Justice and Service
Christmas Appeal and Thanksgiving Dinners
Each holiday season, First kicks things into "first gear," raising thousands of dollars for a special need in our neighborhood. Some years we buy and distribute toys to children whose parent is incarcerated, facilitated through the Angel Tree program. Some years we gather supplies for a local shelter. Some years we buy gifts of livestock for agricultural communities through Heifer International. We also assemble around twenty complete Thanksgiving dinners to be distributed to families in need.
My Brother’s Table is Lynn's only no-strings-attached soup kitchen, and it provides meals to approximately 200 hungry people in our each day. In addition to supporting MBT financially and with food donations, First Lutheran serves jointly with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at My Brother’s Table on the fourth Sunday of the month from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
In 2005 First Lutheran member Franco Majok traveled back home to the Sudan for the first time in 23 years and found a community in desperate need of food and education. Moved to take action Franco returned to the United States and through the help of the congregation began his dream of building a school in his home village of Wunlang in South Sudan.
Through the newly formed non-profit called Village Help for South Sudan the people of Wunlang will soon have Franco’s dream for them realized. The congregation is committed to seeing this ministry thrive in the long-term by designating a portion of its annual budget toward annual school supplies, uniforms, books, and maintenance for the Wunlang School.
First is a member of ECCO, a faith-based community organization that works to build power and collaboration among families and communities in the North Shore of Boston. ECCO has been successful in advocation for teen jobs, training for machinists and health care workers, and is active in the Lynn community in youth violence prevention. It is currently broadening its scope to include more congregations and leaders. Members of FLC participate in ECCO meetings and actions, and Pr. Jon serves on the Board.
Many times over the years the congregation has helped provide for the immediate physical needs of victims of disaster through Lutheran World Relief. During the season of Lent, we often collect blankets and quilts, personal care items, and health supplies, which are distributed around the world as they are needed.