Grace Lutheran Donates to Social Ministry

BETHLEHEM — Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 16 Ridgecrest Road in Bethlehem recently donated more than $2,500 to Community Lutheran Partners Inc.

Community Lutheran Partners oor CLP — is a nonprofit social ministry organization formed in 2002 to facilitate social ministry development in the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The mission of CLP is to enable and support congregations of the West Virginia Western Maryland Synod and others in service to their neighbors. CLP continues to aid in disaster recovery in the central and southern portions of West Virginia that were devastated by the June 2016 flood when 44 West Virginia counties were declared disaster areas.

CLP is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of Lutheran Social Service organizations from across the United States. Together the LSA agencies serve an average of one out of every 50 Americans.

The funds donated to CLP from Grace Lutheran Church were raised through donations by members as part of their on-going outreach in the community along with half of the proceeds from the congregation’s annual charity Rummage Sale, which is held annually in April. While part of the Grace donation was for CLP’s general support, the majority of the funds were designated for on-going flood relief and rebuilding in the Clendenin, WV area.

The Rev. Tim Spence, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, and Grace Congregation President Nancy Weeks presented the gift to the Rev. Carl Ames, president of the CLP Board of Directors, and CLP Executive Director Rev. Sherrie Schafer during the June 2-3 Assembly of the West Virginia – Western Maryland Synod in Parkersburg.

While the funds for general support were presented as an outright gift, the funds for flood relief were presented to CLP at the Assembly as a challenge gift. The challenge was immediately matched by the congregations of Accident Lutheran Church, Accident, Md., and Salem Lutheran Church, Bakersfield, W.Va., resulting in more than $3,300 being raised for flood relief in less than 15 minutes.