ELCA Malaria Initiative
A child dies from malaria every 45 seconds. Today we are in a special moment where we could turn this around. Working through Lutheran churches in Africa, the ELCA Malaria Campaign is uniquely positioned to provide mosquito nets, insecticides, medication, health care, education and more to help eliminate deaths from this disease—for good.
ELCA Good Gifts
ELCA Good Gifts are a creative way to grow our congregations, inspire new leaders and care for thos around the world who live with hunger and poverty. Your gifts go beyond your regular congregational offering to support the ministries of the ELCA that mean the most to you and your loved ones.
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
ELCA World Hunger
The ELCA World Hunger program is a comprehensive and sustainable program that uses multiple strategies—relief, development, education, and advocacy-to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Elca World Hunger responds to neighbors around the corner and around the world.
Jubilee USA Network
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
OAKS INDIAN MISSION
The Global Peace and Justice Committee would again like to highlight the Oaks Indian Mission for our Lenten emphasis. On February 25th, we will have the pleasure of hearing from Pastor Manuel Retamoza of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (in San Diego), who grew up in Oaks, Oklahoma. He is eager to tell us more about this ministry.
The story of the Oaks Indian Mission begins with Moravian Missionaries in 1801 and later with Danish Evangelical Lutherans in 1902. Oaks serves children from many tribal backgrounds. Some are there full-time, others return to their homes at the end of the school year. Some children are orphans, others have been abused or neglected, and some are at Oaks because their parents or grandparents simply cannot pro-vide adequate food, clothing, a stable home, education, discipline, or spiritual guidance. Oaks Indian Mis-sion cares for children ages 4 to 18. Throughout the school year, the mission houses up to 48 residents, and a majority of children stay through the summer months. Children served by the Oaks Indian Mission are welcome regardless of their ability to pay.
The children live in cottages which are self-contained: cottage parents and their families live together as a family. The students attend nearby Oaks Mission Public School with an enrollment of over 200 students, and they attend EbenEzer Lutheran Church.
Wonderful events occurred in 2014:
- A new Executive Director was called, Vance Blackfox, who grew up in Oaks. His ancestors were among the first to be baptized by the Moravians. As a young teen, he served on synod boards and engaged in church-wide activities. He was elected to preside over the national body of the ELCA Youth Organization while a student at Texas Lutheran University. He has been employed by Augsburg Fortress, Women of the ELCA, California Lutheran University, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). He studied leadership and ethics at John Brown Universi-ty’s graduate school and completed a Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a concentration in American Indian Ministries at LSTC.
- Pastor Meredith Harber was called as the new pastor at EbenEzer Lutheran Church in Oaks, and will also serve as pastor of the Oaks Indian Mission. While completing her Master of Divinity de-gree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and as part of her internship, Pastor Mere-dith lived in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on the reservation among the Oglala Lakota people.
- The Mission was able to open its Fourth Cottage. Our donations from last year contributed to that effort when we “helped fill the (little yellow) house to build a house.” A new housemother with her two children and six girls are the new residents.
- “Kid-friendly” pillowcases were made by women of our congregation for all the children at Oaks during (and following) our “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday in August.
We look forward to learning more about Oaks Indian Mission as we offer prayers and contributions to-wards their ongoing ministry.