Family Promise Metrowest In 2003 when a member of Christ Lutheran Church expressed concern about the growing rate of homelessness in the area, the impetus for creating a shelter for homeless families began. By 2008, joining forces and funds with Wellesley Village Church, the two congregations co-founded Metrowest Interfaith Hospitality Network, modeled on Family Promise, to provide shelter, education, and transitional assistance to families without homes.
Now this renamed interfaith network of 19 host congregations, with the help of 31 support congregations, open their doors on a weekly basis to families. Christ Lutheran hosts families 3 to 4 weeks a year, serves as one of the top fundraising teams participating in its Annual Walk to End Homelessness, and provides leadership on the Board of Directors. www.familypromisemetrowest.org
Natick Service Council supports Natick neighbors who are experiencing economic insecurity. Christ Lutheran Church regularly donates groceries and funds for grocery gift cards to the Council’s food pantry. www.natickservicecouncil.org
Ascentria Care Alliance is one of the largest human service organizations in New England serving children, youth and families; persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness; refugees, unaccompanied refugee minors; and older adults. Christ Lutheran Church provides financial support as well as advocacy for refugees. During the COVID crisis church members sewed masks for staff and clients.
Metrowest Immigrant Solidarity Network(MISN)is a group of individuals and faith groups in the Metrowest area who provide support and advocacy for immigrant neighbors by helping them navigate life here, accompanying them to immigration court and check-ins, and advocating for legislative changes that provide them with access to services. mwc-casa.org
AMMPARO(Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) is a strategy of the ELCA to provide spiritual and physical support to unaccompanied minors in their countries of origin, in transit, and in the US. Here in New England, Christ Lutheran is one of 10 congregations committed to welcome and minister to migrants, accompany them to hearings, pray for justice, and advocate for a humane immigration policy. Members of the church who have trained as Guardian Angels become the physical presence of the church with migrant children and their families when they appear in court.
Iglesia Luterano Cristo Rey Two members who participated in an immersion experience aiding migrants on the border in El Paso, Texas, returned with a passion to help the congregation Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and its Pastora, Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán in their ministry to migrant families who pass through their doors on their way to join family members across the US.
Two projects took on life the summer following the members’ return: one, the sewing of quilts for the families who had no more than mylar sheets against the cold of detention centers; the other, raising funds for a minibus to replace Cristo Rey’s failing van. Adults and youth at CLC joined together to sew child-sized quilts for the migrant children who come through Cristo Rey’s doors. When a reconditioned 15 passenger van went up for auction in nearby Framingham, members and friends raised the funds to purchase it. Stocked with donated clothing, shoes, sleeping bags, and over 140 quilts, the van was blessed and commissioned for service on the border.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR) A dedicated group of women from CLC and the Lutheran Church of Framingham gather weekly to make quilts for distribution through Lutheran World Relief, the ELCA global relief and development agency. Each year the group sews about 150 quilts which are gathered, blessed, and then packed for shipping to LWR. CLC serves as an ingathering center for quilts made in the greater Boston area. The quilts are shipped to the LWR, then distributed overseas to Europe, Asia, and Africa where they may be used for simple tents, floor coverings, or shelter from the cold.