On Saturday, March 12, 2022, 6 Lutheran churches throughout Humboldt County gathered for a Day of Service, focusing their efforts on serving the local community. The project brought together Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Ferndale, Christ Lutheran Church in Fortuna, the Lutheran Church of Arcata in Arcata, Calvary Lutheran Church in Eureka, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eureka and Grace Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in McKinleyville. Matching t-shirts saying "Lutherans in Action, Humboldt County" unified this group of Lutherans for the day!
Bishop Megan Rohrer and Catherine Slabaugh had the pleasure of joining the community for the day of service, here's a peek into the projects and fellowship:
The Day of Service took place in Eureka, as we partnered with 3 local nonprofits many of the churches had pre-existing relationships with.
The day began with a beach clean-up with the PacOut Green Team, cleaning up the Eureka Bay Trail. With our trash buckets and bright green vests in hand, the group set out on a beautifully clear morning to help clean up the trail.
After an hour of trash pick-up, we gathered back in the parking lot for a celebratory raffle and group photo. The PacOut Green Team hosts weekly clean-ups around Humboldt County and is an easy way to get outdoors, get your steps in, and serve the local community. You can learn more about the organization here.
While many were at the bay picking-up trash, another group gathered at the Eureka Rescue Mission Men's Shelter for a morning of cleaning, cooking, and learning about the mission and ministry of the shelter. Every Saturday, a "God Squad" of volunteers from the community join the men's shelter in preparing lunch for their guests and helping pick-up trash in the streets surrounding the shelter.
Those of us present had the opportunity to learn about the mission of the shelter and hear stories from individuals who had been through their program and are now volunteering to give-back to a community that helped them. These God-loving men are hard-working, compassionate, and eager to share their stories. It was such an honor to see a small piece of the life-giving work they do. We invite you to learn more about the Rescue Mission here.
After a morning of service, the group gathered outdoors at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eureka to have lunch and fellowship time together. Bishop Megan shared a short message and a member from each of the 6 churches introduced their people and shared a bit about the congregation. This was the first time many individuals from different churches had seen their fellow Humboldt County Lutherans in person in over two years!
The final service project of the day led folk inside Immanuel Lutheran as we put together Easter Goody Bags for the children in need at the Betty Chinn Homeless Foundation! Thanks to a Thrivent Action Grant and donations from the community, we made over 100 Easter bags - filled with candy, stickers, toys, and an abundance of love and joy. Learn more about the Betty Chinn Foundation and listen to her inspiring TED talk here.
The Day of Service brought a much needed sense of community to these Lutheran Churches in the Redwoods and is only the start of further collaboration together. The people of Humboldt County served with a smile on their face and truly are the hands and feet of God in this world - it was a delight to spend the weekend in community with them. We invite you to pray for and learn more about these 6 congregations: