For the Children

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Children's Sunday School:
Sunday School for preschool and school age children meets every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Lessons are a combination of coloring activities, Bible verses, crafts, and songs. Many thanks to all the volunteers who have taught classes over the summer during Jill's recovery. Contact Sabra Custer at shsaprn@gmail.com if you are willing to volunteer to teach a Sunday until Jill is back with us. We miss you Jill; come back soon!


Children's Worship:

Saran Hasinger has been a blessing with her energy and leadership as we launched a Children's Worship program back in mid-June. We have had at least 5 children participate each Sunday since beginning this program! Children's Worship is available to all children from first grade until they are comfortably able to remain in worship with adults. Saran's natural talents are shining as she leads the older children in singing, Bible verses, and relevant lessons each Sunday. Children's Worship lasts about 30 minutes, commencing after Children's Chatter. We coordinate to bring the children back to the sanctuary toward the end of the service so that they may rejoin their families and participate in communion as desired. Sabra Custer is coordinating volunteers and scheduling for Children's Worship. Contact her at shsaprn@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering or have questions. 

Meals for The Family Shelter

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 Are you looking for a way to meet the Gospel challenge to love your neighbors? An easy and meaningful option at Reformation is to meet and support homeless families in the Midlands by bringing dinner to Family Shelter residents. Established in 1979, the Family Shelter is the only local organization providing support for entire families. Before the Family Shelter opened, the only option for families looking for emergency shelter was to go to separate shelters or to remain on the street, in a car, or with a family member. More volunteers to help with our ministry at the Family Shelter are needed. We provide dinner on the third Saturday of each month, and have a very flexible set up:

  • Every month, about five volunteers each bring one or more dish to feed about 35 people for the meal.
  • Volunteers bring their dish ready to serve (hot or cold as appropriate) to the Shelter. Dishes can be homemade or purchased.
  • Volunteers can meet at Reformation and carpool to the Shelter or can meet at the Shelter.
  • We arrive at the Family Shelter (at 2411 Two Notch Road, Columbia) by 5:30 with prepared food, serve at 6:00, eat with residents, clean up the kitchen, and are usually done before 7:30.
  • If you want to help, but can’t make it to the Shelter, you can prepare food in advance and drop it off with someone who is going on that particular Saturday.
  • You can help for one or more months as fits your schedule. Some persons have elected to sign up for multiple months in advance.
  • Volunteers have been communicating via email. Ginny Eiwen keeps a listing of interested persons, and sends out a call for volunteers and a suggested menu early in each month.
  • Menus are set in conversation with volunteers and are submitted to the Shelter for approval weeks in advance each month. We’ve been doing this for over a year now, and have a good repertoire of successful, low effort meals.
  • Volunteers can indicate dishes they would like to prepare for a month they want to contribute or Ginny will assign dishes to those who can help for the month.

The Family Shelter provides emergency shelter for up to 120 days for 16 families at a time.   To be admitted to the Shelter, parents must:

  • Have proper identifying information for all family members
  • Be drug and alcohol-free and agree to a criminal background check
  • Agree to participate in weekly Case Management meetings and Parent Education classes
  • Agree to adhere to shelter rules and guidelines which include weekly chore assignments

All children living at Family Shelter attend school or are enrolled in daycare if they are not school age. Parents are required to be off-campus Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. to work, attend a job training program, seek housing and employment, attend social service appointments, or handle whatever other business is needed to prepare them for independent living. The Family Shelter is part of the continuum of care provided by Homeless No More. Transitional Housing is available through St. Lawrence Place, a 30-home community offering support services, life skills training and up to two years of transitional housing for families experiencing homelessness, and Live Oak Place provides affordable housing to at-risk families, helping them bridge the gap from transitional housing to independent living. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Ginny Eiwen at gineiwen@gmail.com

Faith and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action

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The next Sunday morning adult study series begins October 27th. Each week will focus on a different issue as we consider the theme Faith and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action. The series will continue through December. The weekly topics include issues addressed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at its 2019 Assembly. They will give give us the opportunity to discuss the issues, consider their causes, reflect on the faith issues related to each, and consider action we can take as individuals and as a congregation. The issues include: How to talk about Tough Issues, Sexism, Disabilities, Immigration, Christian Nationalism, Racism, Gun Violence, Being a Sanctuary Church.

The 2019 Assembly (the primary decision making body of the church) is an assembly noted for the significant and number of current justice issues on the agenda. Most issues come from “memorials” to the assembly from synods. This year at least one came from the floor of the assembly – and passed. Here’s a quick list of the action the ELCA took related to the issues we will discuss:

· Approved a memorial that declares the ELCA a sanctuary denomination.

· Reaffirmed the 1994 social message on “Community Violence” and the call to address root causes.

· Approved the social statement “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action”

· Adopted a “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA”

· Witnessed the presentation of the “Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent”

· Adopted a memorial that affirms the ELCA’s long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the ELCA a sanctuary church body.

· Adopted a memorial to support the vision and goals of the Poor People’s Campaign that align with the ELCA’s social teachings.

· Adopted a resolution that committed the ELCA to support the World Council of Church’s “Thursdays in Black” campaign toward a world without rape and violence.

· Adopted a resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emmanuel 9

· Adopted a resolution to condemn white supremacy, calling all ELCA congregations to engage in a “study of the structures and rhetoric that empower and fuel racism and white supremacy….”

· Adopted 26 additional memorials en bloc, ranging in topics from gun violence to engagement in the Holy Land and gender identity in seminary tuition.

The ELCA actions have helped shape the next adult study series. It is important that we discuss the actions to give them meaning in our location and to put them into action. They have little meaning unless we as congregations and members study them, reflection on them, and let them be a call to action for us. Join us October 27-December 29 for Faith and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action. We meet in the church parlor each Sunday beginning at 9:00 am.