Holy Spirit is a Stephen Ministry congregation. We commissioned our first class of Stephen Ministers in June, 2013.
The Stephen Series is designed to train laypeople for caring ministry. Loving others in Jesus' name is a challenge and an opportunity for all who are God's children. Likewise, the joy of helping others is the privilege of all Christians, for the Holy Spirit has given gifts to each Christian to use in service to others and to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Stephen Ministry will rely on the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to our lay members so that, as more people are equipped to care, Christ's love for us will be able to go out from us in ever greater and more effective ways.
The Social Ministry Team is involved with many programs which serve the needs of our congregation, our community, and the world at large. Its purpose is to extend Christian compassion and helpfulness to all persons in need. It shall strive to promote, educate, and enlist participation in areas of social justice which is viewed by this congregation of the larger body of the ELCA to be ministries in need of the cleansing and healing light of Christian life.
Greeting Card Ministry: Greeting cards are sent monthly to those who can’t attend on a regular basis. Also, cards are sent to those who are ill or recovering from surgery, had a birth or death in the family, or are going through a very challenging experience. Coordinator: Sharon Miller
Hearts, Hands, & Wheels: Members of this committee provide meals or helping hands when someone is ill, when there is a birth or death in a family, or when someone requests another form of help. Members also provide transportation for members in need.
College Pal / Mentor Program / Cookie Campaign: Congregation members are paired with college students and mentor them through letter-writing to help keep the relationship between student and chruch active. Annually volunteers bake cookies, package, and mail them to the college students.
Carroll Lutheran Village: Representatives from HSLC bring information about programs, needs, and upcoming events at Carroll Lutheran Village. Coordinator: Sue Podobnik
Back to School and Blessing of the Backpacks: School supplies, backpacks, clothing, and shoes are collected for the Shepherd's Staff Back to School Program. A special Sunday service is conducted to bless the collected items and backpacks. It is dedicated to children, learners, and teachers of all ages.
Easter Baskets: Easter baskets are assembled and delivered to our homebound members. Coordinator: Sharon Hindman.
Bag Meal Program: In support of Escape Ministries, three times a year Holy Spirit assembles lunches and delivers them to St. Paul's Methodist Church in Sykesville. These meals are provided to the homeless and residents in need of the service in and around Carroll County. A book sale is held in January and February to fund the Bag Meal program. Coordinator: Fran and Charlie Midkiff.
HSLC has supported Lutheran World Relief with monetary donations and by participating in specific projects such as making quilts, and assembling layette kits and health kits. Guest speakers and LWR-provided publications help explain its mission of combating the root causes of poverty, injustice, and human suffering LWR is a joint ministry of the ELCA and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Shepherd's Staff: This is a family-oriented mission served by multiple churches in the Westminster, MD area. They provide meals, shelter, and Christian outreach to help people in short-term crisis situations.
Human Services Programs of Carroll County: HSP is committed to improving the quality of life and self-sufficiency of at-risk and low-income Carroll County residents by providing assistance with basic needs, advocacy, linkages to resources and opportunities to enhance life skills. In particular, the congregation supports Neighbors in Need, a program which provides holiday gifts and food for low-income at-risk families at Christmas. Families can be "adopted" or, if they are not adopted, invited to the Holiday Shop where new gift items for all ages are available.
Carroll County Food Sunday: Nonperishable food items and money are donated to fill the CCFS pantry. The food is free and given to anyone in need in Carroll County. Over 400 families a week are served. The main facility is located in Westminster, with a branch at St. Joseph's Catholic Community in Eldersburg. Over 94% of every doller donated is used to buy groceries.
ELCA World Hunger: The congregation donates moned to support the World Hunger Appeal Campaign. These monetary donations have been directed to the general fund or to specific programs such as "Good Gifts", Disaster Response, God's Global Barnyard, and Stand with Africa. The committee arranges for guest speakers and uses ELCA-provided materials to increase understanding of worlwide hunger issues.