On Sept. 8, the ELCA will celebrate “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday — an opportunity for the ELCA to do what we do best and make a difference. Only on this day, we’ll do it together as one body, using our hands to do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world.
Imagine 4 million people from nearly 10,000 congregations out in their communities serving meals, cleaning up neighborhoods, visiting with the home-bound, collecting supplies for those experiencing homelessness, poverty or conflict — all in their bright yellow “God’s work. Our hands.” T-shirts!
You work every day to love your neighbors and make your community a better place. Now let’s do it together.
A church that rolls up its sleeves
ELCA members and congregations have always been active participants in God’s work in the world. We already serve our communities and neighbors, and we’ve done so for 25 years. So why a special dedicated day of service?
‘“God’s work. Our hands.’ Sunday is a great opportunity to join together in our 25th-anniversary year to give witness that in Christ we are free to serve our neighbor,” says Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA. “This is who we are — a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work.”
Something special happens when we come together. Think of the ELCA Youth Gatherings where 30,000 young people blanket the cities they visit to fix up homes, read to children, hand out school supplies or advocate for and educate others about the issues that impact our lives. Only now instead of just one city, we will impact cities across the country.
“On September 8, we encourage you to join with other partners — social ministry organizations, campus ministries and ecumenical partners — to serve your neighbor as you already do throughout the year,” Hanson continues. “Doing God’s work through our hands is a marvelous expression of gratitude for God’s grace in Christ.”
Ready to get started?
To make the most of “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday in your congregation, get started with your planning early!
Visit the website to download flyers and bulletin inserts to let your congregation know about the event and to recruit volunteers to help you get organized.
You’ll also find on that page a downloadable toolkit that will walk you through planning your dedicated day of service from start to finish. The toolkit includes ideas for service projects, discussion questions to help your leaders think deeply about what this day will mean for your context, checklists to keep your planning on schedule and ways to celebrate your work as a congregation.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll also find the link to order your congregation’s own, customizable “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday T-shirts.
For 25 years we have been a church that does God’s work in the world — restoring and reconciling communities. On Sept. 8, let’s join together to roll up our sleeves and get to work!