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Heseder Yard Sale

Saint Johns’ mission group, the Heseders, will be holding their annual Yard Sale from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2. Proceeds will go toward the Heseder’s mission work as well as supporting our missionaries in Africa, the Funkes and the Wolfs.

Donations

We will be accepting donations of most anything you would like to see reused by others—except old CRT TVs and computer monitors (flat screen monitors and TVs are welcome) or other bulky electronics. Plants, jewelry and household items go particularly well. Larger-ticket items are appreciated! Please bring your items to the Large Fellowship Hall from Sunday, May 27, through Thursday, May 31, or call Tom in the church office to arrange a pickup.

Volunteers

We will be setting up and pricing items on Wednesday and Thursday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and looking for help with the sale on Friday and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Lunch will be provided each day for volunteers by Thrivent Action Teams. Please sign up for a four hour shift at the Welcome Center, or just drop by and do what you can!

Bake Sale

This year we will be adding a bake sale to the Yard Sale, in lieu of a concession stand. If you can donate two or three dozen cookies, brownies or bars, please have them in the kitchen by Thursday evening, May 31.

Come and Shop!

Come by Friday and/or Saturday to browse. We have literally thousands of items and lots of wonderful deals! Anything still there Saturday goes to half price at Noon and is free at 3:00 PM (when we start packing up). All items not purchased by then are donated to Lutheran Family Services, ARC and Vietnam Vets.

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?

Announcing: Relief Mission to Puerto Rico

What started in 2011 as people asking “Wouldn’t it be great if … ” has become a large, multi-generational group of Saint John’s members who have participated in a wide variety of mission work projects. In 2012 a group of twenty went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help with the earthquake relief there. Since them, Saint John’s “Heseders” have ventured to New Orleans (Louisiana), Estes Park, the Wind River Reservation (Wyoming), Nueva Palestina (Peru) and, through the LCMS’ Mercy Medical Mission Teams, many towns in several countries in east Africa. The whole congregation of Saint John's has been involved in supporting these mission efforts and funding the work of full-time missionaries in Haiti, Peru and Africa.

The Heseders are on the move again, and would like your help either as a member of the mission team or as a valued supporter here in Fort Collins. From June 16 to 23, we will join a group in Puerto Rico working with Group International (an organization that has coordinated our prior international mission work) doing hurricane relief.

September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, a category four storm, plowed through the island, forcing residents to either flee to the mainland or stay and struggle to survive. Power, water and communication were all but non-existent. Roads disappeared, businesses closed, food and fuel were in short supply, but the people’s hope and faith kept them going. Now, five months later, 30% of the residents are still without power. In some places there is no running water. Many families are surviving on one meal a day as they send their money on generator fuel.

Our team will serve in the central mountain communities of Cayey (ka-YAI), Cidra (SEE-drah) and Caguas (KAH-qwahs). We will spend four days serving residents in these communities through various home repair and cleanup projects, such as repairing or replacing damaged tin roofs, repairing damaged walls, removing damaged and ruined belongings from damaged homes, cleaning homes, scraping and repainting and removing debris. There may also be opportunities to distribute food, water and tarps in more remote areas. Even the few days we spend assisting these communities can make a huge difference in the everyday lives of these families. Beyond the work, we will have the opportunity to meet and worship with the people whom we are serving. In particular, on the Sunday before work begins will attend church and spend time learning about the area. Mid-week we will have a free day to explore the area; we will have a vehicle rented so can visit the coast or tour Old San Juan.

Accommodations are arranged by Group International. It looks like we will be staying in the Las Cruces Retreat Center in Caguas, assuming it is repaired in time. If it is not, Group International has other options, including a baseball stadium!

We have ten spaces reserved for this life-changing experience, and can add more if needed. We would like a commitment by Sunday, March 4, from those who would be interested in joining the team. The cost will be $700 per person for food and lodging plus airfare. A majority, if not all, of the $700 base cost will be covered through Heseder fundraising, leaving just airfare and spending money to the participants. Call Tom at the church office (482-5316) to be added to the list or for more information.

Those of you not able to come to Puerto Rico can still serve an important role in the group's hurricane relief. We will be looking for volunteers to serve at our upcoming fundraisers, including the summer Yard Sale and the November Bazaar. We will also be raising money to use to purchase supplies for hurricane victims. Group International encourages teams to bring cash to use to purchase these supplies in Puerto Rico, that we may support the local economy and because our transportation options in Puerto Rico limit the number of large bags we can pack.

Also, we know that Puerto Rico was not the only part of the United State to sustain hurricane damage in 2017. Hurricane Harvey brought flood waters surging into Houston, and there are still areas there that need restoration. We have started the planning process to send a team to the Houston area this fall. Further information will be available soon! Please also prayerfully consider becoming involved in this Texas team.

Please pray for our teams and for all those still struggling because of the 2017 hurricanes. We thank you for your continued support in sharing God’s hesed, or loving kindness!

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?

Alternative Giving for Christmas

My older sister and I got into this ridiculous conversation about what to do with $50 I owe her for another sister’s gift: “Just keep it, I don’t need it.” “Well, I owe it to you.” “Then count it as your Christmas gift” … and on and on. Finally, she said, “Why don’t you donate it to the seminary library in Africa?” What a great idea! Now, the next time Kimberly goes to Uganda she will be bringing $50 worth of books with her for the Lutheran Theological College/Seminary of Uganda!

Are your pre-Christmas conversations like those at my home? “What do you want for Christmas?” “Oh, I don’t know. What do you want?” “I don’t need anything.” “Yeah, me neither.” Please consider solving your “what to get for those who have everything” Christmas gift problems by donating to the Lutheran Theological College, Uganda, in your loved-one’s name. If you were at the November congregation meeting or read last month’s newsletter article on the seminary, you know that the Foundation is matching funds up to $5,000 for the LTCU. Thanks to the Board of Human Needs and the Heseders, who have each donated $1,000, we’re looking for individual donations of just $3,000 to meet the match and give a grand total of $10,000 toward the completion of the seminary.

This money will be used at LTCU to complete the inside of the library, complete the sanctuary/multipurpose building, purchase computers for the classrooms, purchase seed for next year’s crops, clear and recycle construction debris, provide meals for the students of the seminary, purchase chickens and goats, paint the interior rooms, floor the buildings and put pews in the sanctuary.

If you choose to do this alternative giving this year, please make your check out to Saint John’s and mark it “Uganda Seminary.” The gift is tax deductible, as always. As an added bonus, if you contact the office and specify the details about the gift, we will give you a gift notification card which you can then send to the gift recipient.

If you want your donation to go toward books instead of one of the above needs, please mark your gift to “Uganda Library.” These gifts will not count toward the matching funds, but will be used to purchase and then personally deliver books to the seminary library in 2018. Kimberly and I brought five new LSB hymnals to the seminary this summer and they were much appreciated!

Happy “shopping”!

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?

Artisan Fair and Bazaar to Support International Missions

Start your holiday shopping at Saint John’s Lutheran Church, where the work of thirty artists and craftspeople will be available for sale. Well-known local artisans will be selling handmade items including woodcrafts, pottery, jewelry, textiles and fine cuisine. Saint John’s will be selling crafts collected from around the world. Visitors will enjoy door prizes, a bake sale and a silent auction. Concessions (breakfast and lunch) will be available all day.

The booth fees and proceeds from Saint John’s sales will support local and international work and support for those in need around the world, including medical clinic work in the jungle of Peru and villages in eastern Africa, relief work in Haiti, restoration in New Orleans and outreach to our neighbors right here on the Front Range.

Support this important work while enjoying the handiwork of our fantastic vendors. It’s a two-day event you don’t want to miss: Friday, November 10, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Saturday, November 11, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at Saint John’s. Free admission.

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?

Uganda Medical Mission, Post-Clinic

After a productive week of serving in the Pokot villages, we packed up the bus Saturday morning and began the drive back to Jinja. We were once again able to enjoy the scenic drive and beauty of the Ugandan countryside.

As we approached the city of Jinja, we were able to stop and tour the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Uganda in Magamaga. The site is under construction as fundraising continues, but many of the buildings are in use with great vision for how the property will continue to develop and be utilized. Seminary students recently returned to class for the fall semester. There are four years of education for the seminary students. The first two years are spent in didactic classroom instruction. The third year the students complete a vicarage, and then in the fourth year they are back in the classroom. There are three separate classrooms set up for the three years of teaching. Other buildings on the campus include an administrative building, a space for an e-library in the future that will connect to one of the LCMS seminaries in the United States, a space for a book library, a multipurpose hall to be used for worship and conferences, and dormitories where the students can stay. The seminary can hold 50 students at capacity. Students come from every region or district of the Lutheran Church of Uganda, so all parts of the country are represented. Construction is coming along, and there are some great murals in place for decoration. The potential and vision for the site is inspiring.

At the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Uganda.

Sunday morning we were able to worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Jinja where Reverend Enoch Macben is the pastor. The church currently meets in a local school. It was neat to read all of the educational material on the walls in the school as the children appear to be learning English. The church service was in English, and we used a red Lutheran hymnal from 1941 for the service. There was a bit of a Ugandan flare added to the service with the offering song, which added to the cultural worship experience.

Rev. Enoch Macben.

In the evening, our group was able to take a boat cruise on Lake Victoria and to see where the Nile River begins. The time out on the water was relaxing and enjoyable. The evening allowed us to spend time as a group at the home of Mark and Megan Mantey, career LCMS missionaries to Uganda. We enjoyed a meal of Mexican food and were able to try jack fruit, which was quite tasty.

Boat ride on Lake Victoria to see the source of the Nile River.

Monday brought shopping and then a time consuming bus travel journey to the airport in Entebbe. We are all beginning our journeys home excited to see family and friends again and full of memories of time spent together in rural Uganda with the Pokot people.

MMT group following church service.

“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?

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