For 25 years, St Paul’s Lutheran Community Care at Glenelg has been a safe place where people suffering hardship have found support and been welcomed.
To celebrate its achievements over the past quarter-century, former and present community care volunteers gathered with the St Paul’s congregation for a thanksgiving service in September.
St Paul’s Lutheran Community Care Coordinator Helen Swift said the centre at Glenelg had grown from humble beginnings and maintained its vision to reflect God’s love in the community.
“There was no church office (in 1992), so if people in need sought assistance for emergency relief, they would have to visit the manse,” she said.
“It soon became obvious to a small group of congregational members that people were struggling in the wider community to put food on their tables. They also observed the need for food and clothing was on the increase.”
A community care centre in the church’s Martin Luther House building was soon opened, but questions were raised as to who would finance the project. There were no readily available funds and the congregation was not able to support financially.
The idea of an op-shop was raised and was established with the aim to sell affordable clothing to generate funds. This op-shop is still supporting many members of the public today.
Mrs Swift said St Paul’s continues to do what it did 25 years ago, treating all people of different backgrounds with dignity and respect.
“Today we still provide emergency food parcels, clothing from the op-shop, household goods and pharmaceutical requirements,” she said.
“Our clients share with us their stories of hardship, disappointments, abuse, financial concerns and any other matters that are troubling them, knowing that where we can help, we will.
“We give thanks to our heavenly father, that he inspired those few congregational members back in 1992 to establish a community care centre, so that we here at St Paul’s can continue the work that God has called us to do.”
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