“Since the first fellowship and worship [event], Abiding Word has continued with a monthly [Jesus Cares Ministries] program and has them scheduled through May. The number of volunteers has grown to about thirty, and the faces of new guests are being seen at each event. There is already a request for baptism, and several attend Sunday worship on a regular basis,” wrote Marilyn Miller, Deaconess at Abiding Word Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas.
How did this come about?
The church’s interest in Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) started when a parent came to Marilyn asking for help to teach his child who has a developmental disability about Jesus. She reached out to JCM as a resource. This led to a conversation about the Summer Ministry Experience (SME) team visiting the church to help them start an outreach program to the community.
In July, the SME participants stopped in Houston to help the church begin a JCM program. Their work included a training event for volunteers, canvassing group homes, touring work centers and hosting an ice cream social with a “Worship at the Cross” service for 58 people, with 14 having special needs. In addition, before the SME team arrived, congregation members had been inviting families and canvassing.
Mike Hennig, SME & JCM Coordinator shared, “Marilyn took time to promote our visit to the congregation. Pastor Tiefel and Pastor Vallesky also focused the Sunday services around JCM and included ‘Worship at the Cross.’ The SME participants and I were able to share the reason for our visit and different opportunities and blessing of reaching out to individuals with special needs.”
Marilyn also wrote, “Now that the congregation has gotten a bit more experience, they will be increasing their publicity campaign to let more people know about this outreach to these very precious, though sometimes forgotten, souls.”
To learn more about Jesus Cares Ministries, contact us at 1-888-600-TLHA (8542) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Abiding Word’s JCM program, contact Deaconess Marilyn Miller at (281) 444-5894.