Outreach

pile of collected boxes and bags of breakfast cereal

Reaching out to Share Christ's Light

We are very active in our mission to serve as Christ served.  We partner with several local, national, and world organizations to serve those in need.  If you don't find a project that interests you, share your ideas with the Outreach Committee. 

 "  I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. "  

Matthew 25:35

Current short-term Projects

ELCA Disaster Flood Relief

Multiple pictures of local flood damage of homes and roads.

Morning Star is joining with others to aid in flood relief.  We are coordinating our efforts through the ELCA Disaster Relief.  The ELCA is coordinating with local areas stricken by the recent floods.

Link to ELCA flood relief site

Geraniums for Flood Relief

Red geraniums

Purchase Geraniums for Pentecost Sunday!

Cost $15 - net proceeds to go to ELCA Local Flood Relief.

Orders are due by June 5.  The geraniums will be used to decorate the sanctuary for Pentecost Sunday.  Any plants which you do not wish to take home after the service will be planted by the preschool class around the church grounds.

May Service: Crossroads Connections

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 Dinner & Worship Service

    May 19 ~ 6 PM 

Once again Morning Star is blessed to be able to host the Crossroads Connection dinner & worship service for those transitioning from prison back into life outside. We need help with set up, serving and cleanup as well as those coming to worship and dine alongside these men and women. See Deb or Todd Washburn to help with this month’s service project!

Morning Star's Blood Drive

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Morning Star Lutheran Church Blood Drive

Sunday, May 19 ~ 7:45 AM to 12:45 PM

Fellowship Hall

Please contact Bill at 402-679-5321 or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter MORNINGSTAR to schedule an appointment.

Schedule Your Appointment

Annual Projects coming up

2019 Habitat for Humanity Build

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Morning Star is part of a 15-church coalition working together on a house build.  The Faith Coalition Build start date is tentatively set for Saturday, July 27.  Our Coalition will help with a new build at 3019 Pratt St.

God's Work, Our Hands

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“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday is Sunday, September 8, 2019. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.


Service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.


Opportunities at Morning Star will include:

  • Landscaping Clean Up
  • Storage Room Clean Up
  • Waxing Pews & Altar Cleaning
  • Preschool Playground Clean Up 
  • Stuff-a-Sock for Homeless
  • Scatter Joy Acre Help 
  • Help at Habitat for Humanity Build

On-Going Programs

Green envelope

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The Green Envelope is our monthly donation project.  Each month we designate a specific partner-in-service to receive funds.  Donation envelopes are in the pews.

MAY - ELCA Disaster Relief: Local Flooding

Click to see the full schedule

Refugee Family

Stained-glass image with the words, "Welcome the Stranger"

Jesus tells us to welcome the stranger.  As a major outreach initiative, we are partnering with Lutheran Family Services to host a refugee family.  Our first family is here and settled-in.  Join us as we provide continuing support and encouragement.

Project updates

Prayer Shawls

Red knitted shawl with a prayer shawl ministry ministry tag.

Join the prayer shawls knitters and crocheters on Sundays.  Please take a prayer shawl if you know someone in need of comfort and prayer.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library box full of books at the edge of the Morning Star parking lot.

The LFL is stocked with a variety of good, quality books that we hope will interest you and our neighbors.  Stop by and take whatever interests you.  You can return the book when you’re finished or contribute a book you no longer need.  The LFL books are always free!

Community Outreach Ministries

Support Community Programs

Morning Star Supports many programs.  For some our support includes use of our facilities.  

Alcoholics Anonymous

AA meets at Morning Star weekly on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm.  Click on the link for more informaton.

Link to AA Omaha

DBSA New Hope Support Group

This Depression BiPolar Support Group meets weekly at Morning Star on Thursday nights at 7 pm.  Click on the link or call 402-502-HOPE (4673) for more information.

Link to New Hope

Past projects and results

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Green envelope program

  • April 2019 - Project Harmony
  • March & February 2019 - Habitat for Humanity
  • January 2019 - MSLC Youth Ministry
  • December 2018 - Refugee Program
  • November 2018 - ELCA World Hunger
  • October 2018 - Food for Friends
  • September 2018 - Food for Friends
  • August 2018 - New Visions Homeless services

Family of 7 posing on the deck of a new house.

Habitat for Humanity 2018 Effort

Morning Star has been a supporter of Habitat for over 20 years.  We are a member of the Faith House Coalition.  As of November 30, the Faith House churches have raised $43,000 in cash to support the building efforts.  Incredible!  This year, the Faith House Coalition completed a new build on Emmet Street, and Lino, Grace and family were all moved in before Christmas 

Click to see Habitat Video

Quick by the Numbers

140 pounds of cereal to Kountze Pantry

Christmas gifts for 40 children

Holiday meals for 158 families

More Results

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Cereal Bowl - January Outreach Project

 A friendly competition ran through the month of January between Team Flakes (last name begins with A-L) and Team Puffs (last name beings with M-Z).   Participants brought in ANY cereal prior to Feb. 4 when the ounces were totaled.  A total of 2,249.9 oz. of cereal collected from this fun competition was donated to the Kountze Commons Food Pantry.   The Puff team was victorious this year with a total of 1,201.4 oz over the Flakes donation of 1,048.5 oz. of cereal.  Thanks everyone for participating!

wrapped packages gathered around the angel tree

Angel Tree Results

The first 20 gifts were delivered Dec. 18 with more delivered Dec. 19.  Thanks Cindy for coordinating this project.   Gifts for 40 children, ages 22 months to 17 years, were shared  through our partners at Lutheran Family Services and Boys & Girls Westside Club.   You also donated gift cards totaling $190 to help support families through Restored Hope.  Thank you all for making Christmas merrier for those children and families. 

Food for friends logo with knives and forks

Food for Friends

Food For Friends started about 20 years ago by a member of Morning Star, Bob Donovan, who saw a need to feed his "working poor" brothers and sisters a Thanksgiving meal.  These were individuals, some he knew and some he didn't know, who worked hard every day but never seemed to earn enough around the Holidays to have those special meals.  A Green Envelope offering started with the first few years seeing approximately 50 families with Thanksgiving meals delivered by Morning Star volunteers.  

  

In 2018, 158 families received Thanksgiving meals from donations by our Green Envelope offering.   After Bob relocated to another church, different individuals assumed leadership over the years.  Currently the Dan and Laurel Mooney family lead this volunteer project.   

Welcome the stranger project updates

Group  of adults and children gathered in front of the aquarium at the zoo.

Family is settled

The apartment is set up and the kids are in school.  See video walk-though below.

Transportation support for our Refugee Family

Volunteers are serving with transportation support four days a week to help the mother of our family to get to English class.  She is doing great as her English skills are improving.  Please contact the Outreach team if you are available to support this need.

Progress Update April 15th

 Morning Star welcomed our Afghan refugee family in mid- October. 


Try to imagine traveling thousands of miles with four young children?  The generosity of our Morning Star family provided the contents of their 2 bedroom apartment. A childhood friend from Afghanistan, living in Omaha, helped the family purchase a van. 


Mohammad, the father, quickly secured a $11/hour job.  It seems necessary to begin at this level to create a work history. The three girls are enrolled in elementary school and love school.  Muzghan, the mother, is enrolled in ESL classes and 2 year old Ahmad attends also.  Muzghan is determined to learn English and eventually get a driver’s license.  Morning Star members drive her to her classes M-F.  


Several members took the family on a zoo outing which they loved.  Morning Star gifted the family a zoo membership. Prior to Valentines’s Day the girls came to Morning Star and made valentine cards and boxes for their valentines.  The family invited those who have been assisting them to help celebrate Ahmad’s second birthday.  The food and friendship were amazing.  During Spring break, Morning Star members took the girls to the Joslyn Art Museum to experience the special children’s interactive exhibit. We are looking forward to having mom and the children participate in our Easter egg hunt. 


Support from Lutheran Family Services is winding down. An internal MS grant will help assist with their rent for an additional six months.  The family is so very grateful for all of Morning Star’s help help and caring. 

Family group

Family group

Keep up the momentum

Outreach Goals for 2019

Serving our community within:  We will continue with our defined programs as previously mentioned in serving our community within and for future working toward more volunteer opportunities for us (our whole congregation) to play a more active role in the day to day lives of our Preschool children and staff.


Serving our community within the city: Again, we will  continue programs previously mentioned with a goal in 2019 for supporting a new organization, Scatter Joy Acres, a volunteer organization that rescues, feeds, and cares for neglected animals training them to be therapy animals, who in turn support vulnerable individuals. 


Serving our community within the world:  We will continue our established programs.  Our refugee program was new for this congregation in 2018.  We started with the will to carry out this goal, and with major congregational support, we were successful in supporting a family of six from Afghanistan who arrived in Omaha mid-October 2018 with a fully furnished apartment and other necessities to start their new lives in this country.  Our goal is to grow this program with continued support for our first family until they are fully self sufficient,  and growing the program to support future refugees for years to come.

Stained-glass from our Welcome Center with the words "Welcome the Stranger"

Stained-glass from our Welcome Center with the words "Welcome the Stranger"

2019 Planning

Green Envelope

Planning for specific monthly focus for 2019 is in place.  Short-term volunteer opportunities are available as coordinators for each specific effort.  This person will coordinate with the target organization for speakers, informational material, and delivery of the donation.

Monthly Service Activities

Monthly service activities vary from gathering specific items to lending help on a work site.  These are often scheduled for specific days.  The goal is to provide hands-on leadership and worker-bee opportunities to service on a specific project.

Green envelope Schedule - 2019

January - MSLC Youth

February - Habitat for Humanity

March - Habitat for Humanity

April - Project Harmony

May - ELCA Disaster Relief: Local Flood Victims

June - Scattered Joy Acres

July - New Visions for Homeless Vets

August - Table Grace

September - Food for Friends

October - Food for Friends

November - ELCA World Hunger

December - MSLC Refugee Program, Welcome the Stranger

Service Activity Schedule - 2019

January - Cereal Bowl - 

        Collect cereal for Kountze Commons Food Pantry

February - Preschool Activity

March - Preschool Activity

April - Pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention

May - Crossroads Connection Worship Service

       May 19 at Morning Star

June -  NE Ministree 

July - Backpack Collection for Boys and Girls Club

August - Clean Up at Table Grace

September - "Gods Work, Our Hands" ELCA Day of Service

October - Trunk or Treat/Candy Drive

November - Food for Friends Delivery

December - Crossroads Connection Worship Service

       December 8 at Morning Star; Angel Tree Gifts