Social Ministry

Easter Food Bags
17 Easter dinner bags and $225 and 211 pounds of food were donated.  Thank you for sharing your Easter joy with those who would not have a dinner without our help.


$150 was raised to purchase seedlings, chicks, ducks, geese, and honeybees to support a family.

Souperbowl of Caring

$232 and 152 pounds of food was given to the Open Pantry.

Mitten Tree
Countless pairs of mittens/gloves, hats, scarves.

Thanksgiving Bags
30 Thanksgiving dinners collected!  In addition, $190 in cash was also donated.  Thanks to everyone who helped provide a Thanksgiving meal to folks who are struggling to put food on the table.

Crop Walk
We raised $760 to feed the hungry through the work of Church World Service.   It is through our collective giving that we helped feed the hungry globally and money is also donated to the fuel assistance program and food pantries/soup kitchens locally.

15 sweatshirts were collected for the homeless.

Community Garden

Our garden produced 300 pounds of wonderful vegetables for the Open Pantry.

The quilting group completed 64 quilts! 

Action Centered Tutoring Services (ACTS)
Is a free one-to-one program that combines mentoring with tutoring for the children of Springfield, grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  Tutor/mentors are required to commit for two hours a week for the school year. Orientation and training is provided. Please contact Pastor Lauren if interested in this program.

Meals at Friends of the Homeless
We serve a lunch and a dinner each month at Friends of the Homeless.

The Beacon Messenger

Download a copy of our April Newsletter here

From the Pastor

In the Sure and Certain Hope of the Resurrection to Eternal Life

We hear these wonderful words at the graveside of each committal service.  Although we are saddened by the loss of a loved one, our sure and certain hope in the resurrection lifts us in our grief and sustains us on our journey through life.

Easter is more than a day or even a season of seven weeks, Easter is a life-changing event.  Things will never be the same again after Easter; life wins, death is defeated.  Jesus is alive again and we will be too.  Because of God’s great love for us Jesus took on our sin and in exchange gave us his righteousness.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection God destroyed the power of death.  Jesus’ resurrection changed everything.  We no longer look at death as an end but as a doorway into eternal life.  Where we once saw despair we now see hope. 

We were powerless before sin and death.  Through Jesus God entered into these human conditions triumphing over both.  The greatest gift we will ever receive is our baptism.  Baptized into Jesus death and resurrection we receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.  We will never be the same again.

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3-5)

God not only brings us through death, but through life.  We have a living Lord to help us through anything and everything that comes our way in life.  Our journey does not end at the cross, it ends at the empty tomb. 

I walk every day to feel good and to stay healthy.  My goal is 10,000 steps a day which my phone counts for me.  When I first started this several years ago when I reached my step goal my phone went, “TA DA” and I relished meeting my goal and the especially my “TA DA” reward. 

What Jesus accomplished is so much more than meeting a goal; he conquered sin and death, they no longer have power over us.  I wonder about that moment when God raised Jesus from death. As the risen Christ stood before them did the angels all exclaimed, “TA DA” to celebrate all that he accomplished.  Or, perhaps it was the loudest “Alleluia!” ever spoken.  Its sound is still echoing through the universe. 

Hearing this good news we are called to go out and “Easterize” the world, share the good news with others.  Death does not have a grip on you, God holds you close as a beloved child.  And nothing in all of creation can ever separate you from God’s love.  Now that is news worth sharing.  When you face difficult times share the hope that you carry within you with others.  You do not need a theology degree or fancy words, just share the sure and certain hope of the resurrection; because Jesus lives, we too shall live.  We belong to God forever!

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”  (Colossians 3:1)  This new life in Christ opens our eyes to see our neighbors in need.  It opens our heart to love all of God’s children.  It opens our ears to hear the truth, both the truth of God’s great love and the truth of our sinful world.  Instead of local public opinion shaping our reactions and responses we lift ourselves to see and hear what Jesus saw.  We are now Jesus’ hands and feet to help where we can, we share his words of love and acceptance.  Stand firm in this sure and certain hope; you can depend on it.  “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Psalm 118:24)

Your fellow disciple of Christ,

Pastor Lauren

Thank You!!!!!

  • Jay Cleaveland for mopping up endless water from the church basement after heavy rain storms and with the help of Mike Dufault finding the source of the leak in the storage room.
  • Marybeth Lewison for organizing the Personal Care Kits project and for everyone who contributed items and help to make up the kits.

Social Ministry
Heifer Project
We reached our goal of $150 and Pastor Lauren read to the children in Make Way For Ducklings and shared the Heifer program with the children.  They are busy raising money and a parent will match what the children raise.

Personal Care Kits for areas hit by disasters
Many people around the world don't have the basic materials to wash and keep germs away following a natural disaster.  Basic hygiene helps us stay healthy.  On Saturday, March 17 we assembled 41 personal care kits.

Social ministry meeting
The social ministry team meets once a year to plan what ministries we will support in the next year.  Our meeting is on Wednesday April 25th at 6pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.

Save the Date – Dinner Saturday May 5th 6pm.
Our favorite caterer is back and we are pleased to host another dinner.  Invite your friends, fill a table, enjoy a delicious meal and great fellowship.  Tickets will be available in the near future, but for now, save the date.

Adult Education Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith
On April 8th we will return to “Honoring our Neighbor’s Faith” a comparison of world and other Christian religions to Lutheranism.  Join us Sunday’s at 9am behind the organ.  Bring your coffee and perhaps a friend. 

Since you asked…please explain standing for the gospel
When I was a child I was taught to stand when an important person or an elder entered the room.  It is a way of showing respect.  When we read the gospel, Jesus enters the room and we stand, as we are able, in respect for our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.  When we read the gospel each Sunday we are not only reading about what Jesus said and did, we are acknowledging the presence of Christ and hearing Jesus speak to us anew.  As the book is carried into the midst of the congregation it is appropriate to turn and follow the book facing the reader during the reading of the Holy Gospel.  The reader then lifts the book and returns to the pulpit.  It is appropriate to continue standing and turn to face the book as it is carried to the pulpit.  When the book is placed on the pulpit we take our seats. 

Council officers elected
The new council began their work in February.  Their first order of business was to elect officers.  Sue Mariotti was re-elected as president, Shirley Flanders as Vice President and Judy Johnson as secretary.  Mary Hunter continues as treasurer.  Many thanks to each of them for their leadership and service.

Catching up after winter
This winter has been hard on all of us.  The extreme cold increased our electric and gas bills and made it difficult for some and nearly impossible for others, to go out in the extreme cold.  The snow kept many indoors as well and after the snow ice was a concern for those at risk of falling.  Many people had the flu and it lasted for many weeks along with a powerful virus that affected many.  All this contributed toward a decreased attendance on Sundays and mid-week during Lent.  However the church expenses continue whether people are able to attend or not.  Our giving for the first two months of the year is well behind budget.  If you are behind and are able to get caught up we would be most grateful.  The church is there for all regardless of your giving, but we too have to pay our bills. 

Social Ministry

What we just completed

    Heifer Fund goal $150

Health Kits 41

What we are doing now

17 Easter Dinner Bags $225

What is coming next

Quilts will be shipped in May

Remembering in Prayer
We all share in the ministry of intercessory prayer.  We are called individually to pray each day and as a gathered community of faith in worship.  If you have someone we need to include in our prayers please notify our church office. 

May God be with them and bless them with wholeness and health.

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Bethesda Lutheran Church      East Church, Congregational      Address: 455 Island Pond Rd.  Springfield, MA 01118      Ph: 413-733-4494      Email: