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Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) - upper midwest districts serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. LCEF is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers LCMS members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time. www.lcef.org

 

Recognizing Servant Hearts for Jesus

Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) recognized servant hearts for Jesus this fall during the Y.I. Service Challenge. Seven Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations in the upper Midwest districts each received $1,000. Recipeints were randomly drawn from all entries in each participating district.

St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, School and Daycare, Janesville, Wisc. Pictured above (left in the back row) with her class, Ruth Ann Schultz. A first grade teacher at St. Paul’s, Schultz submitted their winning entry. $1,000 was awarded to the school on Wed., Oct. 26, 2016 by SWD LCEF Vice President Diana Raasch (pictured above, back row, right.)

St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, School and Daycare, Janesville, Wisc. Pictured above (left in the back row) with her class, Ruth Ann Schultz. A first grade teacher at St. Paul’s, Schultz submitted their winning entry. $1,000 was awarded to the school on Wed., Oct. 26, 2016 by SWD LCEF Vice President Diana Raasch (pictured above, back row, right.)

The South Wisconsin District (SWD) Y.I. Service Challenge recipient was St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, School and Daycare, Janesville, Wisc for making and distributing baby blankets.

“Students in my first grade class tied fleece blankets with the help of their parents and grandparents for a local community hospital," wrote Schultz. “Some community families were bringing home new born babies without having blankets for them. The students went on a field trip to the hospital to deliver the blankets to the nurses. The first graders learned through their actions how important it is to serve all the members of our community, and that everyone can help no matter what your age is.”

The Minnesota South District recipient was the Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minn. The congregation hosts a weekly bread give away which began in February 2016.

On Thursday evenings, left over bread and baked goods are picked up from Panera Bread, Burnsville, Minn. and brought to the church.

On Friday mornings, volunteers wrap the donations and give them away to the community between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

“Our group of volunteers also uses this bread distribution time for prayers and devotions. Many people stop and pray with us, or ask for prayers for them or their families,” said Henning. “Any remaining items are distributed to the Burnsville senior center, 360 Communities® and senior members of Ascension.”

Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minn. Ellie Henning (pictured holding the $1,000 presentation check from LCEF above) submitted her congregation's winning entry in the LCEF Y.I. Service Challenge this fall. Accepting the check with Henning on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, are a few of her fellow volunteers. They distribute bread to their community weekly at the church via the Panera Bread® Day-End Dough-Nation™.

Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Burnsville, Minn. Ellie Henning (pictured holding the $1,000 presentation check from LCEF above) submitted her congregation's winning entry in the LCEF Y.I. Service Challenge this fall. Accepting the check with Henning on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, are a few of her fellow volunteers. They distribute bread to their community weekly at the church via the Panera Bread® Day-End Dough-Nation™.

Iowa District West LCEF Vice President Carole White (pictured left) and DCE DeAnn McCue at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, Iowa. On behalf of her congregation, McCue accepted the $1,000 LCEF award for their winning entry in the Y.I. Service Challenge on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Iowa District West LCEF Vice President Carole White (pictured left) and DCE DeAnn McCue at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, Iowa. On behalf of her congregation, McCue accepted the $1,000 LCEF award for their winning entry in the Y.I. Service Challenge on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, Iowa was the Iowa District West recipient. Gloria Dei provides a Sack Lunch Ministry to underprivileged members of a downtown Des Moines neighborhood. “...we provided over 150 backpacks filled with school supplies [and] sack lunches every day this summer,” wrote DCE DeAnn McCue in her contest entry.

The Gloria Dei servant team also helped build a swing set/play set and distributed new and like-new clothing to members of the neighborhood. They hope to build raised garden beds and help members of the neighborhood learn how to grow and harvest their own vegetables in Iowa.

“We hope to help move them from poverty to self-sustained within the next 5 years,” wrote McCue.

Gloria Dei serves neighborhood families in nearby downtown Des Moines.

Gloria Dei serves neighborhood families in nearby downtown Des Moines.

The Y.I. Service Challenge also helped raise awareness that members of LCEF’s Young Investors (Y.I.) Club can earn $25/calendar year for 10 hours of community service (ages 7-18.) 

If you’re looking for great community service ideas that you can do individually, or as a church or school group, check out all the wonderful servant events here.

See the full list of 2016 Y.I. Service Challenge winners, click here. Want to learn more about becoming a Y.I. Club member? Click here.