Cause for the Month - February
Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service (LIRS)
Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service (LIRS) is a national organization walking with migrants and refugees through ministries of service & justice. LIRS transforms U.S. communities by ensuring that newcomers are not only self-sufficient but also become connected and contributing members of their adopted communities in the U.S.
LIRS has welcomed more than 500,000 refugees, migrants impacted by detention, and unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. It works to ensure that policies and programs are just and protective of migrants and refugees who face the greatest risks, and that human rights are advanced through legal services, advocating for legal reform, and pursuing systems change. LIRS is committed to developing sustainable approaches for migrants and refugees to access food, health, housing, and jobs. It provides care and protection, promotes family unity, and strengthens migrants and refugee families. LIRS promotes a spirit of welcome in U.S. communities, encouraging hospitality for newcomers, reaching out to those at risk, and embracing inclusivity. LIRS acts and speaks with courage and integrity, building service capacity and mobilizing in support or pro-migrant and refugee policies.
In this time of great uncertainty regarding U.S. immigration policy, LIRS service and advocacy is needed more than ever. Our February cause of the month is to collect donations to provide financial assistance for the work of LIRS.
Cause for Lent - Going Places MN
Going Places MN collects suitcase care packages for Minnesota children in foster care. It is common practice across the nation to move children’s items in black trash bags when they are being cared for in the foster care system. A suitcase is a tangible way to offer the child dignity, and some belongings of their very own. The items in the suitcases can be for any age, but they try to keep teenagers in mind. Going Places has partnered with Kindred Family Focus, Avenues for Homeless Youth, and Hennepin County shelter homes to distribute the bulk of the suitcases collected. In 2016, Going Place, through the partner organizations, distributed 52 suitcases, in 2017 they surpassed that number.
Suitcases (new or used, clean and in working order)
Toothbrush / paste / holder
Comb / brush (or pick—good for all hair types)
Bath towel / wash cloth
Twin size sheet set, Feminine products, Travel size tissue
Extras that are really nice:
Fuzzy throw blanket, soaps/lotions, coloring books/crayons, cosmetic bag, journals/pen, playdoh, small stuffed animals, etc.
There will be a sign-up sheet in the narthex for the needed items. We will collect items through Lent and assemble the suitcase care packages the Sunday after Easter (April 8).
Out of regard for individuals who are sensitive (even allergic) to fragrances and scented products, the church Council has decided to try to have our church environment be as free from fragrances and scents as possible. Products such as perfumes, cologne, body spray, hair spray, after shave and scented hand lotions can cause irritations and allergic reactions in folks who are sensitive to them. In consideration of those who might experience reactions like rashes, headaches, chest tightness, trouble breathing and/or nausea, the Church Council would like to ask that we would please refrain from wearing fragrances or scented products in the church building, especially during worship services and church gatherings. We don't want someone not to come to church because they would suffer healh-wise if they did.