After Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on Oct. 10, LCMS World Relief and Human Care Disaster Response is partnering with the LCMS Southern and Florida–Georgia districts to provide long-term relief.
Three historic LCMS congregations are rebuilding following catastrophic losses earlier this year.
In a supplement to the October 2018 Reporter, LCMS Disaster Response highlights the mercy work that has been done over the last year following natural disasters in Texas, Puerto Rico, California and other regions.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the LCMS Southeastern District and local Lutherans are working together to bring physical assistance and Gospel hope to disaster victims in North Carolina.
The Synod is working hand in hand with the LCMS Southeastern District to provide relief and begin recovery.
The LCMS Southeastern District and LCMS Disaster Response are working with congregations in the area to address both the physical and spiritual needs of those in the hurricane’s path.
More rain is predicted this week, and much of the state remains under a flood warning.
As wildfires rage across California, local LCMS pastors, congregations and members have found opportunities to care for one another and their communities, while sharing the Gospel of Christ.
During the first 100 years of the LCMS’s history, mercy ministry exploded. “By 1928 the number of hospitals, orphanages, child welfare societies, homes for the aged and institution missions totaled
Christ Lutheran Church in Hilo, Hawaii, has been working to help those affected by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.
Over the last 15 years there has been a resurgence of congregational mercy work within congregations in the LCMS. Much of this was due to the guidance of the Rev. Matthew Harrison, who in his capacity as executive director of WRHC wrote to pastors and lay leaders of the LCMS on the theology of mercy and how to incorporate a mercy that flows from Lutheran congregations to the needy in their community. In addition, the 2001 Synod convention opened up the possibility of a deaconess program at both seminaries for women to study deaconess ministry as a vocation. This expansion of the deaconess program, has increased the number of deaconess church workers, has created a greater awareness of mercy work, and has had a lasting influence across the Synod.
Paul’s ministry was also an example of caring for people in every need. Paul gives a model for congregations and individual Christians to care for their members and for the unchurched community around them. Paul encouraged the Galatians, “Let us not grow weary of doing good … So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:9–10).
During a crisis people tend to turn to God and their faith for strength. During these times it is common to make supplications or petitions to God. It is a godly and pious act to pray and to bring one’s petitions to the Lord. The Large Catechism calls this “calling upon God in every need” and it says, “He [God] requires this of us and has not left it to our choice.”
The act of pastoral blessing is nothing new. In fact, Aaron gives a blessing in what is referred to as the Aaronic benediction, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift us his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24–26).