Help Lutheran Church Charities Place Ninety Hearts of Mercy & Compassion throughout the United States
You can help!
In order to be more prepared to respond, our local HMC affiliate congregation volunteers were asked to build ninety Hearts of Mercy & Compassion to strategically place them with our LCC K-9 Ministry teams throughout the United States.
Your financial support of HMC deployment will help to offset the $2,500 cost of the ninety Hearts of Mercy & Compassion.
LCC never charges those we serve.
We are able to do that with the support of donors.
After being on staff with LCC part-time for two and one-half years, Wayne Kolweier, who worked with fellow staff member Tim Laabs in the ministry of Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC), has recently retired.
As a showing of thanks and respect for service to our Lord through serving others, LCC presented Wayne with his own HMC with scripture verse Jeremiah 29:11, which read, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.” LCC staff members also added personal well-wishes to the HMC.
Wayne was instrumental in helping the new ministry get planted and flourish. Also, he helped set up crosses or markers with hearts at memorial sites in numerous states where LCC was invited to be present to comfort those hurting by each tragedy. Wayne’s passion for prayer gave comfort to many individuals who were on site.
Great thanks are given to Wayne, who also plans to continue assisting LCC on a volunteer basis. May God bless your retirement, Wayne.
LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Return to Highland Park to Bring Comfort to Community on the First Anniversary of Independence Day Parade Mass Shooting
Remembrance and Healing
Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry was invited by the City of Highland Park to return to Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday, July 4, to be present with the community for the one-year anniversary of the Independence Day Parade mass shooting that occurred on July 4, 2022, roughly fifteen minutes after the parade had started. Seven people were killed and forty-eight others were wounded.
Rev. Chris Singer, LCC President/CEO, James Casner, Assistant LCC K-9 Crisis Response Coordinator, and the following LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams were present throughout Highland Park on July 4 for a day of remembrance and healing:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Asher (Faith - Lake Forest, Illinois), Charity (Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Eunice (LCC Staff), Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin), Michael (LCC Staff), Myra (St. Andrews - Park Ridge, Illinois), Samson (Zion - Marengo, Illinois), Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois), and LCC Comfort Dogs In Training Galilee and Zacchaeus and their handlers.
Last year on the same day, Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry (HMC) responded to the Independence Day Parade mass shooting in Highland Park, providing support to the shocked and hurting community.
"We Are Highland Park"
The Fourth of July looked much different in Highland Park this time around as the community remembered those who lost their lives during last year’s parade and the impact they made. Instead of the usual parade, there was a community walk, preceded by a remembrance ceremony at Highland Park City Hall and other commemorations.
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Thank you for being a part of the Mercy and Compassion Ministry of Lutheran Church Charities.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Share Comfort with the Mifflintown Community After Two State Troopers Shot, One Fatally
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry received an emergency site visit request from Anne Supplee, Secretary with DeLauter Youth Center Board in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Anne was a teacher when the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry responded to Sandy Hook. Now, Anne's community faced its own tragedy and she requested the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry to walk alongside them during this difficult time.
Mifflintown, a very small rural community in Central Pennsylvania, witnessed a horrific event on June 17, in which one Pennsylvania State Trooper, Jacques Rougeau Jr., was killed. Lt. James Wagner was critically injured following a series of shootings, one of which was in front of the DeLauter Youth Center in Mifflintown.
The event on July 1 welcomed the entire community at the town park to recognize the service of their Pennsylvania State Police and the first responders while providing comfort to them and their families, as well as giving comfort and support to all of Mifflintown's children and adults who were affected by the shooting on June 17.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Amos (Our Savior's Way - Ashburn, Virginia) and Kezia (Emmanuel - Baltimore, Maryland) were invited to share the comfort, love, and compassion that comes from Jesus. During this event, some people wanted to talk about where they were and what they were doing when the calls came in to shelter in place. They spoke about how shaken and confused they were about the events unfolding in their tight-knit, and until then, very safe community. They liked coming together through this community comfort event where they could pray as a community for strength and healing.
LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC) with the thin blue line for law enforcement were brought by the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams. One HMC for Pennsylvania State Trooper Jacques Rougeau Jr., and one for Lt. James Wagner. The HMCs were filled with messages and prayers by the community and will be given to the Pennsylvania State Troopers.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah's (LCC Staff) coloring book page was also included in an art station off to the side where children could be—another tool for the children to process their emotions and find comfort.
“I can’t begin to express my gratitude to all of you for what you do. Your organization is truly amazing! Again, thank you to all of you for everything you do!,” shared Anne Supplee
Corporal Troy Hendershot, Pennsylvania State Police, who could not attend, was supportive of this event. Dave Ray, Critical Incident Stress Management (licensed psychologist), was present. The town Emergency Medical Services (EMS) work 24-hour shifts and really appreciated knowing that we were there to help bring comfort to so many who are hurting.
"At one point, I sat with an older woman who has lived right next door to the park we were at since 1965. Her daughter was with her and said they were at their church for Saturday tea when her son called, warning her and grandma to get inside because there was a shooter in town. The older woman said it reminded her of the air raid drills she had to do as a young girl during WWI. As we talked, I noticed their strength and the joy in their eyes. They had a peace that only comes from their faith in God.” Jodi, handler for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Amos
After the event, LCC K-9 Ministry teams visited Troop G Virginia State Police, where Trooper Rougeau was assigned. The teams arrived at shift change and were able to greet and offer thanks to the departing and arriving officers. This is a small Troop of 3-4 troopers serving 8-hour shifts. They shared what Trooper Rougeau was like; a humble and very productive officer who made a difference in the community through sheer focus and determination.
The K-9 Ministry teams went to Harshbarger's Sub and Malt restaurant for dinner and brought the HMC for the staff to sign. People were barricaded inside the restaurant behind overturned tables while state troopers lined up to protect them from the shooting outside.
The team walked down to the memorial that Mr. David Gray had built on his property where Trooper Rougeau was killed. When he saw LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams there, he drove over to talk to them and shared with them his plans to replace it with a permanent granite memorial. He shared that the shootout sounded more chaotic than anything he had experienced in Vietnam. He was so grateful for the troopers' actions in saving his life that he has been bringing them food regularly.
"It especially struck me tonight how tragic this event was to this quiet sleepy village. I was reminded of the verse where God says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ He is there, present in the lives of the Mifflintown residents. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams of Amos and Kezia are thankful they could be part of the healing process." Ric, handler for LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Kezia
LCC K-9 Ministry is thankful for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, from State College, Pennsylvania, who traveled to Mifflintown to share in God's healing. We keep the Pennsylvania State Troopers, their families, and the Mifflintown community in our prayers as they continue to heal.
On Wednesday, May 31, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry was invited back to Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, to be present as the mall reopened nearly one month after a mass shooting that took place on May 6, killing eight people.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Elijah (Our Redeemer – Wichita Fall, Texas), Miriam (Emmanuel – Kingfisher, Oklahoma), Pax (St. Paul – Fort Worth, Texas), Persis (King of Kings – Glenpool, Oklahoma), Phoebe (St. Paul – Fort Worth, Texas), Triton (Messiah – Plano, Texas) and their teams were a comforting presence to the employees as they returned to work. The shoppers were also happy to see the Comfort Dogs.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Pax's & Phoebe's team shared: "Emotions ran high for some. But we soon discovered they had a lot in common. We noticed their desire to be around us and talk with our team members. Inside the stores, by the flagpole, and under the tent, we found many who wanted to just take a little time and be with us. We are so glad they did!"
The teams received a very special card. The front was made from the artwork of one of the students who was a victim, Daniela. The card was signed by the teachers and staff of Cox Elementary. The note inside read:
"The front of this card is the beautiful artwork of Daniela. The unfinished artwork reminds us that this is not the end and that there is still work to do. It inspires us to continue to teach, love, and guide every student in our care. Love is stronger."
Please join us in praying for the staff and community as they continue to grieve and process the tragedy that took place at the Allen Premium Outlets.
LCC K-9 Ministry Teams Bring Comfort to the Uvalde Community on First Anniversary of Robb Elementary School Mass Shooting
A Week of Remembrance and Healing
During the past week, Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry was present in Uvalde, Texas, for the one-year anniversary of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting that occurred on May 24, 2022, killing nineteen students and two teachers.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Abner (Bethany – Austin, Texas), Damaris (Memorial – Katy, Texas), Gabriel (Messiah – Houston, Texas), Gideon (St. Michael – Bloomington, Minnesota), Jael (Trinity – Hobart, Indiana), Joanna (Christ – Lincoln, Nebraska), Joy (Gloria Dei – Houston, Texas), Martha (Bethany – Austin, Texas), Peace (Trinity – Orlando, Florida), Persis (King of Kings – Glenpool, Oklahoma), and Triton (Messiah – Plano, Texas) were a support to the community as they commemorated the anniversary of the tragic shooting.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams were present at vigils comforting families and the community. They spent time with the staff at Uvalde Memorial Hospital, who cared for the wounded. They visited each of the Uvalde Schools, providing a calming presence to the students and teachers. They were a frequent presence at the local Walmart, providing an opportunity for the community to spend time with the Comfort Dogs.
On Wednesday, May 24, the anniversary date of the shooting, the teams walked with the community through this heartbreaking day as they remembered the 21 lives lost one year ago.
On Friday evening, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Abner, Gideon, Jael, Martha, Peace, and Persis and their handlers celebrated with families and friends of the seniors graduating from Uvalde High School. It was an honor to be invited to attend as a support to them on this very special occasion.
Rev. Chris Singer, LCC President & CEO, presented LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion to the school bus drivers who, on the day of the Uvalde shooting, transported children who were wounded inside Robb Elementary School to the hospital.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams are grateful for the warm welcome in Uvalde to help process many painful memories and emotions brought up as the community honored the 21 lives lost last year.
We treasure the Uvalde community, lift them up in ongoing prayer and feel honored to be a small part of their healing.
Here are a few Facebook comments on our presence in Uvalde:
Thank you for coming. You are always welcome here.