Acts of Compassion
Is your heart calling you to live your Christian faith by reaching out nearby and around the world to help other people? Find a project that speaks to you and join us in this meaningful way to do “God’s Work with Our Hands”. Social Ministry sponsors many of these projects and is a good first contact for more information.
Iglesia Luterana Santa Cruz, in Santa Maria
Iglesia Luterana Santa Cruz, located in Santa Maria, began its Hispanic mission outreach in Santa Maria, California in 2002. With partnership and support from individual donors, the local conference of 9 Lutheran churches (to which Bethania belongs), the synod, and national office of the ELCA, and other churches from near and far, this mission church thrives and brings Christ to many people. Pastor Esteban Salazar diligently serves as minister for this congregation.
Hike for Hunger
We’ve been hosting Hike for Hunger for years and it’s a Bethania tradition.
Walk with us from Bethania to Nojoqui Falls Park on a designated beautiful April Sunday. Bring children, community friends, even dogs.
Walking not your thing? Sponsor a walker, be a water wagon host or just plan to attend. Enjoy open air worship, a picnic and fun games after the walkers arrive at the park. Money earned goes to the ELCA World Hunger Fund.
From May to first frost, if you are a fruit, vegetable or flower gardener you can share extra produce each Sunday. Baked goodies, homemade pickles or jam to share, seeds, plants and recipe ideas are all encouraged.
Shoppers can “buy” these wonderful treats by donating for the ELCA World Hunger Fund and, in Autumn, for the local Salvation Army’s voucher program, which enables our sheriffs to help locals and travelers with emergencies.
Do you enjoy shopping? Buy Christmas gifts of clothing and toys for children from our ELCA Mission church in Santa Maria, Iglesia Luterana Santa Cruz. Or, shop for children from Bethania Preschool and After School who need a helping hand. Enjoy wrapping Christmas gifts? Join us on the Sunday before Christmas for a party where we wrap while singing Christmas carols. If those aren’t possibilities, you can be an “Angel” and donate any amount to help buy the needed gifts.
During Food Drives, donate specified items or cash to buy food for Iglesia families in the winter, or year round for clients of local People Helping People or the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County.
Toiletries for Shelter Services for Women
Finding toiletry bargains when you shop? (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc.) Buy an extra one and donate it to the Shelter Services for Women basket in the church entry. Or collect unopened hotel soaps and notions from your travels and drop them off. Women and their children escaping from abusive situations to the shelters will thank you.
Save your change to toss in the bucket for periodic “Noisy Sunday” special offerings for a variety of Social Ministry projects. Coins collected help to “Make Change for the Better”.
Lutheran World Relief goes to disasters around the world and stays to help people rebuild their lives. If you can tie a knot, you can join the quilting group that meets the first Wednesday of each month (12:45-3 p.m.) and produces 40-50 quilts a year for distribution at disasters. Can’t get to the meetings? You can work at home on cutting or sewing the building blocks for the quilts. This project is sponsored by Bethania Lutheran Church Women (BLCW)
Meals on Wheels
Are you available on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday? Help Bethania deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound people from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. every 7th or 8th week of the year. Besides the food, a warm smile and a cheerful greeting do wonders for the recipients – and you the driver will feel great, too.
Help raise funds for scholarships at the PACE Universal School. This is a locally developed program located in India. We currently provide full funding for two primary age girls in PACE’s school and two mothers in its literacy/vocational program. This all-member effort is sponsored by BLCW.
See the Endowment Fund for scholarships available to church member college students.