By Beth Trump, member of the Operation InAsMuch Task Force
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. Jesus was the Great Samaritan who laid down His life to rescue us, his neighbors in deep spiritual need, and the church should follow His example.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Operation Inasmuch is a national movement that motivates churches to move parishioners out of the sanctuary and into the streets to serve the neediest in their communities. The South Carolina Synod has designated Saturday, April 14, 2018 as Operation Inasmuch Day, and we hope for 100% involvement in this opportunity to serve. In your own church – or group of churches – you can organize projects to fit almost any talent or skill and every age group. Here are some suggestions to help make your day a success.
- You may want to consider a Bible study leading up to Inasmuch Day to generate interest and provide the opportunity to prayerfully consider our inspiration for such an endeavor.
- Make sure you clearly define your Inasmuch projects, the skill or participation levels and time required by advertising in your newsletter, bulletin, or other social media. Have an easy-to-access sign-up process.
- You may decide to do just one group project or a number of projects, depending on the level of participation in your church. Consider missions that any age group can accomplish. This is a great opportunity for inter-generational engagement!
- It is most beneficial to have an “official” photographer who will take pictures during the day and organize them for distribution on your web site, newsletter, etc. A slide show or some other presentation of pictures after the event is always a hit.
- We encourage you to gather your participants the morning of Inasmuch for a short worship or prayer time to prepare yourselves for the day. The Synod suggests the hymn “Here I Am, Lord” as the theme song for the Inasmuch event for Lutheran churches across South Carolina.
April 14th is a suggested date. If a different time works better for your church, go with it.
- Please provide feedback to the Synod on your accomplishments and level of participation.
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.)