Welcome to the Collaborative Richfield Lutheran Churches page.
Christ in Community – A Collaboration of Lutheran Churches in Richfield
House of Prayer Lutheran Church – 7625 Chicago Avenue South
Oak Grove Lutheran Church – 7045 Lyndale Avenue South
Woodlake Lutheran Church – 2120 West 76th Street
Woodlake has been collaborating with two other ELCA Lutheran Churches in Richfield: House of Prayer Lutheran Church and Oak Grove Lutheran Church. Together we have hosted joint programming like our outdoor worship services at Veteran’s Park, combined senior events, and the 2017 family mission trip to Madison. Beyond simple programming, we’ve come together to explore an important centering question: How can we embody Jesus in and with our community?
As Lutheran Churches in Richfield, we are feeling called by God and each other to be a stronger, more vibrant, more relevant presence in our community. By working together, we hope to energize our members to more deeply know God and each other, find new and different ways to grow, and share our faith. We also seek to meet people in our community in the places and ways that are most needed and desired.
n 2019 our congregations began exploring our own passions and dreams for the community of Richfield, then went canvassing door to door to talk with neighbors about what their needs and dreams are, and finally talked with several community leaders for their input. We discovered a shared interest from all three groups around after-school programming for middle schoolers and intentional relationship building between immediate neighbors to help everyone feel more connected to our community.
The after-school option has been postponed due to the pandemic and school closings but will be in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities who just started programming at Richfield Middle School this past fall. More to come on this leading into the fall of 2020.
Our initial plan to build relationships with neighbors – the “Love Your Neighbor Challenge” – is postponed until person to person interaction is safer BUT we believe it is more important than ever to continue to love our neighbors through this challenging time and to find safe ways to do so. Below is a non-exhaustive list of ways you can care for the people in your neighborhood and community and our churches will highlight stories like this in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for the “Love Your Neighbors Spotlight” in the announcements! If you have ideas to add or a story you think is worth sharing, please contact Pastor Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe ways to love your neighbors right now:
- Write a handwritten note to one or several neighbors. Even if you don’t know their name, you can write to “My Neighbor at (address)” to introduce yourself and share your contact info.
- Call up a friend or neighbor to check in and say hello. You can even invite them to call another person and start a chain of friendly calls.
- Go to the drive through for a meal or snack and pay for the person behind you as well.
- Count how many neighbors you can wave to in a week while out walking/biking.
- Invite a neighbor (or the whole block!) to bring a lawnchair out to the end of your driveway – six feet apart of course – and spend some time chatting together.
- Call up a neighbor and offer to do their spring yard cleanup, mow the lawn, or some other outdoor task.
- Drop off your favorite baked goods or a whole meal on a neighbors’ doorstep.
- Use sidewalk chalk to leave encouraging messages or beautiful artwork on your street or a nearby walking path.
- Similar to a little free library, create a free pantry in your front yard for people to take as they walk by. The photos show elaborate constructions but a waterproof plastic bin with a sign on it works just as well!
- Instead of or in addition to the free pantry, leave a bin with free puzzles, coloring books, or other activities in your front yard to share with whoever wants them.
- Pick up litter around a local park or walking path.
- Drop off a care package, May Day basket, or small pot of flowers on someone’s front step.
- Volunteer at VEAP or Loaves & Fishes – they are doing great work to help neighbors in need and have adapted their volunteer roles to safely comply with distancing rules.
- Create handmade fabric facemasks for any number of organizations collecting them.
- Donate money to one or multiple organizations serving people in these challenging times.
- Invite your block to a concert or dance party from your driveway – audience staying six feet apart of course – using speakers or your own instrument and voice
The Love Your Neighbors Team: Neal Cannon, Anne Schauer, Laurel Johnson, Winston Cahill, Tom Zarth, Cara Wright, & Ben Whalen