The Bible readings on Sunday, Feb. 27, focus on how Jesus, in the first century, met the needs of blind people. A recent mailing of resources from Lutheran Blind Mission focuses on how Jesus — in the 21st century — is meeting the needs of blind and visually impaired people through Missouri Synod Lutherans.
All LCMS pastors and Sunday-school superintendents should have received the materials by November. Lutheran Blind Mission, a St. Louis-based mission society that works in partnership with LCMS World Mission, prepared the mailings “to help both congregations and individuals be aware of the scope of our work,” said Executive Director Rev. Dave Andrus.
Because of the related Bible readings, the last Sunday of this month might be an ideal time for congregations to focus on the Synod’s work — and opportunities to get involved — in blind ministry, Andrus said.
Under the theme “Jesus in the 21st Century Meets the Needs of Blind People,” the mailing includes ideas for highlighting blind ministry in congregations and Sunday schools, a sample bulletin insert, a copy of the “In His Hands” newsletter, and a script for explaining the needs of blind people and what the Synod is doing to meet them. Scripts are tailored to each LCMS district, highlighting the specific work in that district.
Also included is a U.S. map showing the locations of Lutheran Blind Mission’s 28 “outreach centers,” which provide human care, resources, and fellowship for blind and low-vision people, and the mission society’s 56 work centers in 34 cities, where Lutheran volunteers produce braille and large-print reading materials. The materials are available free, on loan, through the Lutheran Library for the Blind.
“In the United States alone, there are over 5 million blind and nearly blind people, and 6 million who are visually impaired,” said Andrus. “Ninety-five percent are unchurched, 70 percent are unemployed, and 50 percent are under the age of 50. This is a big mission field.”
Andrus said he hopes the materials are helpful in explaining to sighted Lutherans “what blindness is — that it’s not as bad as you think, and especially, with help and training, that life with God is good.”
Additional blind-ministry packets are available free from Lutheran Blind Mission, 7550 Watson Road, St. Louis, MO 63119-4409. For more information, contact the mission society at (888) 215-2455 or www.blindmission.org.
Posted Jan. 28, 2005