“What are you doing”?
NC Lutheran Men in Mission Coordinator, Terry Edwards, recently made a Synod Partners visit to Messiah Lutheran Church in Hickory and asked, “What are you doing?” The answers amazed him. “I looked around and realized, ‘this isn’t a very big congregation, but they are sure doing a lot in this community,’ ” Edwards said.
“The Sunday I was there, they were busy gathering clothing and other baby needs for two local agencies providing support to families with infants. I’d never seen a ministry devoted specifically to babies.” To congregational leaders hesitant to participate in ministries of outreach to their community in order to avoid potential drain on congregational budgets, Messiah’s Pastor Paul Christ offers this encouragement, “So far, none of this has had a detrimental effect on offerings for current expenses.” Pastor Christ chuckled, “I think (Edwards) was surprised a bit,” by the numerous ways the congregation is being Church for persons in need within their local community.
The Messiah Family comes together regularly throughout the year–usually over lunch provided with funds from Thrivent Action Team Grants–and gathers supplies for local schools, agencies, dozens of shopping bags are filled with groceries for East Burke Christian Ministries. On June 16, 2017, a Sunday designated to honor senior citizens, Messiah used a Thrivent grant to buy personal items to go with new socks and gently-used shoes. All items were distributed to seniors in need in the wider community.
Thank you, Messiah, for your faithful ministry!