Serve Our Community

We who have should give…

Dear BLC Disciples and Friends,

These first few weeks after Christmas are traditionally a sort of ‘rest period’ for many, where we recover from the holiday season by taking stock, tidying up, and planning our New Year resolutions and calendars. For many, these weeks mark a pause. A sigh. An exhale.

But this past year is not like many of our other past years. We have not been traveling, partying, eating out at our favorite restaurants, studying in crowded lecture halls, or playing with our school friends. We have been hunkered down, some of us out of work, exhausted from a lifestyle none of us anticipated.

Because of a pandemic that the World Health Organization has deemed a “worldwide health emergency,” we are facing the possibility of at least a few more months of the same. Those of us blessed enough to have anything extra should demonstrate the tenderest of tender mercies — by compassionately giving what we can to those who need it.

One way to share our desire to hug — and be hugged — is to make a gift to those ministries we are committed to, that we know are helping our neighbors in need.

Please read below to see an update of our Mission opportunities in 2021!

 

Our Commitment to Feeding our Neighbor – Addressing the Issue of Food Security:

Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “You give them something to eat…”

According to estimates from the national umbrella organization Feeding America, COVID-19 is creating a hunger crisis of over 50 million Americans classified as “food insecure.” This includes 17 million children.

 

Hesed House
Hesed House in Aurora is a center for ministries providing services for poor and homeless individuals and families. Housed in a building that was formerly the Aurora incinerator, this facility has now become a beacon of hope and light to hundreds of people who are struggling to rise out of poverty.

Six times a year on a Friday evening BLC provides a hearty dinner for those living at Hesed House –the amount of food necessary to serve approximately 150 people six times a year costs $3000 per year. If you would like to support the Hesed House meal fund, please make your check out to Bethlehem Lutheran Church and note Hesed House in the memo line.

On-site volunteer activities are still suspended, so a small group of BLC disciples continue to prepare our “signature meal” at Bethlehem—Friday these afternoons around 1pm—then deliver it ready to serve! If you would like to volunteer your time in helping prepare these meals, please contact John Maisch at johnpmaisch@gmail.com.

The 2021 Hesed House service dates are:
2/26 – 4/23 – 6/25 – 8/27 – 10/22 – 12/24

 

Lazarus House
Lazarus House serves men, women and children each month who are homeless by providing food, safe shelter and education right here in downtown St. Charles, IL. BLC supports this important ministry the 2nd Saturday of each month by providing Lazarus House with food to serve a meal for those living there. We provide a main dish, salad or vegetable, dessert, fruit, milk and juice.

You can sign up online HERE. Please note that BLC serves the 2nd Saturday of the month.

Please contact Emily Bicking at Emily.bicking@gmail.com with any questions.

 

St. Andrew
We have agreed to provide volunteers on the following two dates in January to prepare and distribute food at St. Andrew. So many families –young and old – are going without even one meal on some days! Food continues to get more and more expensive, and families just don’t have the resources to stretch their food dollars over an entire week. Our work is more important now than ever!

You can sign up here: Here is the link!

January 8/9

  • Friday from 5:00-7:00pm – prep and organize food for distribution
  • Saturday, 8am-10am, distribute food to cars

January 22/23

  • Friday from 5:00-7:00pm –prep and organize food for distribution
  • Saturday, 8:00-10:00am, distribute food to cars 

 

Meals on Wheels
During the pandemic, food delivery to seniors is even more vital. Volunteers safely delivering food are sometimes the only outsiders to have any contact with seniors. Click here to learn more about volunteering or how you can help with this important work: https://www.kaneseniorcouncil.org/meals-on-wheels.

 

Helping Families:

Cradles to Crayons: One of my favorite charities helping babies and children has set up “Giving Factories,” to redistribute gently used kids’ clothing, books and new school supplies. Support its work through a financial gift, volunteering or donating goods. Click here to learn more: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/

Crisis Text Line: This innovative, accessible and successful crisis “hotline” reaches multitudes, offering 24/7 crisis support staffed by volunteers throughout North America. Anyone in crisis can text HOME to 741741 and receive immediate help. The need for crisis services has never been greater.

Thank you for offering hope to so many of our neighbors!

So grateful for your faithful witness!

Deacon Heather

 

Serving the BLC Community

Contributions to the Pastors’ Discretionary Fund
The purpose of this fund is to support disciples who are going through a difficult time. If you’re in need of financial support, please contact Pr. Sarah. If you’d like to contribute to this fund, please send a check to BLC, and note “Pastors Discretionary Fund” in the subject line or give to this fund online.