Let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.
St. John's Light 5:16 Ministry has been in existence since 2013. The team currently consists of 6 members of the congregation who seek out opportunities to help the local communities on behalf of St. John’s. The team is guided by our Father in heaven, our Pastor, and their vision based on Matthew 5:16 (see above).
The team continued to meet periodically this year mostly via conference call due to COVID-19. Everyone in the congregation is welcome to join the team or just attend any of the meetings or help at events.
St. John’s Light 5:16 ministries in 2020 included the following:
BABY NEEDS BANK has been in existence since May 2014. It helps local families by providing them with various baby items (diapers, formula, baby food, wipes, baby lotion/wash, clothing, larger equipment, etc.). Most of the clients are referred by Love INC (in the Name of Christ) (http://www.loveinclorainco.org) who identifies and qualifies the need. The team strives to be welcoming and form relationships in addition to providing for physical needs. Conversations end with prayer and praise to our Father in heaven. In 2020, the Baby Needs Bank served 37 families with 182 members in households (1 family more than once) with a $5,872 estimated value of items.
The team sends birthday cards to the children (under 18) of our baby bank clients. 60 birthday cards were sent in 2020.
Additionally, this year there were a few Spanish-speaking families who moved here from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed their homes, with which Love INC helped the team communicate and pray. And, the team was able to provide these families with Spanish scripture passages (prepared by Pastor Bill), bibles, devotionals, and kids’ Bible storybooks!
COVID-19 DONATIONS - In light of the COVID-19 virus crisis in our community, Light 5:16 provided monetary donations to Second Harvest of North Central Ohio to help with their food distributions and to We Care Elyria. We Care Elyria is an organization created by the Elyria mayor, Frank Whitfield, and is facilitated and sponsored by The Church of the Open Door, First United Methodist Church, House of Healing, and many community organizations. During 2020, this program provided weekly food boxes and other essential items to more than 800 people in Elyria, mainly seniors and individuals with disabilities. It also funded free computer classes at Goodwill (to teach everything from how to place a video call to how to pay bills online) and a free refurbished laptop for anyone who participated in four or more of these classes. In addition under this program, Goodwill offers a monthly food pantry, and a bike drive was organized with the Elyria Bike Center that resulted in more than 100 bikes being given to local kids and families throughout the year.
CLOTHE- A- KID FOR SCHOOL PROGRAM With the support of the congregation and other outside organizations, the team delivered school clothing to 10 children (6 families)! This Lorain County-wide program (coordinated by Love INC) served 570 children with an estimated clothing value of $61,000 in 2020!
CORNERSTONE PREGNANCY SERVICES (https://cornerstoneanswers.org/) Coordinated and participated in the Cornerstone Baby Bottle Blessings collection with the congregation.
Participated in the Cornerstone Walk for Life. The walk began at their facility on Griswold Road with prayer and worship. A member of Light 5:16 and Pastor Bill attended with the walk “turning around” at St. John’s parking lot. St. John’s was able to serve those who walked with access to our restrooms and a brief rest before returning to Cornerstone. During the walk, one of the walkers let us know she was starting to teach Sunday School at her church and was struggling with material. Light 5:16 was able to provide her with a couple of children’s activity bibles.
LOVE INC SUPPORT Sponsored a virtual table for Love INC’s virtual fundraiser in October. With our support of Love INC, along with other churches in Lorain County, we helped them mobilize over $125,000 worth of goods and services in the name of Christ in 2020!
CHRISTMAS Sent 35 Christmas Cards to our 2020 Baby Bank clients with an invitation to join us for our Christmas Eve service. Also, during the fourth quarter’s baby bank events, we purchased 6 new winter coats, a couple of pair of new boots, and a few new hats & mittens. The team also included children’s Christmas storybooks, Christmas Tree ornaments, and gingerbread crafts.
The team currently has 2 ways they raise funds for St. John’s outreach ministry:
1) Learning Center Rentals - St. John's offers rentals in our Learning Center for any event or occasion. At least one Light 5:16 member supervises during the event. All proceeds from the rentals support St. John’s Light 5:16 community ministry. Unfortunately, after the COVID-19 outbreak, all rentals were suspended.
2) Donations Monetary donations. If you would like to donate to the Light 5:16 ministry, please indicate this with your cash donation or a check to St. John’s Lutheran Church, leaving your much appreciated donation with our church secretary, Monday, Tuesday, & Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. Noon.
Also for the baby needs bank, donations can be made in the form of product (diapers, wipes, baby wash/lotion), books, puzzles, games, rattles, bibs, larger equipment (cribs, strollers, high chairs, etc.). At this point, we do not need donated clothing. These items may be dropped off with our church secretary, Monday, Tuesday, & Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. Noon.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!