Make a Kit, Change a Life! Kits of Care Collection, June 21-25, 2021

When natural disasters strike or when war drives families from their homes, our hearts ache with compassion, but we don’t know how to help. Making Kits of Care is a simple, fun, and tangible way to offer comfort to those suffering and express love to our neighbors in need.

Our Savior Lutheran Church will welcome a truck from Lutheran World Relief to collect Quilts and Kits of Care for worldwide distribution those in need.  Make a kit, or two, or more – each kit will make a difference!  This is an easy way for you and your friends to turn ordinary items into extraordinary gifts – a hands-on way to help someone in need.  Visit lwr.org/kits for kit assembly instructions and tips.  Note: Personal Care Kits are the item in highest need right now. 

Make arrangements to deliver your Kits of Care by contacting the church office at 603-643-3703.  Collection will take place the week of June 21-25, 2021.

A Message from New England Synod Global Mission Team Middle East Advocacy Subcommittee

Statement on Escalating Violence in Palestine and the Holy Land:

The New England Synod has a deep and longstanding relationship with our companion synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Many of us have visited the Holy Land to meet our ELCJHL Palestinian siblings and to experience the richness of their ministries. Our hearts are broken by the escalating violence now happening in Palestine and Israel.

The Palestinians have lived under military occupation since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. At that time, a majority of the Palestinian people were driven out of their own homes and permanently displaced from their own land. The occurrence of this catastrophe – known as Nakba in Arabic – is observed in Palestine on May 15, the day following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Nakba continues in Palestine. Even today, the Israeli government is engaged in settler colonization, as they attempt to confiscate all Palestinian land without regard for the lives or safety of the Palestinian people and in violation of international law.

This most recent violence began with Israeli settlers demanding the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Then, during the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli forces physically interrupted Muslims praying inside the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on several occasions.

The situation has worsened dramatically over the last week. Violence has broken out in the streets of many towns and villages across the land. Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and the counterattacks of bombs from the Israeli military complicate the quest for peace. These attacks have resulted in a disproportionate number of Palestinian deaths, including children and adults. Israeli casualties have been far fewer.

We denounce the ongoing violence and call for an immediate cease fire.

We pray for the safety and wellbeing of our ELCJHL companions and for all peoples living in Palestine and Israel. We stand with ELCJHL Bishop Azar in his May 8th call to pray for a just peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem. You can find Bishop Azar’s statement on the ELCJHL Facebook page.

We hope, for the sake of the world, that the international community and our government, specifically, will recognize the causes of violence, and the desperation behind it, and help put an end to it by insisting that Israel comply with international law.

Watch Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s May 12th message on Support Peace in Palestine and Israel to understand the position of the ELCA.

Learn how the ELCA is working for peace and justice in the Holy Land and sign up for Action Alerts by visiting Peace Not Walls on the ELCA website. The Action Alert for May is to urge President Biden to send a message to Israel to halt the illegal removal of East Jerusalem families from their homes and respect the Status Quo agreement and holy sites in Jerusalem.

The Rev. Robert O. Smith, PhD, Associate to the Bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA and former ELCA Area Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa, has written a detailed analysis of the current situation: The Present Violence in Jerusalem: An Explainer.

New England Synod Global Mission Team Middle East Advocacy subcommittee

May 19, 2021

Bread for the World Offering of Letters

As people of faith, we know that we are called to care for one another. We are called to speak out for all those in need, especially our children. What is critically needed now is our unified voice assuring that people receive the help they desperately need now. By participating in this year’s Bread for the World (BFW) Offering of Letters you will make a difference, not just to Bread for the World, but to those who experience hunger and poverty. 

Continue reading Bread for the World Offering of Letters

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Opportunities to Put Your Faith in Action

Donate Pantry Items:  Current Top Needs: tuna, beans (white, red, black), rice (preferably 1 lb pkgs), and canned tomatoes. Always Needed: peanut butter, pasta of all kinds, canned vegetables, pasta sauce, soups, , macaroni and cheese, canned tomatoes, canned fruit.  Also needed, Personal Items: shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products.  You can learn more about the Upper Valley Haven here.  You may bring donations directly to the Haven or bring them to worship on Sunday and make sure they get there.

Volunteer with Sustainable Hanover and the Norwich Energy Committee (From our Creation Care Team): Sustainable Hanover and the Norwich Energy Committee are collaborating with the Maine-based non-profit Window Dressers  https://windowdressers.org/  to make custom-built, interior storm window inserts for Norwich or Hanover residents and anyone working in Hanover. The inserts are easy to install, removable, attractive, and reusable. They let light in, keep drafts out and reduce heating costs. They are seeking a total of 6-8 people to work in pairs to visit households to evaluate and measure their windows, enter measurements in custom software, and discuss payment options. Measurers typically contribute 20-30 hours total spread over 2-4 months, including initial calls to households, scheduling the measurement visit, and taking the measurements. There will be a detailed training session in later July or early August; measuring will be done starting in late August through September. Measuring volunteers *must be fully vaccinated.*  The ideal team is one man and one woman, so couples are invited and could work together.  Or you can sign up alone and be paired with a teammate. If you’re interested and available or have any questions, please email: judy.payne@gmail.com. Judy says, “You do not need to be a skilled carpenter to do this!”

Make a Kit of Care: Lutheran World Relief will once again be sending a truck to OSLC to pick up quilts and kits.  After leaving OSLC, the truck will make many stops on the way to Lutheran World Relief, adding quilts and kits at every stop.  We’ll be collecting quilts and kits the week of June 21st.  In a recent phone conversation with their Quilt and Kit Manager Janel, we learned that Personal Care Kits are in high demand right now.  If you would like to assemble a Personal Care Kit or two, you can find the instructions here.  

Sign up to Volunteer at Cover – Outdoor Projects Every Week!  The COVER Home Repair program relies on the participation of community volunteers like you. By lending a hand with home improvement projects, you can help greatly improves the quality of life for local families, elderly, and mobility challenged.  It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills.  View volunteer opportunities and sign up here!

Advocate for Others: As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. God uses our hands, through our direct service work and our voices, through our advocacy efforts, to restore and reconcile our world. Through faithful advocacy, the ELCA lives out our Lutheran belief that governments can help advance the common good. The latest issues of ELCA Advocacy can be read here.

Reasons to Hope

In response to this past Sunday’s sermon, Kathy Phipps rewrote the lyrics to the song that Pastor Kyle referenced. Kathy has given us permission to share these lyrics with you. May you measure this past year in reasons to hope.

Reasons to Hope

Five hundred twenty seven thousand five people
Five hundred twenty seven thousand five people so dear
Five hundred twenty seven thousand five people

How did we measure, measure this year?

Continue reading Reasons to Hope