Many people have many needs. On any day in America, Christian people in and beyond their churches demonstrate genuine care and concern in response. While this is nothing new and while many churches, both in and beyond the LCMS could also be mentioned, I’ll share in this article the stories of three LCMS congregations of which I have become aware this past week.
The first is Concordia Lutheran Church in Williston, N.D. An article in the September 12, 2013, edition of The Dickinson Press tells the story of how this congregation has been providing temporary housing for job-seekers who can’t afford other arrangements.
Unfortunately, the facilities being used for temporary lodging are not in compliance with city code. That includes inadequate bathroom facilities and lack of handicap inaccessibility.
The Williston Planning and Zoning Department has declared that until the church remodels its facilities to meet building and fire codes, including addition of fire-protection sprinklers, the church will need to discontinue its “overnighters” program. So those who would otherwise be served by Concordia’s generosity will need to sleep in their vehicles or somewhere else.
The second and third are Redeemer and Christ Lutheran Churches in Fort Collins and Aurora, Colo., respectively. Facebook postings from good friend and Redeemer’s Pastor Tim Runtsch show team members from Redeemer and Christ responding to community needs in the aftermath of the horrendous flooding in that beautiful state, especially in the Boulder area.
In a few days folks in Colorado have received rainfall equivalent to their annual average and are experiencing historic flooding as a result. Homes have been destroyed, dams have been broken, and bridges have been washed away. Working together, members from Christ and Redeemer have distributed “a huge load of goods for people in need.” Remember them in prayer.
While only a few congregations are being highlighted in this article, you and I know that they are simply but significantly representative of many others whose pastors and people are moved by the love of Christ to respond to people in need. Similar responses also come from individuals and other groups, both in and beyond the Christian community.
As you hear their stories, express to those involved appreciation for their faithful service, generous contributions and diligent labors! Perhaps you already have been or will soon be moved to respond!