They may support a street mission, a food bank, a community garden, operate a senior citizens home, a daycare, a variety of drop-in centre programs, or a thrift shop. Alcoholics Anonymous and many other self-help groups find homes in Lutheran buildings. A counselling service, often jointly operated by several congregations in the community, may have some office space in one of our buildings. Congregations often sponsor Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Brownies and Guides.
In most of our congregations, you will find members of Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW). ELW provides an opportunity for women to gather to study God's Word, develop leadership skills, share talents and creativity and express their faith through action. Even people who are not members often find that it is worth sharing in ELW ideas through the pages of ELW's magazine Esprit.
Every two years, one ELCIC event happens which attracts more ELCIC people than any other. This is the Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG). Lutheran teens travel from every part of the country to meet for several exciting days. For some, it is a time that will forever change their lives.
CLYGs are only one opportunity for youth to get involved in our church. Many of our youth never attend a CLYG and still find church rewarding. Youth need encouragement. When a person or a congregation really cares about kids and actively involves them in the life of the congregation in meaningful ways, the rewards are tremendous. It is no coincidence that such congregations are among our most vibrant and dynamic.
Groups come and go in congregations according to the needs and interests of the members and their surrounding community. Whatever their size, shape or purpose, they are one more way for us to learn to live and serve together.