Keeping each other safe during COVID
Please visit our homepage and specific ministry pages to see how we are adapting our shared ministry to this challenge.
We are all called to be missionaries, and St. Thomas is called to be a mission center. These are bold, wonderful words, and we have thought, prayed, and dreamed about how to be faithful to them. We’re finding many ways to stay in mission during the pandemic. If you’d like to explore this further, you’re invited to the next (Zoom) meeting of the Mission Committee, the first Monday of every month. Contact Dawn Bakken for the link. Here’s what you can do right now!
Winter 2021 Mission Opportunities
Civic Engagement – God calls us into the world to serve together. As Lutherans and members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America we are called to advocate for many social service issues: Hunger and Homelessness, Health Care, Education, Care of Creations, Immigration and many more issues both internationally, nationally, and locally.
Currently, there is an opportunity to be informed and involved in local Monroe County issues. The League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County, with its co-sponsor the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, will hold the first LWV Legislative Update of 2021 on Saturday, January 16, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Since this will be a Zoom session it will be a perfect time for us to follow the work and priorities of the State legislators representing Monroe County as they report on their work and priorities for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly. There will be opportunity for attendees to ask their legislators questions. Here’s where to register to for the Zoom meeting. All legislative updates are free and open to the public. This is the first of four planned Legislative Updates sponsored by the League and the Chamber. All will be held using Zoom and are intended to be informative, not debates. Audience questions should be framed to elicit information for the benefit of all and to enable any of the legislators to weigh in. Subsequent Legislative Updates are scheduled for February 13, March 6 and April 10. All updates will be recorded by Community Access Television Services through the Monroe County Public Library, with the video available on the CATS website shortly after each update.
The work of the Indiana General Assembly can be followed on its website, which provides a wealth of information and offers the possibility to track the progress of individual bills. The Bloomington Herald-Times and other local media also provide reports on the activities of the General Assembly.
St. Thomas’ Sister Parish committee invites you to do your gift and home goods shopping at SERRV, an international fair-trade nonprofit established in 1949, to help fund future delegation trips between Chichipate, Guatemala and Bloomington, Indiana. You’ll find past favorites – such as chocolate bars and holiday decorations – and much more through our custom shopping link. Use this custom shopping link to see all SERRV’s handcrafts, and please also share the link with anyone you know who would appreciate SERRV items and enjoy supporting Sister Parish! Whatever you order will be shipped directly to you. Please check that you see St. Thomas in an orange banner at the top of the page to ensure your order is being applied to this fundraiser. If you would like help making an order, please contact Kaye Hill.
Winter clothes & gear for the homeless needed at Shalom Community Center – volunteers also welcome!
Right now Shalom is running an outdoor gear drive: winter clothes, boots, tents, tarps, blankets, and sleeping bags. There’s a no-contact drop-off table in the back parking lot, which you can access by turning left down the driveway immediately after the Center at 620 S. Walnut St. Shalom is open from 8am to 4pm every day so a drop-off any time during those hours would be great. If you are not able to deliver items yourself, Susan Krieg in the church office can find someone to doo a no-contact pick up at your home.
The Shalom Community Center is a familiar name to Bloomington folk. This independent, nonprofit day shelter offers an expanding collection of resources for people who are living in homelessness, poverty, and hunger: the Shalom day shelter, the Friends Place overnight shelter, the rapid re-housing program, street outreach, Phil’s Kitchen, and the Crawford Homes. The Friends Place overnight shelter announced last week that they are adding twenty beds for women at the shelter. Shalom is in the process of reorganizing itself as Beacon Incorporated, an umbrella organization to coordinate all these projects. You can find details for all these projects at the Beacon website.
Furniture, financial aid and volunteers needed at St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) provides furniture, appliances and financial assistance to needy people in Monroe County. Please consider donating, volunteering, and spreading the word! To donate furniture or appliances and schedule a pickup, please contact: Gene Laughman at email@example.com or text/call 812-320-0400.
FURNITURE: using a voucher system, furniture and appliances are delivered to needy individuals and families in Monroe County 48 Saturdays every year. Many of the SVdP clients are starting over with nothing. Donation pickups can be scheduled for one of five time slots each week.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: SVdP typically helps with things like rent and utilities. When able, they often help with vehicle repair and apartment deposits. SVdP financial assistance is funded by donations and grants. They are incredibly compassionate and highly responsible as they utilize funding. For more information about financial assistance, please contact Helen Ingersoll.
To be in mission is to participate – to give, build, pray, dig, share, collect, listen, dream, advocate, cook, see, do, accompany, witness – to act. At St. Thomas, we use the word mission to describe the many ways we act, as individuals, as groups, and as a congregation, to participate in God’s redemptive and reconciling work in the world. Each of us can be part of this mission. Our worship, our study, even our shared meals – all these direct our intention towards God’s invitation to participate. We are engaged in an ongoing process of working with one another’s visions, callings, and hopes and there’s mission being enacted throughout the congregation – diverse, unpredictable, and dynamic.
God has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, NIV)