News & Notes

The Kenya Micro Loan Project

Deaconesses are “tireless workers, carrying out God’s mercy and compassion for people throughout Kenya,” says the Rev. David Chuchu, the ELCK Diakonia Compassionate Ministry (DCM) project coordinator. But deaconesses also struggle with many of the same financial strains that affect the people they serve. Today, small-business training and a micro-loan project made possible with help from an LCMS Mercy Grant encourage deaconesses who pursue their own entrepreneurial projects. Messiah Lutheran Church, Danville, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Rocklin, both in California, have also provided financial support. The goal is to help the women “gain confidence, financial independence and a sense of pride in their work, both as a businesswoman and as a deaconess,” Chuchu says. “This will, in turn, allow them greater freedom to serve others through the love and mercy of Christ.” Deaconess leaders completed project training last year in Kisumu. Grace Jobita, a micro-loan consultant, taught business components; the Rev. Dr. Arthur Just, professor, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Deaconess Pamela Boehle-Silva, RN, of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, led theological insights and made home visits. Now the trained deaconesses are shepherding groups in dioceses of the LCMS partner church in Kenya, helping others form savings groups and apply for micro-loans to start businesses. Entrepreneurial pursuits include brick making, dairy farming, importing shoes and raising rice and vegetables. The project is open to all ELCK deaconesses. Long-range plans are for ELCK pastors, evangelists and congregations to also participate. Mary Khainga, a deaconess trainer in the Central Diocese,

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Christian Care Network

Trinity Lutheran Church is in the process of developing a “Care Network” to aid our congregants, especially those with transportation issues. At the very top of the list will be those who need special assistance getting to church, Bible study, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc.  The Care Network will also offer assistance whenever possible for routine home maintenance and minor repair, and anticipates that the more routine “chores” might be handled by our youth group as in-congregation servant events. The proposed Care Network will consist of members who feel motivated to serve in this aspect of ministry, initially coordinated by Deacon Morrison.  All congregants will be asked to fill out a Care Network Form to ascertain their willingness, strengths, and hours of availability. We will then divide the Greater Memphis Area into flexible geographical areas (or “Wards”), with a volunteer “Ward Captain” in each area. Requests for any type of assistance would then be funneled through the Ward Captain. Under this system, no more than two or three phone calls should ever be needed to meet the needs of our congregants. All members of the congregation will be asked to take part in whatever capacity they can. Why a “network” and not a committee? One of the goals of the Care Network is to avoid as much administrative overhead as possible; our model is simply people helping people by putting them in touch with the person or persons who can help them in a simple, direct, and timely manner.  Once up

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Worship Services Designed To Reach Out

Trinity Lutheran Church has recently launched three separate but related outreach programs aimed at all those in need of God’s loving touch. The first,  Gather In The Garden,  consists of short worship services  held  in Trinity’s Meditation Garden and is designed for those who have lost loved ones through domestic violence.  During this service of prayer and meditation, Trinity’s bell tolls once for each victim as the names of those lost are read aloud. The second service of outreach is our new Liturgy of Wholeness and Healing to be held several times throughout the church year. This service offers the opportunity for those who so desire to be anointed with oil as prescribed in James 5:14:  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  Time is also set aside for participants to place their individual petitions before the Lord.   This non-liturgical worship service takes place in a more casual setting aimed at making both traditional Lutherans and non-Lutherans comfortable.  The next Liturgy of Wholeness and Healing is scheduled for January, 2013. The third new outreach service brings us back to the Meditation Garden, this time at 12:15 pm every Thursday for Prayer in the Garden. This unique service consists of scripture readings, prayers, and a short meditation. It is designed primarily as a “spiritual break”  for those who work in the Downtown area. All of these services

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Feed My Sheep Sunday

Trinity received a thank you letter from Estella Mayhue-Greer from the Mid-South Food Bank thanking us for the 85 lbs of food we collected on September 9th!  What a tremendous blessing!  We’re gearing up for our next Feed My Sheep Sunday on October 14th, so be on the lookout for donation bags in the Narthex….

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Rolling Up Their Sleeves

Several of Trinity’s faithful members scraped off old plaster, added new, and painted the most badly damaged areas. There is more to be done, but our old building now reflects the love and care of its members. Many thanks to all our repairmen, including: Mike Grant, David Brugge, Jim Hofer, Douglas Morrison, Bill Otte, Mitch Wood, Phil Schmidt, Gary Schwanke, Carl Shafer.

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