“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” Matthew 25: 34-36
At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the Social Concerns Ministry provides members ways to extend Christian compassion to the poor and people in need as well as opportunities to learn and serve about social justice issues in the local community and the world. We serve in a variety of areas, and always welcome new ideas. Some guiding principles can be found at this Evangelical Lutheran Church of America page. Some of our ongoing service areas include:
Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Prevention
Welcome INN (Interfaith Needs Network)
On the second Monday of every month, Our Savior’s provides a meal to the homeless and hungry at Doheny State Beach. There are monthly opportunities to provide food/beverage for this service and/or to serve the meal. A sign-up genius email is sent out monthly to gather volunteer support. Please connect with Heidi Works through the church office with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org or call (949) 492-6164.
Family Assistance Ministries (FAM)
We support the efforts and programs of FAM year-round through our operating budget, with special activities in Summer, October, November and December. Since 1999, FAM has grown to be a hub in South County for homeless prevention and service to those in-need. The faith-based organization provides food, shelter, and personalized supportive counsel and aid, helping clients bridge the gap from dependency to self-sufficiency. Special activities:
Food Drives: Our Savior’s conducts at least two food/baby care drives for FAM in summer and November.
Hunger Walk: Our Savior’s raises money and awareness for FAM throughout the month of October, which it gives toward FAM’s largest annual fundraiser, the Hunger Walk.
Christmas Party: Each year we collect athletic shoes for school children in need in our community under the “Giving Tree” and distribute them at FAM’s Christmas party.
Second Harvest Food Bank
Despite affluence in Orange County, hunger is a problem. Approximately 301,000 people, including one in six children at risk of hunger each month. Seniors and the working poor are also at risk. The mission of Second Harvest is to end hunger in our county. As a provider for those in need beyond our South County locale, we support Second Harvest with our annual food and funds drive in the spring (March).
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
In an effort to support those in need of adequate affordable shelter, Our Savior’s conducts a monthly free will offering for Habitat for Humanity OC. We have funded and built homes in the past and are currently planning future projects.
Health and Wellness
American Cancer Society – Relay for Life
Each Summer, Our Savior’s raises funds and awareness for the mission of the American Cancer Society. We walk alongside, in honor, and in memory of our loved ones affected by cancer in a day of celebration, hope, solidarity, and education.
Local Community Outreach
San Clemente Military Family Outreach (SCMFO)
We stand with and serve our military community through a number of activities. Each November, we give and attend the SCMFO Fall fundraiser, with proceeds going to providing turkey dinners to our service families in need. Each December, we have the opportunity to participate in Mary’s Feast, where women gather as if for a baby shower for baby Jesus. They bring gifts and share a meal together, and all gifts go to service families in need. In the Spring, we do a school supplies and library book drive.
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
Our Savior’s has worked with CLUE as a part of the South County chapter. Being that we live very close to the US-Mexico border, we have a large immigrant and refugee population. We support educational events that help us to understand the issues impacting this community and how we can ally with the community when they are at risk and in need.
National and Global Outreach
Lutheran World Relief
We support the work of Lutheran World Relief through fundraising for special circumstances and by making Kits and Quilts. In October, there is a nation-wide ingathering of these life-changing gifts, which are then delivered to communities throughout the globe impacted by war, famine and/or natural disasters. Our quilters work year round and always welcome donations of fabric and funds for supplies. Fabric must be cotton/cotton blend (no knits) and large enough to make 22” squares. No religious, holiday or patriotic patterns. Monetary donations should be memo’d: quilts. If you have fabric to donate, please connect with Julie Doyle through the church office at email@example.com or call (949) 492-6164. For our kit projects, we raise funds in May and assemble the kits in the Fall.
ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response
The ELCA maintains the ability to respond on short notice and for the long haul whenever disaster strikes. We support these programs through a monthly free will offering and special offerings whenever the ELCA puts out a call for help.
Human trafficking is a source of exploitation and abuse throughout the world and even in our own community. International Sanctuary provides after-care support to survivors of human trafficking in sanctuaries here in the U.S. and in several other countries. Purpose Jewelry is their social enterprise that provides skill training and employment to survivors. Each December, we host a Purpose Jewelry sale. All jewelry is made by survivors of human trafficking and all proceeds support the sanctuaries.
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a faith-based advocacy group that lobbies for legislation to eliminate hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Our Savior’s is a member of BFTW, and we conduct an annual Offering of Letters. These letters are tailored to a specific annual topic and are sent to our national legislators to lobby for just laws.