Team Hope


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

We have an ongoing designation as the donation recipient for the Just Between Friends sale at the Monroeville Convention Center.  Last Fall we were able to reach out to over 2 dozen agencies and the families/individuals they serve through this event by distributing children’s clothes, toys and related items.  We are looking for drivers to pick up these children/youth clothes and related items on Sunday,  April 7th at the Monroeville Convention Center TIME TO BE DETERMINED.





During the month of March our PROJECT HOPE is NEW coloring books and crayons for children; and adult coloring books and colored pencils for older children/youth. These will be provided to various programs that reach out to children and youth within our communities whose families are struggling with poverty, homelessness, and/or trauma and loss:  Welcome Home Shelter, Wesley Family Services, A Child’s Place, & 412 Youth Zone.

The month of April’s PROJECT HOPE is Soles for Souls.  We will be collecting gently used and new shoes to be distributed through Soles for Souls.  All varieties of shoes are needed for men, women and children, including boots, sneakers, heels, sandals…any type of shoe.  Invite your friends, coworkers and neighbors to join us in what has become an annual in-gathering.  Last year over 1,000 pairs of shoes were delivered to Soles for Souls.



During March we are collecting gently used/nearly new prom dresses for girls locally who would not be able to attend the prom due to financial hardships, receiving support through Dept. of Human Services or families receiving Public Assistance. In addition to these dresses there is a need for gently used purses/clutches, wraps and jewelry or new hosiery. Project Hope will donate these dresses to the following organizations for their outreach to high school girls- Project Prom, Angela’s Angels, and Bless A Dress.  Please hang the dresses on the coat racks at either Penn or Zion’s.  Any questions, please contact Gwen.











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


During 2018 we extended hands of hope through 163 in-gatherings, activities, and on-going donations to 118 organizations!! Of these, 75 organizations are local (Synod-wide). We reached out to 54 organizations that are faith-based (of these 16 are Lutheran-affiliated). Please see the displays in the narthex and congregational report for details. Some highlights include….

¨ We continued to be Drop Off Sites for the Mister Roger’s Sweater Drive, Operation Christmas Child, Project Linus, Project Prom & Project Bundle Up.

¨ Over 1,000 winter coats and MANY accessories have been donated to Project Bundle Up since we started our ingathering 8 years ago.

¨ We added being the drop off location for Operation Gratitude’s left over Halloween Candy for our troops

¨ We thanked our First Responders through our 4th Annual Blessing of the First Responders and their Vehicles on Sept. 16. This was enjoyed by all and the food was YUMMMY!

¨ We delivered a truck load full of shoes to the Ohio drop-off site for Soles for Souls. Thank you Fred for driving and your vehicle!

¨ We were again chosen as the donation designee for Just Between Friends, East. This allowed us to distribute clothes and toys to a number of children and youth through local organizations. Thanks to our drivers that pick up and unload the items, the many wonderful volunteers and Helping Hands who take off the tags, sort and pack the items.


May our hearts and hands continue to be open as God continues to use us as instruments of hope to our neighbors and those around the world during 2019!









Stitches of Hope


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 Sewing Project this month is pediatric hospital gowns for Operation Smile.  We provided these last year and we were contacted again to see if we could make some more of these.  Patterns  and some fabric are available.  For our Featured Crocheted/Knitted Project, I am waiting for approval of our application to make knitted/crocheted cradles for the organization Bridget’s Cradle.  The group makes special cradles for babies who have been born prematurely or still birth.   These are provided by the hospitals for the family.  It’s a beautiful ministry that we were asked to consider looking into.  UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital, Pittsburgh and Washington Hospital, Washington, PA are the area hospitals participating in this program.  Please keep your eyes on upcoming bulletins or contact Gwen for additional information



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.