Monthly Project Hope


FYI  PLEASE NOTE —  We are no longer collecting the card fronts off the greeting and Christmas cards. Both St. Jude’s Children’s Ranch and the Latin American Lutheran Mission have discontinued their activities which they had utilized these card fronts.



Join us for fellowship on Tuesdays, May 15th and June 19th at Penn, for our regular Helping Hands as we prepare our on-going and special mission projects. We are offering both morning and evening sessions on these dates. The morning session is at 10:00 am and the evening is at 6:30 pm.

Special Helping Hands dates are scheduled on May 1st & 8th at 6:30 pm (Penn) for sorting and preparing the donations we received from the Just Between Friends sale.  Please contact Gwen with any questions or suggestions for upcoming activities



During the month of May we are featuring “Fun in the Sun” activities.  Children who are living at area shelters don’t typically have some of the basics for outdoor play.  So, we will be collecting balls, outside related toys, children’s sunglasses, flip-flops and sunscreen.

Operation Christmas Child is our June feature organization.  We are gearing up for a County-Wide Packing Party in September (more details to follow).  The following items are acceptable items: pencils/pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons/markers, small toy cars (no military vehicles), jump ropes, dominoes, checkers, washcloths, hair barrettes/ribbons, tote bags/draw string bags, small stuffed animals (no pigs). If you have questions about approved items for this packing party please see either Maria or Gwen.


Project Hope Touching Lives

During the first quarter of 2018 (January-March) through in-gatherings and donations we reached out to individuals and families served by the following 48 agencies:  Bethesda Children’s Home, Bethlehem Haven, Birthright of Greensburg, Blackburn Center, Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital, A Child’s Place at Mercy, Christian Laymen’s Corp., Christian Literacy Associates, The Crayon Initiative, Department of VA, Disaster Cleaning Closet at Penn, Dresses for Orphans, Fisher House, Genre’s Kids with Cancer, Global Links, The Good Shepherd Foundation, Goodwill Outreach, Health Wagon, Heifer Project International, Hopeline, Latino Family Center, LifeWay Pregnancy Center, Lion’s Intl. Local family experiencing weather related disaster, Lutheran World Relief, Mercy Hospital Ped. Trauma Burn Unit, Maritime Bethel at Savannah, Military personnel through coupons, Night to Shine, Operation Courage is Beautiful, Penn Township Police/EMS, Project Linus, Renewal Inc. /Lydia’s Place, Ronald McDonald House, Samaritan’s Purse, Sew for Hope, Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship & Veterans Home, Sojourner’s House, SWPa Lutheran Synod, St. Barbara’s Food Pantry, Strength In Scarves, Westmoreland Community Action, World Vision, YWCA Westmoreland Co. Literacy, and Youth for Christ-CityLife. One of the scriptural passages that guide the mission of Project Hope is Matthew 25: 35-40. We are so blessed to be able to share His hope through our in-gathering efforts.  We may never know who or how we have made a difference-that box of crayons, soap, box of cereal, a winter hat, or a toothbrush…but each of these items no matter how small makes a difference.  


Teddy Bear Patrol

National Emergency Services Week occurs during May. As such, we are collecting stuffed teddy bears for our on-going Teddy Bear Patrol ingathering.   Our goal is to replenish the teddy bears for our local Police, Fire, and EMS departments.  The EMS personnel provide teddy bears to children who experience trauma-fire, natural disaster, accident or violence. Please only new or gently used teddy bears.



This congregation is blessed with many talented folks. Stitches of Hope is our ministry that includes sewing, knitting or crochet projects. Patterns and details regarding material/yarn/thread requirements may now be found at the churches’ mission drop-off sites. Our Featured Projects are making World Vision blankets-knit or crocheted 36-inches x42-inches. With every stitch, together we give hope and warmth to vulnerable children living in poverty or other difficult situations around the globe. For millions of children, a hand-made item isn’t just a blanket. It’s a chance at better health. It’s protection and warmth from freezing temperatures. And it’s a symbol of support for a better future. For our sewers, we did not forget your gifts and talents. We will be making puppets to make for The Agape Puppets a Christian ministry that takes the Good News and love of Jesus Christ to children, youth and adults around the world. They then train and equip teams of nationals to continue to disciple and help them grow in their faith. Last year 80,000 heard the Good News through the Agape Puppets ministry. Our puppets will be distributed to some of the children attending these services. Patterns are available



All Thrivent members are encouraged to use the Thrivent Action Team Grants available to them through Thrivent as a way to give back to our church and our community. Each Thrivent member is entitled to two $250 grants per year to support an activity or mission project. This equals several thousand dollars of Action Team grants available through the number of Thrivent members we have within our parish.  Let us be good stewards by not letting this money pass us by…see Gwen ASAP to help you decide on your projects and help you in the application process if necessary.









Stitches of Hope

Additional Stitches of Hope Projects

Baby Quilts/Blankets – These may be crocheted, knitted or sewed. Items to be donated to Women’s Choice Network, a local crisis pregnancy center. Any pattern/design is appreciated.  Knotted Blankets are also made which are provided to refugees arriving in the Pittsburgh area and/or other programs as requested.

Balaclavas (ski masks) – These may be knitted, crocheted or sewed. Balaclavas will be sent to Lutheran Advocacy for Maritime Ministries or Citizen SAM (our military if made with wool yarn).

Baby Diaper Bags – Sew these diaper bags for Global Links, a medical relief and development organization dedicating to improving health conditions and environmental stewardship in developing countries. These diaper bags are presently being sent to Haiti.

Chemotherapy Hats/Scarves – These hats and scarves may be knitted, crochetted or sewn.  Any pattern/design is appreciated.  Store-purchased scraves are also OK.

Friendship Bracelets – A variety of patterns are available and again if you have a pattern you already use, that is fine.  These bracelets are distributed with some of our in-gatherings as a tangible reminder to let individuals know we are praying and thinking of them.

Leprosy Bandages – These bandages are knitted or crocheted and distributed to refugees within Vietnam through The D.O.V.E. Fund.

“Pillowcase Dresses”/T-Shirt Dresses – These dresses are provided to Little Dresses for Africa and other programs.  Patterns are provided or use a simple sundress pattern.  All children sizes OK.    Also shorts made out of T-shirts or a simple short pattern are distributed to Little Britches for Boys.

Winter accessories – These are provided to a variety of programs within the area and throughout the states.  Any pattern and sizes are OK as they are provided for children through adults.

Prayer Ministry


We remember those serving our country through Yellow Prayer Ribbons both here at home and abroad.  Congregation members are invited on Sundays to pick up a Prayer Ribbon in the narthex and during the service lift up prayers for the individual listed on the ribbon.  After the service return the ribbon back to the basket in the narthex.  To update our ribbons or add a name, please complete the from in the prayer basket located in both congregations and place it in the offering plate or give to Gwen.  These ribbons will be given to the service personnel upon completion of duty.



Team Hope



Team Hope provides an opportunity to go out into our communities and be involved in a service activity together.

We have again been designated as the donation recipient for the Just Between Friends sale at the Monroeville Convention Center. Last Fall we were able to reach out to 34 agencies and the families/individuals they serve through this event, distributing children’s clothes, toys and related items. More details will be coming in the bulletins as to when we need to pick up the items at the Monroeville Convention Center and some extra sorting days.














Alternative Gift Ideas


TRYING TO FIND SOMETHING FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING?…WANT TO GIVE A GIFT THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE?…HAS GIFT-GIVING LOST ITS MEANING? If you answered yes to any of these then Alternative Gifts is the answer you are looking for. Through alternative gifts you are able to empower a family, a community, or one individual by giving a monetary donation in honor of or in memory of someone.  You choose what the donation is used towards- maybe you will by a pig for a family in a developing country, immunizations to prevent diseases, Bibles, provide education, or shelter. Gift suggestions begin at $4.00.  Alternative gifts are not just for holiday giving but may be given for birthdays, anniversaries, as memorials, or just because you want to make a difference.  Below is a listing of several organizations who offer alternative gifts.  Paper versions of some of their gift catalogs are available in the church narthex.

Church World Service Best Gift

Compassion International

ELCA Good Gifts

Heifer International

Lutheran World Relief Gift

Samaritan’s Purse

World Vision Gift


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