In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” three times. Each time, Peter answered a fervent “yes”. And to each “yes”, Jesus responded with an instruction: “Feed my lambs”; “Tend my sheep”; and “Feed my sheep”.It’s not hard to figure out what Jesus wants us to do in response to our love for Him and His love for us. Here are just a few ideas to get started:
Giving of your Time:
- With a small group of others, prepare a meal for the Overflow Homeless Shelter located in First Lutheran Church. The shelter operates in the cold months of November through April.
- Become a mentor to neighbors who are refugees from Burma. Give 2-4 hours per week to help members of a family learn English, become acquainted with the neighborhood, and learn about living in Albany NY.
- Make sandwiches for the Overflow Homeless Shelter or for the Homeless Action Committee to distribute.
- Volunteer at the Overflow Homeless Shelter (screening is required; training is provided). Contact the Capital Area Council of Churches at 462-5450.
- Sort and pack food and other items at the Regional Food Bank (965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham) for distribution to the food pantries. Better yet, organize a group to go on a regular basis. Other volunteer opportunities include helping with office work or working on the Patroon Land Farm. Contact www.rfbneny.com, or call 786-3691.
Sharing your Money:
Throughout the year, First Lutheran invites your to share your money as you are able to make life better for others. Opportunities for financial gifts usually include:
- disaster relief
- feeding the hungry
- supporting the Overflow Homeless Shelter
- eradicating malaria
- supporting Global Barnyard
Providing needed Supplies:
- Donate food and personal care items to our local food pantry. Donated items may be placed in the baskets at each entrance to the Sanctuary and outside the church office. See the Sunday bulletins and First Word for specific items that are in short supply.
- Each month First Lutheran and our cluster Lutheran Churches offer opportunities to donate supplies needed by other organizations such as the Overflow Homeless Shelter, Albany Maritime Ministry.
- Recycle Used Clothing and Shoes. We have a Blue Box in our Cortland parking lot.
Using your Hands:
- Help people with HIV/AIDS to care for their beloved pets through the Albany Damien Center’s PAWS program. Contact www.pawsnycapitalregion.org or www.albanydamiencenter.org and click on “PAWS”.
- Volunteer at the Albany Damien Center – contact www.albanydamiencenter.org and click on “Volunteer”. Or call 449-7119.
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Each Fall the five Lutheran Cluster Churches join others in efforts to build good housing in Albany.
- Knit or crochet Prayer Shawls to be given to people going through difficult times.
Using your Feet:
- Walk in the CROP Walk. The Capital Area Council of Churches organizes the CROP Walk, and First Lutheran serves as the host. Each year 400-700 people gather after worship on the 1st Sunday in May. We invite you to join us in “Ending Hunger- One Step at a Time” and help our ”Communities Respond to Overcome Poverty”. People of all ages will collect pledges and walk in one of the ten CROP Walks taking place in the greater Capital District.
- Support the Albany Damien Center by walking in the AIDS Walk in September. See First Word and Sunday bulletins in September for information.
- Show your support for and welcome of LGBT sisters and brothers by joining the group from First Lutheran to walk in the Capital Pride Parade each June.
Speaking Truth to Power:
- Express your opinions! Write a letter to your local, state or congressional representatives. Contact Bread for the World (www.bread.org) for information about ongoing efforts to end hunger and promote social justice, and for information about how to write an effective advocacy letter.
- Become knowledgeable on a topic of your choice, and share your knowledge with others. Encourage them to join you in your advocacy efforts.
- Stay informed by reading the newspaper and watching the news. Write a letter in response to an issue of importance to you.