew family in this outreach to others!

If you would like to be part of the team in 2010, contact either Becky Webb or Pastor Mark, or simply show up at the next meeting. Each of these events require some prayer, some planning, and commitment. But they’re well worth these investments.
If you live in the Logan or Hocking County area and don't have a church home, feel free to check out Saint Matthew. You would be welcome.

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