St. John Church raising donations for ‘gift ark’

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church has teamed with Heifer International in seeking to raise $5,000 by Reformation Sunday. Pictured are children of St. John. (Submitted photo)

In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church has teamed with Heifer International in seeking to raise $5,000 by Reformation Sunday. Pictured are children of St. John. (Submitted photo)

EAST LIVERPOOL — In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Liverpool, has teamed with Heifer International in seeking to raise $5,000 by Reformation Sunday, which is Nov. 5.

The beginning of the Protestant Reformation occurred in 1517, when Martin Luther, a Catholic monk nailed a copy of his 95 These to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. Luther proclaimed, through Bible teachings, that people are saved not through their own works, but through the forgiveness of their sins because of Christ’s death on the cross.

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization which empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. St. John is currently raising donations toward the purchase of a “gift ark,” offered by Heifer.

According to a release, the gift ark includes two water buffaloes, two cows, two sheep, and two goats, along with bees, chicks, rabbits and many more animals.

“The ark will provide communities with food and reliable income,” a release reads. “Agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market; and, when many families gain new sustainable income, it brings new opportunities for schools, agricultural cooperatives, community savings and funding of other small businesses.

“Families who are given the ark gift then share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original ark gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.”

In the spring of 2016, St. John kicked off its “Fill the Ark” campaign. Last June, the children who attended Vacation Bible School surpassed the week’s goal of raising enough donations toward the purchase of two pigs to fill the ark. Recently, the St. John Sunday School children raised additional contributions to offset the cost of two sheep.

On both occasions, Pastor Eric Edwards delivered on his promise to kiss a pig and dress as a sheep as each milestone was reached. Currently, funds are being raised to purchase chicks before Easter Sunday.

“Together, we can change the world, one family, one community, at a time,” the release states.

Those who would like to help St. John reach its goal of $5,000 to “Fill the Ark,” may send donations to St. John Lutheran Church, c/o Fill the Ark Fund, 400 W. Hill Blvd., East Liverpool, Ohio 43920 or call the church office at 330-385-5500.

Sunday school begins at 9 a.m. at St. John with morning worship at 10:15.

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