(Image: The Very First Christmas by Rev. Dr. Paul L. Maier, LCMS third vice president, published by Concordia Publishing House, is being distributed to Superstorm Sandy survivors.)
As the struggles continue for many Superstorm Sandy survivors in the Northeast, two LCMS districts are joining forces with the Synod’s International Center to share a special Christmas gift of help and hope with families who are among the hardest hit.
The LCMS has made available up to $200,000 for the New Jersey and Atlantic districts for ‘The Gift of Christmas’ outreach.
The Gift of Christmas will enable LCMS congregations in areas most impacted by Sandy to personally distribute presents for children, gift cards for families and a book that tells the story of Christmas — the incarnational love of God in Jesus — in their communities.
LCMS New Jersey and Atlantic District congregations began distributing these gifts December 15 and will continue doing so through Christmas Day.
Rev. Dr. David Benke, president of the LCMS Atlantic District shared this update Monday, Dec. 17:
“Over the weekend [Dec. 15-16], Rev. Steve Roth [of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Laurelton, N.Y.] was in the Rockaways distributing gifts.
“The books arrived on Thursday and labels are being made for each one for follow-up contact. Additional Spanish-language books were ordered through Concordia Publishing House (Cristo El Salvador) and will arrive tomorrow, with more labels being prepared.
“[Contacts we met] said that gift cards and the book distribution would be great; that the gift cards are needed for purchasing supplies — lumber, dry wall, basic house/apartment needs — that are not being taken care of.
“The books and gift cards will be distributed in affected areas as well as in areas where community outreach to the needy is part of the mission in the Christmas season.
Dave Hildebrandt, LCMS New Jersey District staff member, reported on the outreach program Tuesday, Dec. 18:
“Rev. Chris Schonberg [of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Point Pleasant] supervised five groups who had assembled on Saturday [Dec. 15] for distribution and outreach. The group consisted of members of Good Shepherd and a youth group from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood. Nearly 85 outreach contacts were made. Good Shepherd will be providing a dinner meal to the community of Bay Head this coming Saturday [Dec. 22] and will use that gathering for further outreach efforts.”
To support those affected by Superstorm Sandy and other natural disasters or man-made calamities:
* Make an online gift at https://www.lcms.org/givenow/disaster.
* Mail checks payable to “The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod” (with a memo line or note designating “LCMS Disaster Relief”) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
* Call toll-free 888-930-4438 (8:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday).
- LCMS Atlantic District at: www.ad-lcms.org
- LCMS New Jersey District at: www.njdistrict.org
- LCMS Disaster Response at: www.lcms.org/disaster
Tags: Christmas, Concordia Publishing House, Disaster, disaster response, grant, Hurricane Sandy, LCMS, LCMS Atlantic District, LCMS Disaster Response, LCMS New Jersey District, Lutheran, relief, Superstorm Sandy