On Saturday, January 13, LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Shiloh (Christ Our Savior – Dixon, Illinois) attended a special dinner event for the members of the Missouri chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). The evening included a slideshow tribute to all Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. There was also time for fun activities and fellowship. LCC was honored to have a law enforcement K-9 handler team there, by special invitation, to help bring some joy and comfort to the family and friends of our fallen officers.
Recently, LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dogs Flex and Brutus (Squad) were guests of the Founder's Crossing Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Homer Glen, Illinois. LCC staff member, Jim Morrison, talked about the LCC K-9 Ministries to the members. After the presentation, the ladies had opportunity to meet Kare 9s Flex and Brutus and get their picture taken with them.
On Monday, January 8, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Darlin (St. Paul – Matteson, Illinois) and Samuel (St. Paul’s – Lockport, Illinois) with LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Brutus (Squad) were invited to attend the regular meeting of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) in Mokena, Illinois. LCC staff member, Jim Morrison, made a presentation to the group about the ministries of LCC, followed by a question and answer session. The LCC K-9s shared their own special brand of mercy, compassion, and comfort.
On Wednesday, January 10, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Darlin (St. Paul – Matteson, Illinois) and Samuel (St. Paul’s – Lockport, Illinois), and LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Brutus (Squad) were guests of St. John's Lutheran School in Country Club Hills, Illinois at their Chapel Service last week. LCC staff member, Pastor Roger Pollock, brought a message of mercy and compassion to the students. After the message, students took turns meeting the LCC K-9s and receiving love and comfort from them.
Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, will be in Florida the week of January 14th to work with Pastor Selle and Pastor Glander of the Amigos Centers located in Bonita Springs and Immokalee, Florida. While there, Kathy will purchase bedding for all remaining families who have or will receive their beds as part of their recovery from Hurricane Irma. Your donations have made a difference in the lives of many Amigos Center families. LCC donors helped provide beds and appliances for 77 of the 92 Amigos Center families to date.
Help LCC complete the needs for all 92 families in early 2018. Thank you for showing the love of Jesus to the Amigos Center families.
During the past week, LCC K-9 Ministry teams comforted families who were grieving due to the loss of loved ones. We thank you for your prayers as we brought the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to families and friends during their time of greatest need.
St. Andrews Lutheran Church - Stockton, California Visits Aspire Academy
On Tuesday, January 2, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Reuben (First Lutheran – Yuba City, California) and Aaron (St. John’s – Napa, California) and their handlers were invited by St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Stockton, California to visit with the first grade class at Aspire Academy in Stockton after the death of a classmate. Rev. Dan Deuel accompanied the teams to share comfort and compassion as they visited with students and staff after hearing the sad news. St. Andrews is in the process of starting a LCC K-9 Ministry and was thankful to see how the ministry works first hand.
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church - Liberty, Missouri: Luft Family Visitation & Funeral
On Wednesday, January 3, LCC K-9 Ministry teams comforted approximately 1,500 people at the visitation and over a 1,000 at the funeral for the Luft family following the death of the mother, 2 daughters, and a friend in a truck accident. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Noah (Timothy – St. Louis, Missouri), Tabby (St. Paul’s – Des Peres, Missouri), Jessy (St. Paul’s – Concordia, Missouri), and Chewie (LCC Staff) and their handlers comforted family and friends in attendance, some who waited 2 hours during the visitation. Several classmates of one of the daughters spent extra time with the Comfort Dogs who were located in pairs throughout the church building. Some of the visitors posted comments on LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Noah’s Facebook page:
It was very comforting to have you and the other dogs there. Thanks
Thank you so much for helping our family and friends through this difficult time. Our 4 legged friends are always welcome at St. Stephen Lutheran Church!
Our kids loved the dogs and collecting cards from each one. It definitely made the long wait much easier for them.
Your beautiful faces and understanding eyes will be appreciated more than you know!!
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church - Crystal Lake, Illinois: Wudtke Visitation
On Tuesday, January 2, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois), Eunice (LCC Staff), Eve (St. John’s – Lombard, Illinois), and Chloe (Lord of Life – Elburn, Illinois) were at the visitation for a 27 year-old who lost his battle with cancer. Justin's mom came over to see the dogs and said how much Justin would have loved them. She shared that Justin was a faithful follower of Jesus, who inspired others as he lived courageously with cancer. Such a blessing to comfort the family and friends of this faithful servant.
Living Christ Lutheran Church - Arlington Heights, Illinois: O’Gara Visitation
Terry loved his Golden Retriever Molly. On Tuesday, January 2, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs JoJo (Living Christ – Arlington Heights, Illinois), Susie (St. Peter – Arlington Heights, Illinois) and Hannah (LCC Staff) attended his visitation where hundreds of adoring friends and family paid their last respects. Every single person in attendance smiled upon seeing the Comfort Dogs and talked of Terry’s love for his precious Molly. Others shed tears but then smiled as they recalled their memories of Terry.
AMBASSADOR OF HEALTH, HOPE, AND AGING (AH-HA!)
Tim Hetzner, President / CEO Lutheran Church Charities is pleased to announce that Dr. Rich Bimler has joined LCC as Ministry Consultant. Dr. Bimler will serve as a consultant, mentor, speaker, trainer, encourager, and networker in organizing and developing ministries that empower people of all ages to see aging as a blessing to celebrate rather than a burden to bear.
Dr. Bimler is available through Lutheran Church Charities to train, connect, and equip people of all ages to serve and celebrate God’s love and forgiveness together as His Church as they bring health and healing to hurting people throughout their own communities and the whole world. His leadership will help individuals and groups to create resources and events for inter-generational ministries in congregations and communities.
Throughout his 49 year ministry career, Dr. Bimler has served the church in various positions including serving for 15 years as President/CEO of Wheat Ridge Ministries. He continues to write, speak, and consult with other agencies and organizations throughout the world. He is the author of 15 books, such as Joyfully Aging (Concordia Publishing House, 2012).
The LCC staff is blessed to have Dr. Bimler join our family as we continue to Make A Difference to those we serve. To learn more about how you can start an inter-generational ministry, contact Dr. Rich Bimler at 866-455-6466 ext. 139 or rbimler@LutheranChurchCharities.org.
On Sunday, January 7, handlers from LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Gracie's team (Trinity – Davenport, Iowa) attended a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. The event was organized as a way for citizens to show their support for the law enforcement community, and it featured law enforcement officers from many area agencies. Attendees were able to see squad cars on display and meet officers from various assignments, such as patrol, tactical, SWAT, and more. They also received free blue light bulbs, Blue Line wristbands, and blue ribbons to wear to support law enforcement. The walls at this indoor event were lined with posters made by children from area schools to thank the officers for their service. A contest was held for children in the community to design a logo for the event. Unfortunately, due to treacherous road conditions caused by an ice storm, LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dogs Gracie and Shiloh (Christ Our Savior – Dixon, Illinois) could not safely get to the event, but LCC was honored to have police ministry K-9 handlers there to support the men and women of law enforcement, and remind them that they are all in our prayers!