Grapevine newsletter

January 2020

Our newsletter is published at the end of every month. Members receive a mailed copy of the newsletter; the digital version is also available to download at the bottom of the page.

From the Pastor’s Desk….


1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.  - John 1:1-5


            Supposedly the days will soon get longer again, but still the sun will come up pretty late in the morning and will set before 6 PM in the evening.  When the days do get longer, it will be difficult to notice the increasing sunlight that will slowly grow by a minute or two each day.  Still, if you “Google” sunrise and sunset times, the facts will appear on your computer screen, slowly, steadily, surely the days will get longer and the sun will get stronger.  January will be a long, dark, cold month.  February will maybe follow suit, but by March we will begin to see brighter, longer days again.  Things are changing whether we notice them changing or not!

            This is an important lesson in faith for all of us.  The vast majority of the world did not notice the child that was born in the manger.   The vast majority of the world did not recognize the Savior that died on the cross and rose from the dead to redeem all humanity.  Yet day by day, God’s love was at work!  Changing hearts, forgiving sins, opening the closed doors of death to the new possibilities of new beginnings and new life.  Breathing the hope and inspiration of the Holy Spirit into heart after heart.  Calling each of us to watch, wait and pay attention to what God is up to, so that when we see God’s love at work…when we see an open door, we can step up in service and love and open that door just a bit wider.

            It is easy to become complacent with our faith as day by day we go through the motions of living.  When life throws us curve balls and we experience deep grief, there are times when it is hard to notice God’s love and presence at work.  Still, God’s love is there!  As sure as minutes of sunlight are added to each day of January, God’s love is present and at work in our lives! It is there in words of scripture that call us to hope and trust.  It is present in the prayers that friends are praying on our behalf (often without us even knowing about the prayers).  It is present in the daily gifts that are provided...meals shared, shelter provided, slow rest, healing, restoration, and love shared in countless ways.

            “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it!”  Trusting in the light and love of Christ, let us always watch for the light of God’s love shining in the world around us and then let us share our lives and be part of the growing light of God’s love in the world around us!


With Love in Christ,

Pastor Carla

January Cause of the Month


Lutheran Food Pantry



St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church took over the administration of the Lutheran Food Pantry (previously known as the Lincoln Lutheran Metro Food Parish) in February 2017.  It took St. Andrew’s approximately eight weeks to get The Pantry working efficiently.  It is now functioning very well thanks to the support of the Lutheran churches in and around Lincoln and the many valuable volunteers who faithfully serve in many ways.  

Many churches and individuals have been steadfast in donating shelf stable items to keep the Pantry well stocked.  We also rely on monetary donations to purchase the items needed to make a well-rounded box of food (and sometimes personal care items) for these needy families.  All money donated to the Lutheran Food Pantry is used to buy items we distribute.  There are no paid staff members, rent expense, or utility costs.  Most of the food purchased comes from the Food Bank of Lincoln.  When standard food items are not available from the Food Bank, donated funds are used to purchase items from local grocery stores.


The need for basic items is constant because the Pantry packs boxes for 32 families of various sizes each week that are sent to the City Mission and the Good Neighbor Center.  In addition, requests are made each week from the Lutheran churches for emergency boxes for families that contact them when they have an urgent need for food.  1,936 boxes were distributed during 2018, giving 4,893 people food to help them in their time of need. 

We are hoping the Lutheran churches will continue to support the Lutheran Food Pantry by giving an annual allotment donation for each confirmed member.  And, of course, we are hoping the monthly contributions of food and miscellaneous monetary donations will also continue in 2020.  With the continued generosity of monetary and food donations, we are able to pack food items to supplement families who are food insecure.  


To keep the Pantry running efficiently takes lots of food and help!  St. Andrew’s is blessed to host and coordinate the Lutheran Food Pantry and have it be a part of the mission of “Reaching Out . . . Sharing Grace.”  If you have questions about the Lutheran Food Pantry or want to know more about volunteering or donating money and/or items, please contact Tom or Lynn Ochsner (402-890-6061) or  Your financial support, donations, and prayers are greatly appreciated and are needed to continue this ministry of helping those in need in our community.


Food items that are always needed include: Dry pastas (spaghetti and noodles), fruit juice, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned meats (tuna, chicken, Spam, etc.), saltine crackers, pork and beans, dry dinners (Hamburger Helper), cereal, and canned soups. 



Thank you for your gift of $165, which we received on January 19, 2016. I'm grateful for your generosity as we work together to end hunger in our own country and abroad.
Your financial support at the beginning of 2016 is especially helpful. Your gift enables us to move forward with critical projects that will have an impact throughout the year ahead.
Right now, we're pressing Congress to finish work on two measures that you and other Bread for the World members helped create bipartisan support for: 1) the Global Food Security Act, which invests in smallholder farmers - especially women - in Africa and 2) the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, including making summer meals available to more children here in the United States.
If you haven't already, please visit and sign up for online updates about these and other pieces of legislation that will help end hunger.
Thank you again for your kindness and compassion. My very best wishes for the new year.
David Beckmann







*about our cause of the month

List of Causes of the Month for 2020:

January – Lutheran Food Pantry                                           

February – Kicks For Kids           

March – Mental Health Assn. of NE         

April – Wheels for the World/Joni & Friends

May – NE Community Blood Bank

June – Matt Talbot Kitchen/Outreach         

July – LWR

August – Encouragement Unlimited

September – Lincoln Literacy

October – Operation Christmas Child

November – Mosaic in Lincoln

December – NE Children's Home Society

Each month the American Lutheran Church supports a different organization as our "Cause of the Month." So many different non-profits desperately need our help. None of them can operate without generous donations and funding. ALL of them need financial assistance throughout the year.


Two of the non-profits we are directly involved with in our community are the Lutheran Food Pantry, and the People's City Mission. Bring your food donations for the pantry directly to the American Lutheran Church. The People's City Mission is one of the largest, faith-based organizations in Lincoln involved in humanitarian outreach. While serving the poor and homeless is their primary endeavor, sharing the redemptive love of Jesus Christ remains their chief goal. 



Lutheran Food Pantry contacts:

your ELCA or LCMS congregations



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