Social Ministry at Immanuel
Social Ministry at Immanuel is focused on outreach to the community through projects, special events, and fund raising. In the second half of 2008, Immanuel added the â€śCompassion Coreâ€ť to address the significant need for â€śin-reach,â€ť that is, the caring for members of the Immanuel community. It is through serving one another and through outreach to the greater community that we live out our mission of service in Christ's example.
Our main social ministry activities include:
- "Empty Bowls" fundraiserâ€”Immanuel is one of the key churches contributing to this Community Service Agency (CSA) annual fundraiser for the Alpha Omega Homeless program. Over $13,000 has been raised by selling ceramic bowls and other ceramic items donated by local artisans and tickets to a soup supper where the donated bowls were used.
- Heifer Internationalâ€”Our congregation, including Sunday School children and their families who fill â€śArkâ€ť banks, is trying again to give a â€śGift Arkâ€ť of animals to a poor community overseas. In each of the years 2006, 2007, and 2008 we achieved our goal of raising the $5,000 needed to give a "Gift Ark"!
- Alpha Omega Homeless Services Program at CSA-Each January Immanuel members donate cash and assemble and donate 20 to 30 "health kits" for homeless men and women served by CSA.
- Asian Women's Home (AWH)â€”Members donate cash, calling cards, and â€śneeded suppliesâ€ť to this shelter for women and children in San Jose.
- Family Giving Tree â€śBack to Schoolâ€ť Backpack Driveâ€”Immanuel regularly participates in this annual backpack drive. In 2009 members donated 47 backpacks and some cash for this program.
- Partners for New Generationsâ€”Immanuel promotes this mentoring and tutoring program for students in Mt. View & Los Altos schools.
- Hispanic Ministryâ€”Immanuel continues to support Pastor Joseph Leonâ€™s â€śPueblo de Diosâ€ť Latino congregation in west central San Jose by donating funds and some mentoring time for the pastor.
- Asante Networkâ€”On October 18, 2009 for the second year in a row, Immanuel had members of the Asante Network come to talk about their work with East African women and to display their handmade products in a craft bazaar. The "African Bazaar" between and after worship services was well-attended by Immanuel members and resulted in $1800 in "fair trade" sales.
- Environmental Stewardshipâ€”For the 2008 Earth Day in April we held an electronic recycling event at Immanuel. The Social Ministry Committee collaborated with the Property Committee in activities to make the Immanuel campus more "green" by reducing energy consumption and increasing recycling. An energy audit of the church facilities was conducted, and during the second half of the year low energy compact fluorescent lights were installed where possible, the fluorescent fixtures in the office and the youth room were replaced with lower-energy-using fixtures, and several â€śEXITâ€ť signs were replaced with low-energy LED signs. We are investigating the possibility of installing a solar photovoltaic system at the church.
- CSAâ€”On an on-going basis, with a special emphasis in November, members donate groceries for the food pantry at CSA.
- Salvation Army â€śGiving Treeâ€ťâ€”Each December members and friends of Immanuel take tags with Christmas gift suggestions and purchase gifts for subsequent distribution by the Salvation Army to needy children and seniors (since 2007 in addition to tags for children, there were some tags for seniors).
- Habitat for Humanityâ€”Immanuel continues to support the work of Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley through participation in â€śBuild Daysâ€ť and cash donations.
- Other benevolence gifts (from a portion of congregational offerings allocated for social ministry)â€”On behalf of the Immanuel congregation, during the course of each year the Social Ministry Committee makes decisions for the donation of a portion of benevolence gifts designated for social ministry. Most donations are to local charitable organizations (e.g., Second Harvest Food Bank, Friends Outside, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County for the Kinship Resource Center, Asian Americans for Community Involvement for the Asian Womenâ€™s Home, Pueblo de Dios Congregation, and Partners for New Generations), but sometimes the donations go to assist people who are far away from Silicon Valley (e.g., the Ruanda School Project and ELCA Domestic Disaster Relief to help people devastated by floods in the Mid-west).
We welcome your participation with us as we share our time, goods, money, and faith with those within our congregation, within our local communities, and throughout the world. For more information on our social ministry programs, to get involved, or go suggest a new opportunity for outreach, please contact our Doug Daetz, Chair of the Social Ministry Committee.