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Mission Work

Mission Work
Programs and activities of Women of the ELCA are organized around three mission areas. Most programs and activities represent more than one mission and constitute a balanced effort. Together, these mission areas provide a holistic approach to living the gospel of Jesus Christ in today’s world; they provide opportunities for women to grow in faith and mission.

Baby Baptism Blankets
Christmas at Sea - Knitting for Seamen  

Companion Church Activities

Fair Trade - Shopping for Justice
      Fair Trade Friends   
Global Health Ministries projects  
Heifer International    

Lutheran  World Relief projects

Program Resources Packet

Recycled Items
Campbell’s Soup Labels
     Educational Materials
     Eye glasses and frames
     Greeting Cards
     Medications, unused
     Postage Stamps
Volunteer Opportunities


Baby Baptism Blankets
The following pattern was shared by Church of the Redeemer, United Methodist Church. They make crocheted Baby Baptism Blankets. If your church women are doing something like this let us know. We'd like to share your ideas.

Supplies: We use Red Heart Baby Sport Pompadour Yarn
Crochet hook size G or 6

Chain 40" ( in multiples of 3)
Turn, count to 3rd stitch, insert needle & double crochet.
Chain 3, go back to same hole and single crochet.
Go to 3rd stitch, double crochet twice.
Chain 3, go back to same hole and single crochet.
Repeat pattern to end of row.
Turn, chain 3. Go to "chain 3 hole", double crochet, chain 3, single crochet.
In each of the "chain 3 holes", double crochet twice, chain 3, single crochet.
   Continue pattern till blanket is 50" long, bind off.
   Return to first edge. Do a "scallop edge" row, to finish the blanket.

Some ideas for Mission Action are:

Lutheran World Relief

  • Consider challenging each circle/group to undertake a LWR project - quilts, layettes, health kits, school kits, sewing kits or sewing fabric (new), soap. LWR no longer collects clothing. Find out more about the projects at the LWR Web site.
  • Collect a bar of soap as admission to every fellowship or circle event.
  • Challenge the youth or Sunday School to collect items or money for school kits.  The women can make the bags.
  • Lutheran World Relief shipments - To save on shipping charges, you may bring your items, properly packed according to the LWR instructions, to a central point in northwest Ohio for loading onto a semi. For further details on collection dates click here.

  • Have a baby shower and collect the items needed for the layette kits – they are desperately needed.
  • Support the Coffee Project , the Chocolate Project (new), and/or the Handicraft Project  Check the Web sites for further details, or call 1-800-LWR-LWR2 or e-mail LWR@LWR.org
  • Order the "Flying Quilt" video or Rwandan video or others about LWR for adult Sunday School discussion or Circle programs (Call Lutheran Visuals at 1-800-527-3211).
  • Involve the whole church in contributing in some way i.e. donating items or making the kits. Here's a report on how Emanuel Lutheran Church in Marion, Ohio, managed their LWR projects. Congratulations, Emanuel!

Recycled Items

  • Campbell Soup labels and Box Tops for Education labels (General Mills) - send to
         Solheim Lutheran Home
         2236 Merton Ave.
         Los Angeles, CA 90041
    All labels should be:
         - the full length of the can with the label front in tact
         - 2 ½ inches wide, if possible
         - no lids are accepted

    Proceeds will be used to support the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission School in Rockport, Arizona..
  • Used Bibles and Unused Educational Materials
    Send to:
         Christian Salvage Mission
         200 Free Street
         Fowlerville, MI 48836
    They also need money for postage to send this material out to other churches or mission fields.
  • Used Eyeglasses and Frames can be donated to any Lions Club. There are collection boxes in many eye care offices.
  • Greeting Card Fronts - St Jude's is now overwhelmed!
    Send to:
         St. Jude's Ranch
         100 St. Jude Street
         Boulder City, NV 89005
In recent  months the outpouring of support for the children of St. Jude’s Ranch through our Recycled Card Program has been overwhelming! We have received over one million parcels containing card fronts and this is far more than we can now use. In fact, the cost associated with handling so many cards is beginning to draw from funds that are needed to care for our children. Our kids are buried in cards! Some of our children do continue to make and sell cards but St. Jude's Ranch for Children no longer accepts used card fronts.
Our hope is that all of our friends will now focus on sending in Campbell Soup labels (which can be traded for much-needed vans), by purchasing the recycled cards, and most needed of all, making donations.

See http://www.stjudesranch.org/Content/cardprogram.asp 


  • Cancelled Stamps
    Cut a small border around cancelled stamps on envelope. Stamps are sent to Bethel School for handicapped adult community in Germany. They remove the stamps and resell to collectors.
    Send to:
         Bethel School
         c/o United Stamp Program
         1920 G Street, N.W.
         Washington, D.C. 20006
    Cut all stamps with 1/4 inch border around them. The proceeds are used for their Housing and Care Program for people with mental and physical disabilities.
    Send to:
         Bethphage Mission
         P.O. Box 67
         Axtell, NE 68924
  • Unused Medications may be brought or sent to the Church  Women United Thrift Shop, 631 S Crissey Rd, Holland, Ohio 43528, phone 419-865-2300. Please call them for details. The medications are dispensed by a physician to the poor in the Toledo area.


  • Just what does this word advocacy mean to you? Speaking out against poverty? Voting in all elections? Serving Thanksgiving dinner in a soup kitchen? Writing letters to your legislators regarding universal health care, welfare reform, land mine legislation, or any bill which is of interest to you? Advocacy is all of these things and many more. Advocacy begins with a desire to understand and become acquainted with the situations of others – something Jesus spent his entire life doing! If you think of Jesus as a homeless man wandering from place to place looking for food, shelter, and clothing, does this image disturb you? What can you do?
  • Order Peace, God’s Gift, Our Task #69-7349 and No Hate Allowed #69-7007 from Augsburg Fortress Publishers (800/328-4648) to use as study material and planning guides.
  • Contact your congregational Hunger Contact Person and review any information they may have or check the Program Resources packet.
  • Plan a Sunday Service around the issues surrounding Families in Poverty. Use litanies, prayers, and sermon topics that emphasize the plight of those living in poverty and ways to help .
  • Organize a letter writing campaign for your women’s group or congregation one Sunday in support of legislation that aids poor families.  Contact Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, 122 C Street, N.W., Suite 125, Washington, DC 20001, phone (202) 783-7507, E-mail: loga@ecunet.org, or Web site: www.loga.org for information regarding up to the minute legislation pending before Congress.
  • Enroll your congregation unit and your family in the current "Child Watch" efforts in your community. This program seeks to organize volunteers and advocates in local coalitions to bring the issues directly to legislators, executives, and clergy so that real help can occur. Contact Child Watch Division, Children’s Defense Fund, 25 E Street, N.W., Washington, DC, 20001 or call (202) 662-3588.


  • Be aware of those who cannot read. Channel them to a Right-to Read Program in your community.
  • Check with your Library, Social Service Agencies for programs located in your area.
  • Encourage people to become tutors.
  • Read to children at a very early age.
  • Check the Program packet for additional resources.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer In area nursing homes and/or hospitals or agencies by decorating, playing bingo, filling water pitchers, sewing lap robes or bed pads, etc.
  • Prepare meals for home-bound members, help prepare and serve meals in Soup Kitchens.
  • Work in Food Pantries, Clothes Closets, Domestic Violence Shelters, etc.
  • Start a Support Group in your congregation for the bereaved, lonely, abused, young and old alike.
  • Collect canned goods for local agencies.
  • Collect eye glasses for the Lions Club, some eyedoctors also take them  or other organizations in your area who pass them on.
  • Use your imagination and see what other ideas you can come up with for your specific areas.

Program Resources Packet
The Women of ELCA packet is published each spring and sent to the church office of each congregation in April or May.  Alert your church secretary to look for it and pass it on to the president of your women's church unit.

Companion Church Activities

St. John Lutheran church, Port Clinton, Ohio 

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A Banner for NKUHUNGU Parish, our companion congregation 

Nkuhungu Parish, Dodoma Tanzania is a growing congregation near the new capital of Tanzania. For two years it has been the companion church of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Port Clinton.

A banner made by Kathy Lay of Port Clinton was presented to our African friends in Christ by the group from N.W. Ohio who visited Tanzania in July. Bishop Marcus Lohrman and Pastor David Bliss made the presentation at the laying of the cornerstone for their new building.

The banner had eight symbols representing the days between Easter and Pentecost; a cross, fish with net, man in prayer, lambs, fire flames, globe surrounded by people, bread, and fish with host. It will be hung in their place of worship.

This two year relationship has grown from exchanging letters and pictures to helping monitarily with construction of their worship and health facilities.

As we feel that we are beginning to know each other, we think of the fun it would be to visit.

Submitted by: Martha Bridgeman, St. John’s, PC

** If you have other suggestions or know of things you are doing in your church  that you want to tell other about please contact us through our e-mail address Kris.Johnson@accesstoledo.com

Fair Trade - Shopping for Justice!

The choices we make when we go shopping can mean the difference between poverty stricken families and  healthy communities around the world. It is painful to realize that the cheap prices we pay at WalMart may be subsidized on the backs of poor and exploited workers around the world. Christians are realizing the immensity of this injustice and taking a stand for Justice by creating Fair Trade relationships with farmers and artisan in third world countries.

"Fair Trade involves the following principles: 

  • Producers receive a fair price - a living wage. For commodities, farmers receive a stable, minimum price. 

  • Forced labor and exploitative child labor are not allowed 

  • Buyers and producers trade under direct long-term relationships 

  • Producers have access to financial and technical assistance

  • Sustainable production techniques are encouraged 

  • Working conditions are healthy and safe 

  • Equal employment opportunities are provided for all 

  • All aspects of trade and production are open to public accountability."

From the Web site of Global Exchange - http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/

To learn more about Fair Trade check out these sites:

Lutheran World Relief Fair Trade    

IFAT: The International Fair Trade Association    

  - the global association of Fair Trade Organizations

IFAT members are committed to being open, transparent and accountable to their stakeholders. Learn more.

Fair Trade Friends:

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 to create a new approach to trade, one that includes informed consumers, honest and fair trade relationships and cooperative principles. 

Coffee is big business — it’s one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world. But for the majority of small coffee farmers, who live in rural communities in some of the poorest countries in the world, the benefits are small. Using Fair Trade Coffee is an action that makes a difference. Read more.

Ten Thousand Villages provides vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. They market products from handicraft and agricultural organizations based in low-income countries. They provide consumers around the world with products that have been fairly purchased from sustainable sources. Read more.

We have three TTV stores in our area. Make them your destination when you go Christmas shopping!:

Ten Thousand Villages
1201 S. Defiance Street
Archbold, Ohio 43502

Ten Thousand Villages
111 S. Main Street
Bluffton, Ohio 45817

Wide World Shop
104 S. Perry Street
Port Clinton, Ohio

Serrv International - Gifts that make a difference

Our work at SERRV has always been more than just buying and selling products from poor people around the world. We provide emergency grants and send designers to transform old products into new ones. But mostly what we do is help people find solutions for themselves to life's difficulties and problems. Read more and order from their catalogue.

MarketPlace: Handwork of India has for the last 17 years given women in India opportunities to reach their potential. Read more.

Heifer International - Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth

Across the globe, Heifer donors, volunteers, staff and project partners strive daily to build communities, distribute resources fairly, improve access to education and preserve our environment.

In Afghanistan and refugee camps in Pakistan, we’re supplying hungry people with Fayoumi chickens, which are appropriate for the arid conditions and scant resources there

In the high Andes, we use alpacas and llamas for wool and packing  power. We’ve used elephants in Thailand and camels in Tanzania.

From Chinese silkworms to Nepalese water buffalo, Heifer has learned that no resource is too small or too large to help lift families from hunger and poverty.

Global Health Ministries projects  - lots of ideas for service projects at this Website:


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