How Can We Help the Sutherland Springs Community?

From St. Mark Lutheran in Adkins - they are holding a big barbecue fundraiser Saturday, November 11th from 11am until 8pm. If you're interested in attending the event, here is a link to the Facebook event:
There are two ways to volunteer: 
Baked Goods: St. John Lutheran Church in Marion is also gathering baked goods to support this meal. If you are interested in giving a baked good, you can bring them to TLC by 1pm on Thursday the 9th, and we'll make sure they get to the event. 
Meal Support: They need volunteers to do things like help with parking, help at the pits, serve plates, etc., especially on Friday and Saturday afternoons, around 4pm. In order to volunteer, just show up and go to the volunteer sign in table. Once you sign in you'll be directed to where you can help. When you leave, please sign out so they'll be able to keep track of where they need more hands.

From Christ Lutheran in Elm Creek - Pastor Bonnie Claycomb, their transitional pastor, says there is one family member of folks in her congregation who is still in at University Hospital here in San Antonio. This is a five-year-old child, shot multiple times. His name is Ryland Ward. A fund has been created that will go directly to pay for this child's medical bills through Wells Fargo Bank. It is called the Ward Benefit Fund and the account number is: 826478170. Bonnie also asks that we pray for Ryland by name.  

From the South Central Baptist Association - First Baptist has lost half its membership and their pastor lost his daughter. If you would like to contribute to the church or the pastor to help them keep going during this time, contact Pastor Kevin Cornelius of First Baptist in Karnes City. His number is 254-498-7484.

If you have any questions, please call the Triumphant Lutheran Church office at 210-651-9090.

There may be other opportunities to help Sutherland Springs. These opportunities will be posted on this webpage and on Facebook as we learn about them.
In Romans 12, we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Let us stand with our sisters and brothers as they face this difficult and grievous time. 

“How do we feel safe? How do we go on?” 

It is a question we ask ourselves over and over again, especially when the chaos of death and violence crashes in.  I remember wondering that when our daughter Charlotte was little and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school happened. I remember wondering that when Columbine happened, or Aurora, or Las Vegas, or Charleston, or countless other times. I’ve wondered about that question as the places that always seemed ‘safe’ like schools, movie theaters, concerts, restaurants, and churches are proven otherwise. And it is a sad reality that this is the third mass shooting at a church and sixth shooting at a place of worship in recent years.

For those of us who worship at Triumphant Lutheran Church, this incident may feel closer than others. The First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs is close, and the murderer lived nearby. The killing of 26 people took place as we gathered for worship and celebrated All Saints Day. This is terrifying, and can leave us feeling scared and distrustful of others. 

In our reading this past week, we hear these words from 1 John 3.1: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.  There is a new identity, a declaration of who we are, that happens in the waters of baptism. You are a child of God.  It is an identity that never ends, that cannot be wiped out by the forces of fear, evil and death. It is an identity made in Jesus' death on the cross, his arms stretched out to hold all the world. God has made you his child, and there is comfort there.  There is life there.

So, as we ask the questions of “how do we feel safe? how do we go on?”, I invite you to pray. Pray for violence to cease and the forces of evil will be destroyed. Pray for courage and hope in response to fear and death. Pray for our civic leaders that they lead us in good and life-giving ways. 

With that prayer, we are reminded that the promise and identity as children of God also came with a call, spoken at our baptisms: to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. In a world that feels so vulnerable, God invites us to seek out ways so that all may be made safe and life may be abundant.

And more importantly, remember that when Jesus died on the cross, death did not have the final answer.  We are still an Easter people, who live in hope as children of God. 

May God’s peace be with you,

Pastor Aaron Richter

Our Mission: "We grow in Christ to serve others.”
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