Team Hope




This year we have designated Saturday, November 10th as Marathon Action Team Shopping Day! Please note that you DO NOT need to be a Thrivent member to come and shop.  Each Thrivent member receives 2 grants ($250 each) a year and Associate members receive 1 grant ($250). Can’t make it that day?  Not a problem, you can still pick a project and we’ll pull a team together to shop with you.  Team size is at least 3 people.  So, it is pretty easy. If you are a Thrivent member, and need some ideas, Gwen has 100’s of projects-local, national and global.  The Grant Application is on-line and you will need your member number in order to apply.  We will meet at the Wal-Mart in Greensburg on Saturday, November 10th at 10 AM.

Information/refresher meetings will be held Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 6 pm and Sunday, Sept. 30th following worship at Zion’s for those that are interested (Attendance is not required).  If you need assistance entering your Action Team, please contact Gwen and arrangements can be made to assist you in completing the on-line application.

Team Hope are opportunities to serve within our communities. The 3 events noted below are open to children, youth and adults.


1. Rise Against Hunger Packing event – St. John’s Lutheran Church, North Versailles on September 8th . We’ve been invited to partner again with St John’s Lutheran Church in a Rise Against Hunger Packing event with the goal to package 10,152 meals! Rise Against Hunger works with in-country partners to assist in times of disaster-natural or man-made.  Nutritious meals aid in promoting education, improving students’ health and nutrition, addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and combatting child labor. Meals are easily prepared bags of rice, assorted beans and other nutritious non-spoiling ingredients.  In 2017 the Pittsburgh Region of Rise Against Hunger prepared 5.7 million meals that reached people in 10 countries.  The meals we packed last year went to Malawi.  Volunteers are needed at 9:30 AM to unload the truck and set up.  The actual packing will be from 10:30-noon. Please contact St. John’s church office at (412) 824-0277  or email if interested.


2.  Red Sand Project-September 11, beginning 5 PM at the Greensburg Courthouse. You are invited to help pour red sand in the sidewalk cracks around the Courthouse in Greensburg as a reminder of the estimated 40,300,000 individuals that are enslaved in the world today.  It is estimated that 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across countries’ borders. The grains of sand represent these people that have fallen through the cracks, in the world, the United States and even in Westmoreland County.  Additional locations where you will see red sand is Excela Hospital, St. Clair Park and Seton Hill University.  This event is sponsored by the Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force.  Sign up sheets will be in the narthex.  It is estimated that it will take about 1 ½ hours to fill the sidewalk cracks around the Courthouse.  Those interested in carpooling will meet at Zion’s at 4:15 PM.  If you have questions about this event or human trafficking, please see Gwen as she is on the local task force.


3. Westmoreland County Operation Christmas Child Packing Party-September 29.  Join other volunteers across Westmoreland County as we pack 1,000 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  The event is Saturday, September 29, 11:00 AM at the Calvary Chapel, 430 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg (located within the Greensburg Shopping Center).  Our G.O. F.I.S.H. Kids Club will also be attending this event.  Questions?  Contact Gwen Steiner or Maria Stampahar.













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


[Read more…]

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.



We offer a monthly opportunity for adults, youth and children to participate together-side by side preparing on-going and special mission projects. This group meets at Penn on Tuesdays, Sept. 18th & Oct 16th. with a morning and evening session-10:00-11:00 AM & 6:30-7:30 PM.  




The Westmoreland County Operation Christmas Child will have Spirit nights at the Chick-fil-a at the Greengate Centre, Greensburg. A portion of your purchase those days will be donated to help share the Good News and ship the box to a child receiving a box from our September packing party and ingathering. Simply share this announcement in the newsletter or church bulletin OR mention Operation Christmas Child when placing your order. The dates are Thursdays,  September 6 and October 4 between the hours of 6:30am to 10:00 pm. Thank you!



During the month of SEPTEMBER our PROJECT HOPE is gently used/new Halloween costumes. We are collecting Halloween costumes to be delivered to area shelters so the children there may enjoy the fun of trick or treating with a costume.  The costume may be gently used-no tears/rips or stains.  New Halloween make-up is also requested.  We will NOT accept costumes that are gory or represent violence.

During the month of OCTOBER our PROJECT HOPE is children, women and men’s NEW socks for Hannah’s Socks. This organization was founded after Hannah Turner, a 4-year-old girl at the time, offered her socks to give to a homeless man who had none.  Socks are provided to local nonprofits assisting families with these needs.

Questions may be directed to Gwen Steiner at or by contacting the church office.



We will be collecting winter coats and accessories (scarves, hats, mittens & gloves) for the Salvation Army’s Project Bundle Up.  New and Gently used (clean with no tears, broken zippers, etc…) may be dropped off at the church no later than Sunday, November 18TH.   Please see Gwen or contact her with any questions at


Stitches of Hope


Stitches of Hope is our ministry that includes sewing, knitting or crochet projects. We are making pediatric hospital face masks for the West Penn Pediatric Burn Unit. Patterns and some fabric are available.  Any cotton fabric prints are ok to use.  Stitches of Hope is an on-going ministry.  These were made last year and gratefully received.  Additional patterns for other project ideas may be found in the Stitches of Hope Binder at Zion’s.  If you have a suggestion for a project, please let Gwen know.

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.