Christ Lutheran Church

flags and steeple above church building

side view of church with steeple

Christ Lutheran Church, DuBois, Pennsylvania

“Where it feels like family”

Editor: Is short term missions an important part of your global mission program? Do you encourage members to go and serve on mission trips?

Amy: Yes, most recently in the summer of 2023, nine youth and eleven adults from Christ Lutheran Church  in north central Pennsylvania traveled to Mt. Joy in Lancaster County, PA, to serve at the UNTO Global Logistics Center. At this center, volunteers pack supplies, used clothing, quilts, medical and school kits and much more, to help folks who live in some of the toughest places on earth. Distributing this aid also opens opportunities for missionaries to share the Gospel with people who have never heard about Jesus. I have led many mission trips, especially youth mission trips, through my 34 years of ministry. These trips opened the hearts of many youth to Christ’s call to share the Gospel and serve our neighbors.

group of people in front of sign

Editor: How do you fund your mission support? Do you set aside a portion of the offerings, for example 10%, to fund local and global outreach? What percentage is local and what is global? Do you also include designated giving toward global mission?

Amy: Christ Lutheran has generously supported these mission trips and has a heart for sharing time and resources with others. The congregation gives away over 10% of its offerings. This includes budgeted funds, Holiday funds and Mission of the Month donations. Most of this giving goes to local charities. For example, our congregation provides the majority of volunteers and leaders for our local food pantry. However, Christ Lutheran has also given generously through the years to world hunger relief, even stepping up with extra donations during Covid because of the dire need. We also have a weekly quilting group who has donated its handwork to global mission through Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and UNTO.

quilt displayed on tables inside church sanctuary

Editor: Where are you currently working / supporting? What is generating the most interest and involvement? And how do you share with the congregation what you are doing and whom you support?

Amy: In January 2023, Christ Lutheran joined the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The NALC encourages congregations to support missions both at home and abroad. I knew we were already doing much locally, so I started to search for an opportunity to expand our global mission. I came across an article in the July 2023 NALC news by Pastor Douglas Schoelles. The article was titled Pigs for Pastors. This was a phrase he coined to get people’s attention and challenge them to give. The goal was to provide capital for pastors in the Lao Evangelical Church in Laos to supplement their income with the purchase of small pig farms, thus helping make their ministry possible. 

I loved the idea and brought it to our staff and council. We made it our October/November 2023 Mission of the Month. An article in the newsletter introduced ALWM and the purpose of the project. Our Sunday School children made the display for our narthex, complete with a little pig farm and a silo on which we could mark the progress toward our goal of $2,000. Sunday School children also introduced the mission in a temple talk at each of our services. Each student took home a little piggy bank, which they stuffed full of coins. They collected $127.63. The congregation donated the rest, and we exceeded our goal for a grand total of $2,207.30. We look forward to hearing more about the pastor and people who benefit from these funds and developing a relationship through ALWM with them. We also hope that this initial project will open us up to new opportunities for global mission.

red plastic piggy bank with logo on side

Editor: What else would you like to add to encourage others to get more involved globally?

Amy: Jesus gave us the Great Commission, “to go and make disciples of all nations.” Many across the world have not yet heard the Good News. This Pigs for Pastors program is a creative way to fund ministry in a country where the church is still a fledgling endeavor. Their need and this creative way to meet it inspired my congregation’s generosity. But of course, this is not a new idea. St. Paul was a tentmaker; he supported his ministry by his work. But not just that, his work was an opportunity for him to get into communities in a more familiar way to develop relationships and share the Gospel in daily life. This has become a model for mission in places like Laos, a new spin on a very old model. Our hope and prayer is that the church in Laos will continue to grow and that many will become disciples of our Lord Jesus. What an honor, even though we are halfway around the world, to in some small way help to spread the Gospel. To God be the glory – great things He does!

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