Helping the Homeless & Hungry

The Missions/Service committee of LCN has chosen to focus on serving the homeless and hungry, with volunteer opportunities and donation drives to support programs such as the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, Centre Street Food Pantry, and other organizations that provide services to those in need in the Greater Boston area.

LCN has joined with two other local ELCA congregations in the support of a Haitian family seeking asylum in the United States.  The family has been settled in a local apartment and the education & health-care teams will now pick up their work in earnest.  To make a financial contribution (we are looking to raise upwards of $25,000 across the 3 congregations), please direct cash or a check made out to the Lutheran Church of the Newtons, making sure to note “asylum family” in the memo line or envelope. 

Giving Opportunity - Operation Elf

LCN is participating in Operation Elf, with opportunities for giving and as a drop-off location for the Boston area.

Operation Elf is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity registered in Massachusetts. As an all-volunteer, gift-giving organization, it brings the hope, joy, and spirit of the holidays to at-risk children across New England.

“We want to make sure that children in homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, refugees and at-risk programs know that there is a community of people watching out for them and caring enough to make a difference.”

LCN members can participate by signing up to provide gifts, make a cash donation, and/or volunteer their time.  More details have been sent in a member email.

Community members who wish to participate should register with Operation Elf in order to make a cash donation or to receive a specific gift list; gifts can then be dropped off at LCN by 12/5 during office hours or on Sunday mornings.

Operation Elf’s registration link is here.

Cradles to Crayons:  In addition to several bags of clothing donations, a hearty band of LCN members quality-checked and cleaned 100 pairs of shoes in 2 hours!

Mission Support for Asylum-seeking refugee family: Thank you to the Confirmation class for hosting the fund-raising Coffee Hour, which raised $300!

Advent Food DriveWe are pleased to report that we collected 50 boxes of Mac & Cheese and 27 boxes of Granola/Breakfast Bars!  Thank you to all who contributed!

Souper Bowl of Caring:  this year we collected $125 and two large bags of groceries, which were donated to the Newton Food Pantry.  Thank you to all who contributed!

Who We Support

Harvard Square Homeless Shelter

The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, located in the basement of University Lutheran Church, is a student-run shelter which runs from November 1 to April 15.  We support the shelter through supply drives and monetary donations throughout the year. See below for some photos of prior donations from LCN.

Souper Bowl of Caring

For over thirty years, the Souper Bowl of Caring has transformed the “Big Game” into a nation-wide movement inspiring people to give locally and make a collective impact on hunger. LCN has supported and participated in this movement on Souper Bowl Sunday by collecting food and/or monetary donations during our service on that Sunday. These donations have been given to the Centre Street Food Pantry or the Newton Food Pantry.

Mission Support

LCN provides outreach ministry support to Resurrection Lutheran Church in Roxbury, MA and Ascension Lutheran Church in Rindge, NH.

Centre Street Food Pantry

LCN holds food drives throughout the year for the Centre Street Food Pantry. Donations can be made to the Pantry’s Kids Club; requested items can be found on the food pantry’s website.  Financial donations are also extremely welcome, as the need for food continues to grow.

In addition, LCN has served as a secondary storage space for the food pantry when needed. This is a story of LCN in action, listening for the needs of our surrounding community, and then mobilizing to open our doors in response. 

Haffenreffer Fund

As part of the Haffenreffer legacy at LCN, we have the opportunity to donate two $1,000.00 grants to local not-for-profit organizations annually.  The Haffenreffer Fund statement of purpose is to award grants to an organization that supports at least two of the following criteria:

·   Ecumenical connection and cooperation
·   Generosity of spirit
·   Concern for the needy
·   Love of the larger church
·   Witness to Christ
Prior grant recipients include the Rian Immigrant Center, Justice Health Initiative Inc., Equal Justice Initiative, Newton at Home, Massachusetts Council of Churches, St. Paul International Lutheran Church (Tokyo, Japan), ELCA Mount of Olives Housing Project, Lutheran World Federation – Jerusalem, St. Christopher’s Mission (Episcopal Church in Navajoland, Utah), Central Asia Institute, Edwon (Empower Dalit Women of Nepal), Horizons for Homeless Children (Putnam Center in Jamaica Plain) and others.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39