By Beth Trump

Operation Inasmuch is a nation-wide movement that provides church members an opportunity to serve their neighbors. The South Carolina Synod has designated Saturday, April 14, 2018 as Operation Inasmuch Day, and we hope for your involvement in this opportunity to serve.

In Matthew 25 Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you serve the least of these, you serve me.” Throughout the Bible, God shows His compassion for the sick, the poor, the hungry, orphans, prisoners, and immigrants – anyone in need. Our own synod’s missional priorities are to: (1) engage in our communities, (2) deepen discipleship, (3) address community educational needs, and (4) seek solutions for poverty in our communities. Inasmuch is a great opportunity to focus on some of these priorities.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

At St. Andrew’s Lutheran in Columbia we take the goal of the Inasmuch movement to heart by carrying out a number of projects. Last year’s activities included packing food boxes for Harvest Hope’s Pack2Feed program, assembling women’s health kits, participating in Columbia’s Project Bedroll, collecting for refugee household and tool kits, creating recyclables artwork, preparing for Family Promise, baking and serving a meal to over 200 prisoners, and cleaning and painting in our Welcome (refugee) House. Many lives were touched by our works of love that day.

One hint: Take advantage of Thrivent grants by creating a Thrivent Action Team for your community project! It’s easy to apply on-line, and they also provide t-shirts and other promotional items. If you need more information, go to this website: https://www.thrivent.com/making-a-difference/living-generously/thrivent-action-teams/ .
See the Synod web site for more Inasmuch project suggestions. Even if you start small, a little love goes a long way!

Operation Inasmuch – Suggested Projects

The South Carolina Synod has four mission priorities: Deepening Discipleship, Engaging Our Community, Assisting in Public Education, and Tackling Issues of Poverty. The Inasmuch project suggestions below fit into one or more of these initiatives.

Wheelchair ramp construction
Make and install bird feeders for the homebound
Blood drive
Work at shelters and other facilities (repairs, painting, administrative)
Yard work for the elderly and homebound
Healthy snacks, flowers, small gifts and cards for homebound
Health or safety fairs
Litter pick-up
Public parks or trails clean-up, refurbishment
School playground refurbishment, repair, painting, clean-up
Community gardens
Community prayer walk
Community landscape projects
Graffiti removal
Cookies or meals for first responders
Document shredding
Free car wash
Provide music/singing at nursing homes, VA, shelters, etc.
Volunteer at animal shelters
Read to children at homeless or other shelters
Book donation drives, giveaways
Teacher appreciation projects
Caregiver goody bags
Volunteer at free medical clinics
Make and supply wheelchair pillows to VA, other hospitals, nursing homes
Donate to food pantries
Home Works or Habitat for Humanity work day
Feed homeless (Consider Harvest Hope’s Pack2Feed program.)
Free laundromat day (Provide machine money cards, soap and dryer sheets, and a smile.)
Chalk artwork in public areas (May require permissions.)
Collect for and organize Care or Health Kits for homeless and others
Clothing drives
Recyclables art projects
Crochet “plarn” bedrolls for the homeless
Make/sew pillowcases, quilts, blankets for children’s homes, shelters
Collect and distribute layettes
Prison meal (Requires coordination with prison officials.)
Prayer Team (Individuals sign up to prayer for volunteers and those who are being ministered on a schedule throughout Inasmuch Day. Allows for participation from anywhere.)

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