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COMMUNITY SERVICE

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

— PHILIPPIANS 2:3

 

GOD'S WORK, OUR HANDS

Service, within and outside the church, always has been central to the ALC family.

In the congregation’s earliest years, many hands pitched in to create worship space. That included retrofitting the original chapel on Main Street, followed quickly by building the first church on Bishop Avenue. One document notes, “The church proper was built with members doing all the staining of the beams, woodwork, painting and whatever could be done by lay people.”


The women of the church always have been active in service, such as providing food and serving for funerals, sewing quilts and layettes for Lutheran World Relief, and hosting birthday parties at the local nursing home. The women’s group also funded the first church secretary position. The original women’s group was called the American Lutheran Church Women (ALCW). Later, it was renamed the Women of the ELCA (WELCA) after the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


For many years, the American Lutheran Church food booth was a prominent fixture on Main Street during La Porte City’s Festival of Trails celebration, and was especially noted for its homemade pie. Proceeds from the food booth were distributed to outreach organizations in the community and beyond.


Music is an essential element of worship at ALC, and also an area of member service. Some of the earliest church records note members’ pride in adding musical enhancements such as organs, pianos and sound systems to the church’s worship tools. Congregation members have shared their musical talents over the decades by serving as organists, pianists, instrumentalists and vocal soloists. At various times, our church has had a Youth Choir, Adult Choir and Men’s Choir, along with a Chime Choir and Children’s Bell Choir.


The Sunday School and VBS children have learned service as a part of their faith development in myriad ways; including dedicated offerings; visiting the nursing home; making cards; and Rally Day activities like assembling school kits for Lutheran World Relief.


Crosslines is a community support organization supported by several local churches. ALC has regularly contributed to Crosslines over the years via contributions of funds, food donations, and a “clothes closet.” We continue to support the food pantries of La Porte City and Mt. Auburn through the ALC Care Corner, which now also adopts other short-term projects to support worthy community programs and projects, like the House of Hope in Waterloo and Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City.


Finally, not to be forgotten is the regular, ongoing service by many individuals that keeps the church functioning, such as ushering; lectoring; preparing and serving Holy Communion; maintaining the kitchen; caring for the lawn; and cleaning, repairing and maintaining the physical church property.

ALC CARE CORNER

ALC’s “Care Corner” is an outreach committee within the church that works to share Christian love and support with our congregation, local community, and beyond. The Care Corner takes on several projects each year, that have ranged from providing bottled water to local fire departments to supporting camp ministry at EWALU. Stocking local food pantries also is an ongoing mission of this group. The Benevolence chairperson on Congregation Council typically heads up efforts of the Care Corner.