The Least of These

Please join us for an ongoing video series dedicated to ministry to the least of these.  New additions will be added weekly.

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.


Feeding the Neighborhood

Ms. Becky Wade and Deaconess Sally Hiller

TAKEAWAYS AND KEY POINTS

  • For the past 10 years, Redeemer has been intently focused on engaging the neighborhood.
  • As part of their early neighborhood work, Redeemer distributed bags of food to an average of 9-10 families in need.
  • During COVID, they adjusted to meet neighbor needs by expanding the food distribution and developing a partnership with an area food bank called Feed More.
  • The food distribution became a drive-through operation and began to hand out 100-150 bags of food per week.
  • Redeemer further developed a partnership with a local Middle School; a volunteer takes 25 bags of food to drop off at homes for families in need.

OTHER COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • Partnerships with neighborhood HOAs, PTAs, and area schools led to a greater understanding of unmet community needs.
  • Redeemer provides brunch for the teachers and staff of 4 area schools; conversations lead to additional opportunities for community engagement.
  • Every 3rd Friday of the month, Redeemer provides a continental breakfast for school families for friendly conversation.

Kairos: Prison Ministry

Rev. Tim Fangmeier and Deaconess Sally Hiller

WHY KAIROS?

  • Matthew 25:36 – “…I was in prison and you visited me.”
  • Currently, there are over 2.2 million people in U.S. prisons…a 500% increase over the past 30 years.  Prisons are places of little hope, except for what Christ alone can offer.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • Many who are incarcerated lacked supportive family or parental figures in their lives.
  • There is power in presence…being present with a spirit of respect to listen, listen, and to love, love.  Pastor David Augsburger stated that, “Being listened to is so close to being loved that the average person cannot tell the difference.”  God uses brokenness in powerful ways, and there is plenty of brokenness in prisons.
  • The power of forgiveness can absolutely turn lives around…no matter who they are!

Ministry with and to the Aging

Mrs. Alice Hedt and Deaconess Sally Hiller

HOW CAN CONGREGATIONS ASSESS THEIR INVOLVEMENT WITH THEIR OLDER MEMBERS?

  • Explain dimensions of aging and the need to assess each level: the “Goes,” the “Slow Goes,” the “No Goes.”
  • The need for the faith community to be very intentional about offering opportunities for older adults to be involved in ministry AND opportunities to receive spiritual and emotional support.
    • examples: Sundays at Six at Ascension, phone support to nursing home resident, Senior Sundays

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR CONGREGATIONS TO REACH OUT TO OLDER ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY?

  • Older people are an amazing resource to our faith communities.
  • Older people are our neighbors, an often untapped community for outreach. Example:
    • There are 5,300 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Southeastern District, with over 266,000 residents!
    • 40% have no regular visits from family or friends.
  • Older persons are often engaged with their families, witnessing to their faith, especially to grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  • Some elders are suffering enormously from the increased isolation of COVID-19 (no in-person interaction with family or friends for 2 years).