March 31, 2020

Newsletter


Big Changes for This Year's Men's NetWork WORK DAY
Our hope is that all is well for you, your family, and friends during this difficult and trying time. Right now the presence and spread of COVID-19 is changing the way we do things on a grand scale. For years the Men's NetWork WORK DAY has been a nationwide service event where individuals and groups of people have benefitted by the compassionate and Christ-centered work of men's groups and other interested participants around the country.

This year we naturally want to continue that tradition—but with a twist. As social distancing and reducing human contacts have become the new norm, we wanted to update you on how you can still serve others this coming Saturday, April 25, or perhaps some other day of your choosing later this year.

Can you still participate in the annual Men's NetWork WORK DAY during this time of social distancing and Shelter-In-Place orders? Yes! Loving your neighbor has never been more important!

However, this year will look different than WORK DAYS in the past. Considering the recommended social distancing across the country, we are encouraging three options for your group:

1. Participate on April 25th, but instead of gathering, find a project to do individually at the same time, in your own neighborhood. You can check out some cool service ideas by clicking here.

2. Consider every day a WORK DAY! Work with your men's group on how to be present in your neighborhoods. Stay connected and encourage each other with ideas.

3. Re-schedule your regular WORK DAY projects for later this summer, before Labor Day, Sept 7th. We will offer 3 LHM Neighborhood Service Awards for the spring and 3 for the summer WORK DAY.

One minor bummer for the time being concerns the caps we ordinarily ship. In accordance with St. Louis County mandates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, Lutheran Hour Ministries is operating with minimal staff in our physical office, and caps will not be shipped until further notice.

Thank you for understanding.

All the best on your WORK DAY efforts this year!

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Building Bridges with the Developmentally Disabled
A new LHM Learn course, Face2Face: Building Relationships with People with Disabilities is now available. In this course, you'll look at ways of fostering and expanding relationships with those who have developmental disabilities. True and heart-warming stories combined with plenty of practical wisdom make this course a valuable learning resource.

This four session course was produced in partnership with Bethesda Lutheran Communities of Watertown, Wisconsin, a Christian ministry that has been serving others for more than 115 years. Downloadable resources for Face2Face include a printable journal, discussion guide, video transcript, and tip sheet for use with small groups.

All LHM Learn online courses are FREE and need only your registration to use. To check out this course and the others at LHM Learn, you can click here. Don't forget too that you can start and stop courses mid-stream, returning later to where you left off, so they are ideal for people with busy schedules. They're also excellent to use in small groups and to share with those who have questions on topics they address.

Online courses from LHM Learn fall into five different faith-strengthening categories. Here they are:

* Christian Foundations (the basics of Christianity from biblical, theological, and historical perspectives)

* Cultural Concepts (resources to understand the different demographics, cultures, and religions in our world today)

* Everyday Insights (thoughts about the good and bad that life throws our way)

* Outreach Essentials (personal evangelism and tools to reach others with the Gospel)

* Spiritual Reflections (devotional thoughts meant to strengthen and encourage)

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Speaking in Spanish: Sentido Latino Address U.S. Hispanic Issues
Each week Sentido Latino hosts Rev. Luciano Vega-Ayala and Deaconess Noemi Guerra speak to the many cultural, moral, and social challenges Hispanics face as U.S. citizens. Their chemistry is contagious, and their exchange is energetic and spirited. Speaking from a Christian-Latin perspective, they offer listeners their insights, experience, and a healthy dose of godly wisdom in Spanish.

Sentido Latino means "Latin sense," and its tagline, "Donde tu vida tiene Sentido," means "Where Your Life Makes Sense." Launched in 2018, each 15-20-minute podcast raises and discusses issues and values that directly impact the family, spiritual, and community life of U.S. Hispanics. You can check out Sentido Latino by clicking here! The website provides transcripts for each program; offers articles and suggestions for real-life application and provides free downloadable resources.

Sentido Latino's accompanying Facebook page @sentidolatino engages a wider audience with daily inspirational quotes and images that can be shared via Facebook and other social media. "Un camino mejor" (A Better Way), a weekly one-minute reflection, is also shared via the web, Facebook, and WhatsApp with an even larger audience.

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Making Our Way to the Cross—and the Empty Tomb
In less than two weeks, we will solemnly reflect on our Savior's crucifixion and glory in His Easter morning resurrection. Take time, if you haven't already, to fix your heart and mind on the events that will soon transpire. This year's Lenten devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries can help you do just that.

Deliver Us: Jesus Sets Us Free was penned by LHM's Theological Writer Dr. Kari Vo. Working in concert with Lutheran Hour Speaker Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, she explored the profound connection between the Exodus of the Old Testament and Christ's Passion in the New. The result is a seasonal devotion showing the reader how God is always about the act of setting His people free.

Throughout Lent, you can still receive these devotions as a daily e-mail. You can download and print these devotions, too. This option includes a large-font text and bulletin inserts. You can also listen to them as a podcast with Dr. Zeigler reading the devotions. You can find out more about these devotions by clicking here.

Por sus heridas fuimos sanados, the Spanish-language version, can be read online or received as a daily e-mail during Lent. Rev. Héctor Hoppe reads the messages. LHM offers a print version for download as well. Find out more by clicking here.

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Three New Booklets Give Parents Solid Information for Fostering Their Child's Faith
A trio of booklets from Mary Oldfield, a retired children's ministry director, give parents (and others) a wealth of fresh and practical material for raising their children in a godly fashion. Helping Your Child Have a Relationship with God, Helping Your Child Grow Through Faith Conversations, and Helping Your Child Welcome Others will prove to be important assets to any family's parenting library. Each booklet is filled with relevant Scriptures that give readers important points to consider in their journey with their children. Throughout each booklet, Oldfield brings her experience to bear as she offers nuggets of wisdom and moments of humor in sharing her message.

Each one of the Helping Your Child booklets is available at the LHM storefront. You can find them by clicking here.

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Serving
You hear a lot about service these days. Kids have service projects at school, in the Scouts, or through some community youth program. People volunteer for food pantries or soup kitchens over the holidays. Social media has posts about "giving back" or "paying it forward."

But service goes way beyond that. For some people, it becomes a lifestyle. That's what Jesus called us to -- not just to do "projects," but to spend ourselves in caring for others.

It's what He did, after all. It didn't matter to Him what kind of person He was dealing with -- a poor woman, a distraught father, a social outcast -- He was completely there for them, listening to them, paying attention to what they needed. And then He did what He could to meet those needs, even the ones that never found a voice: the woman's need for a new, better status in the community; the outcast's need not just for healing but for human touch (see John 4; Luke 5:12-15).

We can do that, too -- be in the moment, pay attention to those we're interacting with, meet the needs we can. It's what Jesus calls us to do.

But it's messy. If you open yourself up to human need, you risk getting dragged in to other people's messy lives. And lots of us -- maybe all of us -- don't really want to do that. It's not comfortable. We worry what might be asked of us -- and whether we'll be able to "get out of it" if we want to.

The thing about service is this: people tend to put limits on how far they'll be involved with the people they serve. And that's not bad. We have to have boundaries, or we get worn out and people walk all over us. But most people put those limits up a lot sooner than they need to -- and some amazing things could happen if they'd stretch just a bit further.

Let's take an example. Maybe there's an older man, Ed, who's about to lose his home. Medical bills and late payments have put him on the edge of foreclosure. He's in a panic, because he's never been good at paperwork, and he sure can't afford to hire someone to sort it out.

So you volunteer to look at it. You make a few phone calls, you talk to a social worker friend, you call the bank (with his permission, of course!) You find a solution. Whew! That's good. That's over with. Or is it?

Take a step back and look at your new friend. Actually, he could use a friend -- a real friend -- because he's largely home-bound. Any time the weather gets bad, he's stuck at home. He's got transportation issues. His car is twenty years old and on its last legs. But he hasn't said anything to you about it because he's very proud and independent. He'll take help from a friend -- but not from a mere acquaintance.

Go deeper. Ed is a great guy; he should have loads of friends. But his wife died ten years ago, and his only son is in the military stationed in Germany. Ed's retired, so he doesn't have work friends, and he doesn't go to church. He says hello to his neighbors, but they came here as refugees and don't have much more English than the basics.

Could you spend some time with Ed?

Not as a "service project." Nobody likes to be a project. But as a friend -- as a person you care about and want to spend time with. That's real service -- the kind you do because that's just what you were made to do. It's the kind that, ultimately, you don't even realize you're doing, because it's just who you are. Ed's needs are not the needs of a stranger anymore; they are the needs of your friend. And so naturally you do what you can.

This is the kind of life Jesus lived. This is the kind of life He calls His followers to. And God forgive us, there's plenty of proof that Christians don't always live this way. But we can. We can try. Because meeting human need is what Jesus is all about.

Written by the THRED team

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Upcoming Events:
  • KS, Gardner: Noah's Band Aide Project
    February 26, 2020 - April 14, 2020
    Host Church: King of KIngs Lutheran
  • IL, Belvidere: 10th Annual Men's Retreat
    April 17, 2020 - April 19, 2020
    Host Church: Belvidere immanuel Lutheran Church
  • IN, Seymour: 2020 Men's Gathering : Lost Things
    April 17, 2020 - April 19, 2020
    Host Church: Lakeview Villages

View All Events


Newest Men's NetWork Groups:
  • Lutheran Church of the Cross Sonseekers
    Punta Gorda, FL
  • Men's Network
    Marion, IA
  • Men of the Risen Savior
    Franklin, WI
view all groups