The United Lutheran Church in Langdon participated in the nationwide service project “God’s work. Our hands.” on Sunday, Sept. 13.
Posted on 9/19/15
By Melissa Anderson
The event is an opportunity for members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to celebrate who they are – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.
The event was started in 2013, and since then, thousands of ELCA congregations have participated. The main idea behind the event is to deepen a congregation’s, and those members that participate, experience in their community and create an opportunity for congregations to address the needs of their community.
“It was a fun, hectic day,” Pastor Karl Breddin said.
The event was held after regular Sunday worship services and only lasted for a few hours. This didn’t impede the plan for completing as many projects as they could.
“Due to harvest work, our work time was reduced, and we have another project, residential tree trimming, we have yet to complete,” Pastor Karl said.
The Langdon ULC had a number of service projects to attend to during the event. From cleaning the ditches along Highway 5 to moving furniture, the participants were active in helping their community and still have some projects left to complete.
“We plan on finishing up some yard work,” Pastor Rebecca Breddin said.
Some participants also wrote letters to those serving in the military and to those who are home bound and/or on the church’s prayer list.
“We also collected school supplies and put together school kits for Lutheran World Relief which are distributed all over the world where Lutheran World Relief does work,” Pastor Rebecca said.
According to Pastor Rebecca, the school supplies that are sent to those areas that Lutheran World Relief does work can be the difference between a child getting an education or not. Many of the families in those areas, even though school is free, can not afford the simple supplies that were collected.
The Langdon ULC congregation, as followers of Jesus every day in their relationships with others, work to love their neighbors and make their community a thriving and better place. Participating on “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday gave the Langdon ULC congregation an opportunity to celebrate who they are as part of the ELCA.
“We are a church that believes God is calling us to share what God has given us. Therefore, we give of ourselves to God and our neighbor. Serving and lending a helping hand is one way we give and respond to the needs of others abundantly,” Pastor Rebecca said.
The Breddins hope for those who participated in the “God’s work, Our Hands.” Sunday to know that they have been given an incredible gift of grace, and because of that gift they are called to extend that grace and hospitality to others.
“As Lutherans we believe that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace,” Pastor Rebecca said.
Pastor Rebecca explained that it means God works through people as a congregation and through people as individuals through their jobs and in their relationships. So, whether it is a mother who spends the day feeding and changing diapers, a farmer out in the field, a teacher, a grandparent, a neighbor, or banker, God is working through individuals for the sake of the world.
“It really goes to the heart of 1 John 4:19, ‘We love because God first loved us’,” Pastor Rebecca said, “We also hope people had fun and realized how simple it can be to serve their neighbors and community.”
For the participants who were doing the service, it provides a way for them to live out their faith, to proclaim Christ through actions and deeds, to care for others and the world God made, and to work for justice and peace.
For those who are on the receiving end of these service projects, the hope is that they feel God’s love through the actions or service and know that there are people who care about them.
“We hope they see the church as someone who rolls up its sleeves and puts the words we profess into action,” Pastor Rebecca said.
With the success of this “God’s Work. Our Hands.”, the congregation and the Breddins look forward to doing more community service events not just in participating in future national events.
“We don’t need a special day to serve those in our community and neighbors near or far. Everyday is an opportunity to freely give of ourselves, our time and our possessions,” Pastor Rebecca stated.
“God’s work, Our hands.” is a chance for the Langdon ULC to communicate how they are participating in God’s activity in the world and how they, as a congregation, value generosity and loving their neighbors.
“It is great to think that we are part of the thousands of ELCA members who served in our neighborhoods on Sunday, Sept. 13,” Pastor Rebecca said.