We believe that we love God by loving others. Jesus showed us what that love looks like by caring for the poor, the lonely, the sick, and those who felt abandoned by God. We have many ministries that we lead or partner with as a congregation because serving others improves our lives as well as theirs.
We share ministry with several congregations who have active ministries in various settings, including other denominations. (We’re proud of our Lutheran heritage, but we still play well with others!)
Bread of Healing Ministries
Cross Lutheran Church
1821 N. 16th St, Milwaukee, WI 53205
What began over 10 years ago as a response to hunger in the 53205 zip code has been growing year after year. Now, with the growing poverty in the community resulting from the loss of good-paying jobs, this ministry is even more critical and necessary. Some of the most important aspects of today’s program include:
- Serving a hot meal every Wednesday to more than 300 people living in poverty
- Distributing an additional 200 bags of food each week from our pantry
- Providing meaningful community for people who may be disconnected from any community
- Offering a strong spiritual support for those who have lost hope, through our weekly Bible study, which numbers from 80-100 persons each week
- Providing care and support for 60 men and women who are on a path of sobriety as well, as helping them to grow to a place of strength and positive self-esteem as they manage other life issues.
- Free medical clinic for the uninsured
- Medical services and pharmaceuticals
- Dental care and more.
Hephatha Lutheran Church
1720 W. Locust St, Milwaukee, WI 53206
God’s presence in the “thick of it”
Located in the middle of crime and poverty, Hephatha Lutheran Church is home to multiple age groups, cultures, and economic differences. With a mission to create community in the name of God, Hephatha Lutheran Church has worked to keep the neighborhood school open, to create community and a safe neighborhood. Over the past 100 years Hephatha Lutheran Church has built a faith community in the heart of poverty. Sunday worship is vibrant, leading people to faith in the midst of struggle and empowering them to become a tangible presence of God in the neighborhood.
Cooperating Churches of Sussex (CCOS)
“It takes a village…”
Literally, it does take a village to serve the needs of our community. Together, the Cooperating Churches of Sussex help to feed the hungry, give financial assistance, and support the community. Through food drives, fund raisers and other events CCOS works together in God’s name.
- Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church (That’s us!)
- Lisbon Presbyterian Church
- Redeemer United Church of Christ
- St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
- St. James Catholic Church
- Sussex United Methodist Church
New Beginnings Christian Church
Waukesha – Work with hungry and underprivileged families and youth
Sussex Outreach Services (SOS)
N64 W23760 Main St. Sussex, WI 53089
Sussex Outreach Services is devoted to meeting the immediate and long-term needs of Sussex-area individuals and families by providing food, informational resources, client advocacy, counseling,educational programs, preventative health programs and emergency assistance. They provide food, clothing and basic housewares to clients at no cost.
S.O.S. is a social outreach ministry of the Cooperating Churches of Sussex (C.C.O.S.) Through our partnership with area churches we support S.O.S. with leadership, financial means, volunteers, faith-based support, and donated items.
Each year, hundreds of clothing items and toys are donated for the clients of S.O.S. to come and take care of their Christmas shopping at no charge. While the children wait for their parents, they get to participate in a Christmas Party hosted in part by COS confirmation students!
WorldWide Hunger Relief
Poverty, homelessness, violence and abuse exist in all nations, continents and islands. God calls us to serve not only where we can see the need, but to needs around the world. Through WorldWide Hunger Relief, we support and package dried meals that are shipped to countries in regular need and to places hit by natural disasters.
Serenity Inns, Inc.
2825 W. Brown St., Milwaukee, WI
Serenity Inns Inc. is a comprehensive, seven month transitional living program for homeless men who choose recovery from drug and/or alcohol addictions. This program addresses the physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs of its residents.
In 2004, Serenity Inn opened it’s doors for 12 men desiring to renew their lives away from drug/alcohol addictions. As part of the program:
- residents become full participants in the common life and maintenance of the living environment.
- each resident must attend a 12-step program, work an entry-level job and pay 1/3 of their income for housing expenses.
- a comprehensive support system includes health care, job counseling, addictions counseling, and a team of people dedicated to accompany each resident to recover.
- connecting with a concerned larger community occurs at the evening meal served by volunteers.
- weekly peer meetings give continued support and understanding.
1216 N. 13th St, Milwaukee, WI 53205
Beginning in 1981 Milwaukee’s Central Churches saw the need for a solution to the growing homeless population in the inner city. Operating in a closed church, Guest House now hosts 86 homeless men each night and over 400 individuals each year with warm beds, friendly staff and hot meals provided by community volunteers. Each resident is partnered with a case worker to address and overcome their homeless as well as cases of additions, mental illness and veteran related services. In 2013, 92% of the residents had overcome their homelessness and maintained personal housing!
at St. James Catholic Church
W220N6588 Town Line Rd, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
So often we think of service needing to be directed to the poor or disadvantaged, but another way we serve our community is through the Community Banquet. This meal happens on the 3rd Thursday of the month in the Community Center of St James Catholic Church and is open to the entire community. Each month, the Cooperating Churches of Sussex (C.C.O.S.) take on various roles to prepare, serve and clean up from this meal. It is a great opportunity to gather, to be fed and to meet the variety of people we share this great community with.
Mini-Workcamp is a collective ministry shared with the partner churches of C.C.O.S. Over 100 students in the confirmation programs and extra adult assistants participate annually in spring clean-up jobs for seniors living in the community around us. The purpose of this service is to give our youth the opportunity to share God’s love and to see God’s blessings and love abound in those they serve.
The Quilters of COS also provide comfort and love through their beautiful quilts. These quilts are send through Lutheran World Relief to places ravaged by violence, and around the world to bring warmth, cover and comfort.
Christmastime can be financially difficult for anyone, but for those living in poverty it can be devastating. Each year, a member of C.O.S. Youth organizes a giving tree with items for various ministry partners. Sometimes the request is for clothing, sometimes for toys. Each year hundred of presents leave C.O.S. to brighten another family’s Christmas morning. Gifts requested in the past include: dress clothes for interviews, warm clothing for winter, basic necessities like socks and underwear, toys for all ages, gift cards for gas and groceries.
In addition to the Giving Tree, many other items are collected specifically for the S.O.S. Christmas Drive and other toy drives in the area.
Sunday School Projects
Service is for every age! Our Sunday School students collect goods and money for various projects such at Heifer Project or water purifiers for Africa.
Over the years, we’ve sent food to an orphanage in Honduras, medical supplies to a hospital in Tanzania, and a group to build houses in Guatemala.