Concordia University Wisconsin Students and Alumni Paint Hundreds of LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion During the "Week of Service" Event
Lutheran Church Charities partnered with Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) in Mequon this past week during their “Week of Service” event held on campus. Ninety-one students and twenty-five alumni attended this two-day event, where they painted 275 Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC) and 350 fish that are placed upon the HMC Heart. The students learned how to make the wooden hearts “come alive” to share the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus with the giving of an HMC Heart to a recipient in need.
The “Week of Service” project team included Dr. Randall Ferguson, Director of Christian Service & Ministry, and Greg Witto, Director of Alumni & Parent Relations with CUW, Tim Laabs, Project Manager for LCC HMC, Wayne Kolweier, LCC staff member, and Bob Brandt, Director of HMC. LCC volunteers included Tom and Diane Moore from St. Paul, Janesville, Wisconsin, and Bob Desiron from Immanuel, Des Plaines, Illinois.
Hearts of Mercy and Compassion, Crosses for Losses provides a physical and spiritual symbol through the giving of hearts and crosses to families and friends who have suffered loss or serious illness of a loved one. Each one is lovingly handmade for someone in need.
If you would like to learn more about Hearts of Mercy and Compassion, Crosses for Losses, please visit www.LutheranChurchCharities.org.
LCC K-9 and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Ministry Teams Continue to Serve the Community
For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13
At 4:39 pm on Sunday, November 21, the Waukesha Christmas parade route was packed with families and children of all ages who were present for the festive occasion when a fleeing vehicle drove recklessly into the route. Six people have been killed – four female adults and one male adult with ages ranging from 52 – 81, and one 8-year-old boy who passed away on Tuesday. Six children are critical and approximately 62 other victims with injuries ranging from critical, serious, and fair conditions. Eighteen patients between the ages of 3 to 16 were taken to Children’s Wisconsin Hospital, including three sets of siblings.
In less than 24 hours, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited by Pastor Peter Schmidt from Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Waukesha and were present at the Waukesha Candlelight Vigil that night.
Tim Hetzner, LCC President/CEO deployed with LCC K-9 Ministry teams and brought hearts/crosses through our Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC), Crosses for Losses Ministry to help people who are shocked and trying to process this horrific event.
LCC K-9 and HMC Ministry teams served with open hearts to listen to the hurting, bringing them hope, comfort, and prayer. The hearts/crosses are placed at the Veterans Park memorial site for people to sign and leave condolence messages, pray, and pay their respects to the five lives lost so far. Additional hearts/crosses were left with Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.
Monday night the community of Waukesha came out to support each other after Sunday’s devastating tragedy. Attendees shared their grief, honored the victims, sought comfort, and found hope. A simple touch of the hand placed on the soft warm fur of one of the Comfort Dogs, hugging tightly one of the plush LCC K-9 Comfort Dog stuffies, prayers from the handlers or the opportunity to write their messages to the families on the LCC Hearts of Mercy and Compassion for each of the victims helped them process their grief.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Candace (LCC Staff), Charity (Brookfield Lutheran – Brookfield, Wisconsin), Mary (St. Paul – Janesville, Wisconsin), Rhoda (Prince of Peace – Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois), and Zoey (Concordia University Wisconsin – Mequon, Wisconsin), along with their ministry teams were present at the vigil to help bring comfort and hope to all who are grieving.
LCC K-9 Ministry teams have already been invited to visit the following:
Pewaukee School District: LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity and Rhoda and their teams visited teachers and staff on Monday, November 22, in preparation for the students to return to class on Tuesday.
Waukesha Emergency Service Group: LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs invited to the Friends & Family Resource Center at Carroll University Campus Center this week to be a calming presence for anyone who is in need of counsel or help.
Hales Corner Lutheran Church: LCC K-9 Comfort Dog attended prayer service on Tuesday, November 23, to comfort those who are grieving.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran School: LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs will visit each classroom to comfort students and staff on Monday, November 29.
Waukesha Police Department & Dispatch: On Monday, November 29, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs will visit night shift officers, dispatch, and support staff that responded to the parade tragedy to thank them for their service and comfort them as they continue to process what they experienced that night.
Through these tragic times, we hold on to each other and God’s love and presence. LCC K-9 Ministry teams will continue to serve in Waukesha and the surrounding community as invited wherever they are needed.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassions Ministry never charges those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Ministry Welcomes Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana to the Ministry
Pastor Alex Duff's and Suburban Bethlehem’s, Fort Wayne, Indiana, vision to be an outreach ministry around the community is electric! The team of builders and painters have completed their first run of Hearts and Crosses and are excited to serve those who are suffering and in need.
Partnering in ministry with nearby Holy Cross Lutheran Church, home of LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Jared, both churches will provide the love and hope of Jesus through presence and prayer along with these physical and spiritual symbols.
Thank you, Suburban Bethlehem, for your passion to partner in this meaningful and growing ministry and for a job well done on your first production run, which united many church volunteers and put their woodworking, painting, and assembly skills to use.
Christ the King, Newtown, Connecticut, and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry suffered a significant loss with the passing of their beloved handler Dave Erikson. Dave was a kind, gentle man and touched many lives.
As a handler for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Maggie (Christ the King Lutheran Church - Newtown, Connecticut), he regularly visited the following places and brightened up people’s day when he arrived:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Abraham (Trinity - Hicksville, New York), Addie (Immanuel - Danbury, Connecticut), and Leah (Immanuel - Danbury, Connecticut) and their teams joined LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Maggie’s team at Christ the King on Saturday, September 25, as family and friends gathered for the Memorial Service for Dave Erikson. The LCC K-9 Ministry teams were there to be a comforting and compassionate presence as Dave’s family and friends said their goodbyes.
Family and friends were able to sign a Heart of Mercy and Compassion displayed on a cross and write messages of love and prayers in remembrance of Dave.
On Friday, August 13, LCC was honored to pay tribute to murder victim Keishanay Bolden, who was 18 when she lost her life in May 2020. Delivered by Pastor John Brazeal of Christ the King, Chicago, Illinois, a Heart of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses was presented to Keishanay’s mother, Crystal. Pastor John spent time with Crystal and two of her children, sharing prayers and encouragement. The Heart and Cross will stand as a beacon of hope and love to this grieving family.