Serve Our Neighbors
Ministry to Others
We are a caring congregation that reaches out to the world for the purpose of serving our neighbors near and far, especially those who are marginalized and easily forgotten. Support of these ministries is central to one of our core principal Serving our Neighbors, and is coordinated by the Missions and Social Concerns Committee. You can also read more on How Bethlehem Lutheran Church Serves our Neighbors in our news section – CLICK HERE
Ministries we support: Word and Sacrament Ministries
- ELCA Upstate NY Synod – Congregations support the Synod financially and in prayer. In turn the Synod puts these funds to work on our behalf in a variety of ways: sharing our faith through missionaries, supporting ministries within our synod, fighting hunger, and other major relief efforts around the world. (Learn More)
- ELCA Genesee/Finger Lakes Conference – Our financial support to the conference provides opportunities to share our faith throughout the conference area, and develops additional ministries beyond those supported by individual congregations. Our conference donation supports Winter Weekend for youth and the Greater Rochester Community of Churches which gathers congregations and people from diverse communities to build relationships and support initiatives.
- Rochester Area Lutheran Campus Ministry – the Lutheran Campus Ministry at R.I.T is a Christian organization with students from each of the mainline Christian denominations. Although students worship in the Lutheran tradition, the ministry is open to anyone interested in being involved in the search for God. This mission includes relating lifestyle and profession to religious values, and developing future leaders within the community of faith.
- Shurugwi Parish, Zimbabwe (Twinned Congregation/Companion Synod) – Our relationship with Shurugwi Parish, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) is part of the ELCA companion synod program. Accompaniment defines the model for relationship, shifting the focus to walking alongside our brothers and sisters where both parties grow and learn. (Learn more)
- South Wedge Mission – A Lutheran mission congregation rooted in word and sacrament and seeking to share the good news of God’s love in Christ through a neighborhood church in the South Wedge area of Rochester. BLC is one of many local Lutheran congregations supporting this mission. (Learn more)
- E-Readers for Africa – BLC is piloting a new method for sending books at a greatly reduced cost to churches in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Zambia (ELCZa). This involves replacing conventional books with eBooks loaded on E-Readers. Initial feedback from pastors in Zambia has been positive and BLC is exploring the next phase of implementation. (Learn more)
Ministries we support: Service Ministries
- Advent House – a local hospice which provides services for those nearing the end of their life here on earth. This ministry was founded by people of faith including individuals from BLC. (Learn more)
- Cameron Community Ministries – an urban outreach community center in the greater Lyell-Otis neighborhood of Rochester which offers many programs including Youth-After-School and summer programs, serves lunch daily, and operates an emergency food pantry and clothing center. (Learn more)
- Community Lutheran Ministry (CLM) – an urban outreach community center in the Joseph Avenue area of Rochester. CLM offers several programs including youth counseling and special events like the Traveling Summer Day Camp offering 100 children opportunities to experience positive activities not available in their neighborhood.
- Gerhardt Neighborhood Outreach Center – in 2004, Joy Community Church purchased the run-down 8,000 ft2 building next door and renovated it over several years. Today it houses a food pantry, a medical clinic, a computer lab and classroom, a crisis center for young women, and a place where teens can come and learn about Jesus. (Learn more)
- Grace House – a highly structured, transitional residence, designed to disciple men who are on parole (released from prison) to become productive for the Kingdom of God, their families, and their communities. It now operates 5 residences focused on reducing recidivism to crime or drugs, and encouraging family reunification and obtaining employment for the residents. (Learn more)
- Safe Journey – a ministry committed to helping victims move from surviving to thriving after an abusive relationship. Safe Journey is located in a secure, handicapped accessible, suburban location and welcomes women from the suburbs, city and rural communities. Services are provided free of charge. (Learn more)
- Second Sunday Dinner Ministry – BLC joins with other Christian congregations in the Fairport area to provide a warm, satisfying meal to those who enjoy the fellowship of others in our fellowship hall, as well as delivering meals to those who are unable to come to the church.
Ministries we support: Partner Ministries
- A Meal and More – A Meal and More provides hunger relief; offers clothing and personal care supplies, and also offers their guests moral support and encouragement.
- Ecumenical Ministries of Perinton (PEM) – the corporate structure under which the Fairport Good Neighbor Fund, and the Perinton Congregations Habitat for Humanity operate. The Thanksgiving Interfaith service and the Crop Walk are being considered.
- Fairport Good Neighbor Fund – offers local clergy a single source for referring people in need of financial support.
- Habitat for Humanity – Flower City Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard and poverty housing in Rochester. Seeking to put God’s love in action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
- Perinton Churches Housing, Inc – provides quality, affordable independent housing for seniors and handicapped individuals (regardless of age). Complexes in the Perinton area include the Fairport Apartments, Jefferson Park, Rose Hollow, and the Roselawn Shared Residence.
- Senior Option for Independence (SOFI) – a care connection service that shares information and choices enabling older senior persons to live safely and independently at home. SOFI includes home visits, connections to community services, and follow-up to insure individual’s needs are met.
- Rochester Coffee Connection – a local not-for-profit business selling fair trade, organic coffee to retail and wholesale customers while providing a site for employment training for women in recovery from addiction. Freshly roasted coffee from the Coffee Connection is available for sale in the narthex of BLC. Hot chocolate and snacks are also featured at the LWR CoffeeProject. Visit us at http://shop.equalexchange.coop/lwrcoffee/
If you don’t see a ministry that speaks to you, invent one! For example members of BLC felt the call to help found the Advent House hospice as well as Safe Journey, a program for victims of domestic violence.