Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stephen Ministers Visit New Hospital

Last Sunday amid much excitement, Messiah's Stephen Ministry and friends, pictured here with Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong, attended the ribbon-cutting Grand Opening of the Madison Hospital.  The 60 bed facility (all private rooms) officially opened Tuesday morning.  Messiah's Stephen Ministries hope to begin hospital visits at the new hospital and decided to take advantage of the ribbon cutting to visit the new state of the art facility.
A Stephen Minister is a congregation member who is recruited, selected, trained, commissioned, and supervised by Stephen Leaders to provide one-to-one Christian care to persons in need on behalf of the congregation. Stephen Ministers typically are assigned one care receiver at a time and meet with that person for about one hour each week. Stephen Ministers usually serve for two years, which includes an initial 50 hours of training followed by twice-monthly supervision and continuing education sessions. Stephen Ministry began in 1975. The Stephen Series is now in more than 11,000 congregations from more than 150 Christian denominations, in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 23 other countries. More than 60,000 pastors, church staff, and laypersons have been trained as Stephen Leaders (those who oversee and direct Stephen Ministry in the congregation) at a Stephen Series Leader's Training Course. More than 500,000 people have trained as Stephen Ministers in their congregations. More than a million people have received care from a Stephen Minister in a formal one-to-one Stephen Ministry caring relationship, and millions of others have received care from Stephen Ministers in informal ways.  If you would like to learn more about Stephen Ministries at Messiah Lutheran Church, please contact Claire Strand.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sanctuary Dedication, Feb 19, 2012

On Feb 19, 2012, the congregation of Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison, Alabama celebrated completion of our newly expanded Sanctuary. This event marked the culmination of a multi-year effort. Many thanks to everyone who worked so long and hard to make this day a reality. Many thanks to God for making this all possible.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Great Piano Caper

Many thanks to everyone who help build the ramp and move the baby grand piano back into the Sanctuary. Moving a 750 pound piano up stairs is no trivial task. Having it sound just as good at the end of the move is a minor miracle. The piano move is just one of a hundred tasks taking place across the Church community as we prepare for Sunday's Sanctuary dedication. Everyone has been working very hard to get the Church ready. After several years of planning, fund raising and hard work, we are all ready to see the culmination of our efforts. Just three more days. Don't forget that there will be a work day on Saturday to put the finishing touches on the Church!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wheelchair Ramp Number 4

Today the Messiah Carpentry Team built their 4th wheelchair ramp. This ramp was built for a very nice lady in Gurley, Alabama. She is 92 years old and has not been out of her home since October. Or rather I should say she had not been out of her home until today. She was able to roll down her new wheelchair ramp into the front yard.  Previously, the only way should could leave her home was to be physically carried down the stairs.  She was absolutely tickled by her new ramp and told us repeatedly how much this means to her. We were very happy to help her out.

Despite being a really cold day, we had an incredible time using the gifts that God gave us to help out someone in need.

The Messiah Carpentry Team is part of the Outreach Ministries of Messiah Lutheran Church. This team builds wheelchair ramps in support of CASA of Madison County. Madison County Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) is a non-profit agency located in Huntsville, Alabama that provides services to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages. Their programs are designed to enable the elderly and homebound to maintain their independence, dignity, health and safety by providing services that specifically address their special physical and emotional needs.