who have made outstanding efforts in social ministry on behalf of the church
received awards at the third annual Celebrate Social Ministry event, held
October 22, 2006, at the Holiday Inn in Fogelsville.
Among the awards are the Love in Action awards, given to individuals, groups,
or congregations who have been involved in a significant social ministry
activity. Categories that were considered include—
- Scope of
Service: World, nation, community, ecumenical partners, congregation.
of Service: Existing
programs, program expansion, innovative programs.
youth or adult, pastor, congregation, partnership, youth group, women’s
group, men’s ministry.
Characteristics: Personal initiative, dedication, relationship between faith and service.
This year's recipients
for the Love in Action awards were—
- The Disaster Relief
Team from Friedens, Oley, and Grace, Reading
- The Mission Ladies,
- Intentional Involvement
in Social and Outreach Ministries, St. Timothy, Allentown
- Our Weekly Bread
Program, St. Paul, Reading
The Disaster Relief Team from Friedens, Oley, and Grace, Reading
For over ten years the Disaster Relief Team has been responding
to the devastation caused by natural disasters. Beginning with the
left in the wake
of Hurricane Andrew, this dedicated group of people made a difference
right after the hurricane and went back a year later. A big change
the group with the addition of the disaster response trailer. This
trailer is equipped with the tools and supplies the group needs to
to the needs of those who have lost their housing. The 40-plus people,
young and old, skilled and not so skilled but willing to work, have
made a substantial
difference in the lives of people who have lost everything. To those
so vulnerable, the Disaster Team works to bring hope.
Ladies, Zion, Womelsdorf
The Mission Ladies at Zion Womelsdorf, actually have names and
they are Geneva Richard and Lois “Dolly” Oberly. These two women use their considerable
energy and 161 years of experience to accomplish impossible tasks. At the
ages of 80 and 81, Geneva and Dolly have raised $40,000 worth of materials
for health kits, layette kits, sewing kits, quilts, and school bags for Lutheran
World Relief. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, they prepare 20 food baskets
for people in need; this year they decided to do it at Easter, too! They
are the spark that lights the fire of social ministry at Zion. Their inspirational
work has led others to get involved so that Geneva and Dolly not only do
social ministry, they teach by example.
Intentional Involvement in Social and Outreach Ministries,
St. Timothy, Allentown
The congregation council at St. Timothy, Allentown, recognized
in 2004 the need to move in a different direction. Like many
looking in instead of moving out. In the last two years, the
congregation has developed a true sense of reaching out by working
out in the
community. Members of the Intentional Involvement in Social and
group spend their time at Daybreak, St. Paul’s Breakfast Ministry,
Parish Nurse Ministry, Young Ministers Construction Outfit and Quilters.
Members of this ministry live out their understanding of church by being
the Body of Christ in the neighborhood. With the leadership of Pastor Gerald
Rounds, the Director of Outreach, the people of St. Timothy seek new ways
to make Christ known through word and deed.
Our Weekly Bread Program, St. Paul, Reading
Social ministry can be the claiming of an opportunity God has
placed in our grasp. Shirley and David Baker claimed that moment
they contacted Panera
Bread Company with a plan to distribute their slightly less
than fresh bread. Through the generosity of Panera Bread Company
work of the volunteers, families who are clients of the St.
Paul Food Bank
receive bread and words of comfort from the pastor following
the Saturday night worship service. Members of the congregation
take the bread to people who are in need. At particularly
is shared ecumenically with the soup kitchen at Central Park
United Methodist Church and Opportunity House (formerly the
The bread distribution efforts of Shirley and David Baker have
given the members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church a new understanding of
as the life of the world.