The Local Missions Ministry Team helps transform faith into action by responding to human and spiritual needs in the larger community. The team coordinates opportunities and encourages members to serve, partnering with selected strategic missions partners (below) to help our neighbors in need.
All are welcome to attend the meetings the first Tuesday of each month, except December, 5:30–7 PM in the Conference Room (421)
Chris Ayers, team leader
STRATEGIC MISSION PARTNERS
The Bloomington/Normal community has many worthwhile agencies that provide aid to members of the community. With so many agencies needing support, St. John’s has chosen the following local agencies to strategically partner with in order to make the largest impact possible:
Safe Harbor works with clients to identify barriers and move toward self-sufficiency. Safe Harbor provides a safe warm environment to sleep, store some personal belongings, eat breakfast and dinner (some non-residents also have meals), shower and laundry, and case management services, including access and referral to local resources. Safe Harbor also provides clients with clothes and personal hygiene products, when available. St. John’s members help with financial donations.
NEW OPPORTUNITY! St. John's members have the opportunity to prepare and serve a meal at Safe Harbor once a month. Six people are needed for each date.
2017 dates (5:30–7:30 PM)
Tuesday, October 17
Tuesday, November 21
Tuesday, December 19
Midwest Food Bank strives to alleviate hunger and poverty by gathering and distributing food donations to not-for-profits and disaster sites without cost to the recipients. St. John’s members volunteer their time at scheduled work dates (below). Volunteers must complete a Volunteer Agreement and Release of Liability form before serving. Contact: Chris Ayers at (309) 824-6873.
2017 work dates
Wednesday, September 24 (5–8 PM)—God's Work Our Hands (download the release of liability)
The form must be printed, filled out and signed, and brought to Midwest Food Bank in order to volunteer.
Thursday, November 16 (6–8 PM)
Thursday, December 14 (6–8 PM)
St. John’s has partnered with the American Red Cross of McLean County since 1997. The need for blood is constant, and every contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. St. John’s hosts three blood drives per year. Members help by donating blood, food, or time. Contact: Lynn Carpenter, (309) 830-2588.
2017 Blood Drive Dates
Saturday, October 7
The Center For Hope Food Pantry Network applies biblically-based principles to help families and individuals break and avoid cycles of poverty through food distribution, education, and referral networking. The food pantry serves the McLean County community with its food and toiletry distribution. The program also offers educational training, such as financial literacy courses, nutrition education, and job readiness workshops. Families with additional needs are provided community referrals and advocacy. Opportunities to serve at Center for Hope Church unpacking, sorting, and packing goods are available the first Monday of each month from 10 AM to 12 PM.
This interfaith volunteer program offers support to seniors 60 years of age and older by providing transportation to medical appointments, shopping, phone calls and visits, and light home repair and maintenance. St. John’s is committed to recruiting caregivers, identifying care receivers, and providing financial assistance. Contacts: Linda Crowley, (309) 662-2852, and Tim Terry, (309) 530-7297
Habitat for Humanity of McLean County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope. Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. St. John’s members give financially and with their time to help build Habitat houses. Contact: Marvin Rasch, (309) 585-0930
St. John’s financially supports the homeless shelter and provides food throughout the school year. Four to five times per year, Thrive small groups prepare sack lunches and deliver them to the shelter. The meal leftovers from DinnerTime are also delivered to the shelter.
Founded in 1974, LOMC’s mission is Connecting the Word of God with the world of God and is directly connected to all three ELCA Illinois Synods. LOMC, located near Oregon, Illinois, has 640 acres of beauty, including a stocked pond, campground, cabins and dining hall, hiking trails with natural rock outcroppings, swimming pool, and adult retreat facility. Many St. John’s members have explored God’s creation through camping, rock climbing, caving, retreats, service work, prayer, Bible study, and more. Several members have also served on the LOMC Board of Directors and as camp counselors.
Responding to the Gospel, LSSI brings healing, justice, and wholeness to people and communities. Founded in 1867, LSSI is the largest statewide social services provider in Illinois, providing more than 190 programs at 85 program sites. Forty-seven percent of the people served have an annual income of less than $5,000.
This prison ministry helps incarcerated parents stay connected with their child. With the help of a trained volunteer, parents record a personal message to their child and record themselves reading a book to their child. The recording and book are then sent to the child to keep and listen to as often as he or she wants. St. John’s members donate books, money, and their time.