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Social Concerns Commission Report 2023

Our Lady of the Lake

Social Concerns Commission

Calendar Year (CY) 2023 Support

Team:  This past year was a great year to be a member of the Social Concerns Team, providing assistance and support to not only Our Lady of the Lake but also our great community. Due to many of us already meeting during the Advent Angel Tree Distribution, I decided versus having a meeting in December 2023, I would highlight the areas of Social Concerns’ support in CY2023.

1. Our Lady of the Lake Parish Directory:  This began in December of 2022 and with the efforts of many volunteers assisting after Mass with scheduling, we had our first photo taken on the 2nd and 3rdMay with follow on photos 30, 31 May and 1,2,3 June.  The final draft editing was completed on 5 Dec 2023 and sent to Universal Church Directories.  We had 183 photos and many pages dedicated to the ministries, commissions, and organizations of Our Lady of the Lake.  Distribution is anticipated in early Jan 2024.  Many, many hours of coordinating, scheduling, setting-up, checking-in, and editing went into this project.

2. Ministry to Families & Ministry to those in Need: (Salva vida {lifesaver}Outreach)— We continue to provide services for those requesting assistance with monetary help, i.e. rent, rent downpayments, electric bills, phone bills, food, moving, homelessness, displaced because of a house fire, blessing bags, gas cards, etc. In 2023 we supported 28 families/individuals for a total of $8,540.85.  This support is with the great assistance of our office staff; Carol Branson, Joan Wolf, and Kelly Hamrin, who are the first line of compassion with gathering initial information to back brief with information that helps with providing a course of action for assistance.  At times, we also have some great organizations in the area we refer those in need of assistance to include Hope House, Compass Health, The Hub, and Missouri Ozarks Community Action (MOCA).   

3. Funeral Dinners, Compassion Meals & Kindness Meals: Lusica continues to spearhead Kindness Meals each month along with the assistance of Melodi Graessle and Cindy Hutsler.  Supporting 98 kindness meals, six compassion meals, four funeral dinners and a cookie tray Christmas in July delivery to shut ins and nursing homes this year. These ladies continue to provide a meal along with visiting and spending time with each recipient.  Compassion meals are on a case-by-case basis and depending on the situation, surgery and such, they again provide a meal along with spiritual/communal comfort.  Lusica appreciates all the support that is volunteered and is always looking for those that would like to assist/support this ministry and also for any names of people who would be needing kindness or compassion meals.

4. Ministry of Health and Well Being – We have those that provide a service reaching out to those homebound or in nursing homes for not only spiritual but also visiting and lending a kind visit.   Jan Metz, Glenda Hinrichs, and John Akscin minister the Holy Sacrament of Communion while they along with Dianne Richardson reach out with either calling or visiting those that are homebound or at a nursing home center.

5. Trivia Night: Trivia Night falls under and receives support from the Social Concerns Commissions where they have their own committee, headed by Karen Blevins.   Trivia Night – 2023 was held Saturday, 4 March.  Karen gave a great after-action report for the Social Concerns Commission.  This year’s event had the theme “Show Me Trivia”, which focused on questions about our great state of Missouri. This is the first year Social Concerns did not have to assist financially to reach the minimum goal of $2000. The planning team chose The Changing Table as the local charity to support. Twenty tables were hosted and sold out two weeks prior to the event. 

6. Ministry for Protecting Life (Pregnancy Help Center): We supported the PHC Chili Cookoff on 9 March 2023 with 32 parishioners participating, four tables total, and collected an additional $605 to support the PHC.  We also had two chili entries of Bob Heigert and Chully Williams.  Everyone had a great time.  We then supported the Baby Bottle Campaign for the PHC on Mother’s Day, 14 May, at Our Lady of the Lake, with 75 bottles for those that would like to take one home and return on Father’s Day.  The total raised is a record: $3,772.53.  

7. Parish Engagement and Charity Event (PEACE) – Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri contacted our Lady of the Lake in regard to hosting a PEACE event.  The Social Concerns Commission took on this event with coordination with Catholic Charities along with bulletin announcements, preparing Bestgen Hall for the event to include light breakfast/snacks.  Event took place on 16 September where many area Catholic Churches participated.

8. Ministry of Hospitality and Fellowship:  From the Grateful Living Sessions small group, the idea of somehow welcoming new parishioners was brought to light. A Meet and Greet was thought to be a positive way in which to accomplish this.  Social Concerns coordinated with all commissions, parish council, and other Our Lady of the Lake organizations to have a potluck (the new parishioners will be guests and the potluck will be provided by the different commissions) once a year to welcome new parishioners and also make them aware of the different commissions and organizations one can become a member of at OLOL.  This event occurred on 21 October 2023 with 21 new parishioners along with their families and also representatives from all of the commissions and service organizations, i.e. Knights of Columbus, Lady Knights, Sewing Group, etc., were there to talk with each of the new parishioners.

9. Ministry to the Community  The Advent Angel Tree was another huge success!  This was a multiphase operation beginning in October 2023 culminating with distribution on Thursday, 7 Dec 2023.  Outstanding job by our Chairs, Stephanie Koch, and Patty McNally, who made it a huge success with distributing to 150 children and also five each to Lake Side Meadows-Stonebridge; Lake Ozark Rehab; and Helping Hands.    

Again, these are the events that the Social Concerns Commission sponsored/supported in 2023!  Great and fantastic job to all of you for your support and assistance.

Please mark your calendars for our next meeting, 11 January 2024.

Christmas and New Year’s Blessings to you and your families.

Dcn Jim