Stories of Faith in Action – Your Offering at Work highlights ELCA ministries that span this country and the globe, some of which illustrate the way challenges can lead to God-given opportunities. You are part of each of these stories – through your faithful, regular offering, a portion of which is used to fund ELCA ministries beyond the congregation, which is called Mission Support. Combined with gifts from other ELCA members, Mission Support advances the work of your congregation, your synod and the work we do as a wider church. Thank you!
A mission as deep as Jacob’s well
In our fifth year of congregational renewal, Salem Lutheran Church, Flint, Michigan, ministers to a transient neighborhood where more than 42 percent of residents live in poverty and most live in rental homes. People come and go. It’s normal.
There are no grocery stores in our community but plenty of liquor stores that sell expensive and often outdated foods. The city of Flint has not recovered from the economic exodus of the automotive industry decades ago and our tax base cannot cover the most basic public services that most Americans expect from government.
Now with the Flint water crisis, which started in April 2014 with an emergency declared in January 2016, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 6 are still instructed to use only bottled water. All residents must filter their water.
Today our mission is as deep as Jacob’s well. With the prayers and financial support of ELCA congregations, we are living water for the people of Flint. We distribute nearly 120,000 pounds of water weekly and offer multiple nutrition programs. Salem is making a difference in the lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Every day we strive for justice, give hope to the hopeless and comfort the afflicted.
– Monica Villareal, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Flint, MI
A portion of your offering is used by your synod and the ELCA churchwide organization to provide grants for congregations like Salem that are undergoing renewal. For more Stories of Faith in Action, visit www.ELCA.org/Resources/Stories-of-Faith-in-Action