By Beth Fulmer, A Synod Communicator from Messiah, Mauldin

An article in an investment magazine prompted Gail Stuart, a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Mauldin, to bring comfort and hope to women undergoing chemotherapy and/or recovering from surgery. She started a new ministry at Messiah called the “Care Bag” ministry.

There is no committee “running” this program; it is simply a low-key program “owned” by Gail Stuart and Gloria Stenback, two very determined Christ-centered women. With much determination, their goal has been to deliver twelve care bags every month. They are continuously reaching this monthly goal and have distributed more than forty bags at the time of this writing with twelve ready for delivery. Gail makes all of the care bags and all of the heart shaped pillows that fit neatly under the arm of the patient recovering from breast surgery. Messiah’s Prayer Shawl Group participates by making a handmade prayer shawl for each bag. Members of the congregation contribute other items which include (but are not limited to) small devotional books, water bottles, non-slip socks, lip balm, hand lotion, and scarves for head coverage. The bags vary according to the needs of the patient; however, every bag contains the prayer shawl and a love note written by Messiah’s youth. Gloria takes these filled bags to facilities where women are in the process of healing. It is an expression of love and compassion from Messiah Lutheran Church to those who are going through some difficult times.

It is just one of Messiah’s ministries reaching out to the community in the name of Christ, our Lord and Savior.

In this article you’ve heard from one of our Synod Communicators. Synod Communicators are volunteers, approved by their congregation’s council, to help bring the stories of how our offerings, gifts, and effective congregational ministries are reaching “outside the walls” across the synod. They will share your congregation’s stories of work “outside the walls” by submitting them for sharing through the South Carolina Synod’s publications. To find out more about the Synod Communicator program contact The Rev. Ozzie Herlong ( or Neal Fischer (

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