Quilts on Display 2017
The quilts displayed on the pews are made by the women who gather on the third Monday morning of each month to work on mission projects to help others. They will be delivered to Trinity Lutheran Church on Oct. 14th to become part of the Lutheran World Relief mission. Many quilts are also distributed to the Eau Claire shelters. Thanks to all the women who helped make the quilts. Opal Kunz
Mission Quilting – March 2017
Women from St. James Trinity sew over 100 quilts per year. These quilts are donated locally in friendship, not necessarily hardship, and also to Lutheran World Relief http://LWR.org where they are distributed to over 16 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Read more about the mission quilting at St. James Trinity here:
Pastor Joanne and St. James members travel to Chicago for Mission work (2013)
We arrived at Rogers Park Presbyterian Church in the mid afternoon and had a little time to unwind and relax while we waited for the other teams we’re serving with this week to arrive. We had a short orientation meeting at the church and then Pastor Debbie walked us over to the home of home congregation members, Tim and Autumn, for a delicious taco dinner. Their family, including 7 cats and 7 children, made us feel warmly welcomed! While at Tim and Autumn’s house we also received some information from Pastor Debbie about the day camp we’ll be working with this week. We returned to the church and set up our sleeping rooms. We’re excited to start ministry tomorrow and get to know the community!
We’re thankful for the cooler temperatures this week. Its only in the eighties! We started work this morning doing some much needed gardening for the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church. We weeded and cleaned out all of their flower beds, multi-tasking by doing what Pastor Debbie calls “prayer-weeding”. The beds look a lot nicer now that we’ve pulled out all of the weeds!After lunch we started working with the Day Camp that the church hosts in their building. We worked with about 35 kids ranging in age from four to twelve years of age. Our first assignment was escorting the kids several blocks to the Rogers Park Library. The kids are so welcoming and accepting, and we made friends quickly on our walk over. While at the library we enjoyed helping the kids pick out books and do work sheets. We kept building relationships with the kids as they enjoyed a snack back at the church, but the high point of the day was our trip to the playground! The kids loved playing different varieties of tag. All the energy they had to restrain while we were at the library came out in full force. They are so enthusiastic!We enjoyed pizza for dinner, and we’re about to head over the YMCA for our daily shower. We’ve had a wonderful day of ministry and building relationships with the kids, and we’re excited to see what happens tomorrow!
This morning we continued working on some projects at the church. Some of us worked on digging a trench on one side of the church that will be later filled with concrete, others painted the back porch of the church, and a few of us stayed inside and played with the kids at the day camp. We made good progress on the trench, completely finished the porch, and continued to build relationships with the kids.After lunch we had a missions training on how to have good, meaningful conversations. We talked through how to have in depth conversations, and then practiced our skills on each other. We’re excited to put our skills to use throughout the rest of the week, and once we go home!In the mid-afternoon we all headed down to the Olive Branch Mission in the south side of Chicago. We did some projects around the mission, including sorting clothes and carrying furniture to the newly renovated fourth floor, and received an overview of the mission’s services and history from on the OBM staff. During our nightly meeting we all shared our high points from the day and most of the team mentioned serving at the Olive Branch Mission as being the most significant and meaningful aspect of their day.Pray for endurance as we continue to build relationships and serve the community!
This morning we headed over to St. James Presbyterian Church in western Rogers Park to clean up the inside of their building. Their small, aging congregation is unable to take care of a most maintenance issues around the building. We thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and fellowship hall, vacuumed several meeting spaces, and cleaned the carpets and chairs. The pastor was deeply appreciative of our hard work and was impressed by how much we got done. We worked until almost 1PM, but after lunch we got to take a little free time to enjoy Lake Michigan and the beautiful weather.We came back to the church at 5PM and had a brief training on prayer walking, and then split up into two groups and went out on the streets surrounding the church. We walked for about an hour, stopping frequently to pray for various needs we saw in the community. Prayer walking is “praying on-site with insight”, and God definitely provided insight into what to pray for as we walked. We all discovered that the more we pray, the easier it is to know what to pray for, and how to pray for it.After a delicious fried chicken dinner we had a group meeting. We spent some time worshiping God for what he’s done this week, and reflecting on the week by describing it in one word. Among other words, the group chose words like “amazing”, “insightful”, “eye-opening”, and “stretching” to describe our week.Pray that we would make the most of our remaining time in Rogers Park and that we would have a lasting impact.
This morning we stayed at Rogers Park Presbyterian. Most of us spent quality time with the children from the day care, but some of us worked on projects around the church, including cleaning the kitchen, touching up the paint job on the porch, and mixing and pouring cement to fill the trenches we dug earlier. The kids at the day care were very sad that this was our last day with them, but we made the most of it by singing songs, playing games, and working on their week long craft project together.After lunch we went Prayer TRAINing. We got on the “L” at the station two blocks from the church and stopped in various places to pray for specific things. We prayed in every area of the city, for many types of things, including for the students of Loyola University, the homeless of the city, the LGBT community, drug and alcohol addictions, city leaders, troubled neighborhoods, and business leaders. It was powerful to see the areas we were praying for as we traveled the city by train and by foot. The prayer training concludes our ministry week. Tomorrow we’ll clean up around the church and then head into the city for time.Pray for safety as we celebrate the week and enjoy the city tomorrow!
We left the church in the morning and took the “L” to downtown to visit the Willis Tower (previously known as the Sears Tower). Because we got there early in the day we didn’t have to wait very long to go up to the glass observation deck. The view was incredible! Afterwards we went to get Chicago-style pizza at Giordano’s. After pizza we took the “L” to Millennium Park where we walked around and enjoyed the various attractions such as the Bean, and the fountains. Finally, we went to Navy Pier and did a little shopping, and took in the beautiful sights of the lake and the city. Some of us even enjoyed Chicago-style hot dogs!
Tonight at our team meeting we shared the highlights of the week, worshiped together, and enjoyed ice cream sundaes.
We’ve had a wonderful week in Chicago. God has taught us so much, and used us to touch the lives of the people we’ve met. Pray for safe travels as we go home tomorrow, and that we continue to live with a Christ-centered focus as we transition back to “normal” life.
To see more of the journal go to: http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/journals?tripid=2391
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BISHOP BVUMBWE receives gift for Lake Chiuta Parish!
Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe and his wife Maria who traveled from Malawi were our guests for a delicious banquet on Friday, June 7th, 2013. The crowd of over 70 people enjoyed pork, scalloped potatoes, cole slaw and a cherry dessert. Our program began with a song about our call to mission, then a greeting from Pastor Joanne followed by a message from the Bishop.
He spoke to us about the life of faith in Christ and how it opens us to see and understand poverty and need in the lives of those around us. He described his journey from pastor to leader of the church since the early 1980’s when the Lutheran Church took root in the country of Malawi. We then presented him with a check for $5000 for a brick building in the Lake Chiuta region. A building will make it possible for social programs, and a feeding station, for the community. This will help children who do not have enough to eat. When asked what other urgent needs our partners have, the Bishop answered that the Pastor needs better transportation to get back and forth between preaching points. Let’s buy him a motorcycle!!
Pastor Joanne presenting a $5,000 check to Joseph Bvumbwe and his wife. (pictured left) Katherine Sorenson with Bishop (on right)
Bishop Bvumbwe and Maria at airport (pictured left). Our traveling group:Pastor Michael Meier, Bob and Sharon Steinke, Katherine, Chris, and Pastor Joanne Sorenson, Bishop Bvumbwe and Maria. (pictured right)
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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) is one of the fastest growing churches in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The ELCM was established November 21, 1982. The establishment was done by indigenous lay people who became Lutherans as they worked in the neighboring countries of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania where the Lutheran Church had already existed and rooted.
In 1999, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi and the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin – ELCA covenanted together in a companion synod relationship.
BISHOP JOSEPH BVUMBE has been the faithful, Christ-centered Pastor and leader of the ELCM since its beginning. His careful pastoral leadership and concern for people has much to do with the rapid growth of the church.
Pastor Joanne, Katherine, Christopher and Bob and Sharon Steinke were honored to be guests in Joseph and Maria Bvumbe’s home one evening during their 2012 visit to Lilongwe. They spoke together about the needs of the church in Malawi and concerns for St James Trinity’s partner-in-mission, the LAKE CHIUTA congregation.
Pastor Joanne and Pastor Thomas Sandas at the Lake Chiuta Mission (2012)