“We’ve all heard the statistics,” Kathy said in matter of fact way that indicated a slight sense of frustration. “The economy is slow to recover, unemployment numbers are still high, and there are record numbers of people needing assistance with food and clothing. To me, those statistics used to be just numbers. It was not until I saw the smile on the face of a single mother as I helped her and her two year old daughter pick out food to feed her family for the next week that those numbers came alive and were given a soul.”
God’s work. Our hands.
Kathy is just one of many members of Memorial Lutheran Church of Afton that volunteer regularly at Valley Outreach in Stillwater. Valley Outreach provides food, clothing and emergency assistance to those in need in the St. Croix Valley, services that are vital for our community. Memorial members recognize that in order for places like Valley Outreach to continue in their mission, they need support.
Therefore, Memorial’s members serve Valley Outreach and similar organizations in a number of ways: They volunteer. They donate food. They collect clothing. Last fall, for example, they led the valley’s “small churches” in donations of undergarments and socks for “Undie Sunday.”
On Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m., Memorial will host a free Benefit Concert, sponsored by Thrivent Financial, featuring the Roe Family Singers. A freewill offering will be collected to benefit Valley Outreach and all funds will be matched by Memorial’s Endowment Fund.
The Roe Family Singers are a self-described “good-time, old-time hillbilly band” led by wife and husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe (Accident Clearinghouse). According to its website, the band “blends characteristic old-time sound with rock-and-roll urgency and influence.” The site goes on to say that “with a mix of original music and contemporary takes on old-time, traditional and gospel tunes, every performance raises a ruckus.” And this time it will be a for a good cause.
Memorial invites its neighbors and friends to join in the fun and help with this good cause. The church is located at 15730 S. Afton Blvd., just up the hill in downtown Afton.
For more information about how you can support the work of Memorial Lutheran Church and Valley Outreach, visitmemoriallutheran.org or call 651-436-1138.
Derek Fossey is a pastor at Memorial Lutheran Church in Afton. If your church would like to contribute columns to the Gazette, contact Jonathan Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.