Benevolence

In each worship service, besides our tithes and offerings, we have a unique offering at Ascension called “Caring Ones.” These are all loose (not in an envelope) one-dollar bills that are given for the sole purpose of helping people who are unemployed, underemployed or homeless. These small gifts given with great love bless many people in need because so many people at Ascension worship God in this way.

Each month we have an opportunity to give specifically to a special local or global ministry, above and beyond our regular current giving. It is a joy to give a designated donation to a ministry. All of the ministries below are trusted partners. You know that the offerings given to these ministries will be a great blessing to those in need of help and of God’s love. Gifts to each of these ministries may be given online or with a check to Ascension indicating the specific ministry on the memo line. Thank you for your generous and joyful giving!

January – Willis Moerer Seminary Scholarship

This scholarship fund (administered by our Foundation) is in honor of our former senior pastor, Willis Moerer. As women and men study in our seminaries to be pastors and teachers, they come out of those four years of study/internship with an average debt of $30k-40k, which often becomes a great burden for them as they begin their ministries. Each year Ascension has members who are studying in seminary and they are greatly blessed to receive financial help from this scholarship fund. What a beautiful way to honor Pastor Moerer as well.

February – Right Road Kids

Right Road Kids!™, launched in 1992, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting children and all those who impact their lives! It was founded and is led by Ascension member Paula Phillips. The mission of Right Road Kids!™, through all its work and programs, is to inspire and work with children in life-changing ways that build their self-esteem, character, confidence, talents, and life-skills AND to provide help, guidance, and tools for them to find and travel their Right Roads in school and in life. Part of Paula’s ministry includes joyful work with our own Ascension School kids and they all love her and support her ministries in many ways!

March – ELCA World Hunger

ELCA World Hunger is a comprehensive and sustainable program that uses multiple strategies—relief, development, education, and advocacy—to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. ELCA World Hunger responds to neighbors around the corner and around the world. Pastor Steve says, “When I think about our family’s extra benevolence gifts, this ministry is always number 1 or 2 on our list of ministries to support. I have seen the amazing blessings of ELCA hunger dollars at work in Peru and Nicaragua and I continue to hear touching stories from Africa and other parts of the world, including many grants that are given to fight hunger right here in our own country.”

April – Manna

Manna is our Conejo Valley food bank. While its primary purpose is feeding people, Manna also works in unison with many organizations to help people in difficult situations get back on their feet. By getting to know its clients, Manna can direct them towards other groups who can continue to care for them, and give them even more tools to rebuild their lives. Ascension’s twice-a-year “Project Response” food drive also greatly helps Manna with food supplies.

May – AGAPE

The word “agape” is the word in the Greek New Testament that means “unconditional love.” The Agape Fund is the discretionary fund used by the pastors to help people who find themselves unable to pay for the basics of life, whether that be rent, utilities, groceries or gas. One member who has received help in a time of crisis wrote a thank you to us: “Thank you Ascension Lutheran Church for your help for our family last month. That particular month with our medical expenses, we had a hard time paying our rent. Your help made it possible for us to stay in our apartment. God bless you.”

June – Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences

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Our school and church youth and families use El Camino Pines to encounter Christ, renew their faith and experience the joy of community. This Lutheran outdoor ministry supplements congregational recreational outdoor ministry and camping for all ages and offers refreshing, faith-enriching retreat experiences by creating dynamic Christian community, rewarding educational opportunities, and outdoor relaxation from the routine and hectic pace of life.

July – Gideons

The mission of The Gideons International is to win the lost for Christ, and their unique method is the distribution of Bibles and New Testaments in selected streams of life. Gideons have placed or distributed more than 1.7 billion complete Bibles and New Testaments in more than 190 countries around the world . . . so far. Having God’s Word can lead people to faith in Christ. Explore The Gideons website to learn more about the organization and how you can help them provide God’s Word.

August – Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization, dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Its ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety.

September – Lutheran Disaster Response

When disaster strikes in your community, the local Lutherans are the first form of ELCA Disaster Response. Every time Lutherans act in service to their neighbors in need following a disaster, they are being aided by ELCA Disaster Response. LDR seeks to demonstrate Christ’s compassion for all people by promoting hope, healing, and wholeness for disaster survivors.

October – Lutheran College Scholarships

lutherancollegesEach year Ascension Lutheran Church offers a number of scholarships to support the youth of our church to attend college. Ascension students attending a Lutheran College or University may apply for a scholarship and a portion of their scholarship may be matched. Special benevolence gifts for October are designated for these scholarships.

Choosing to attend a Lutheran college or university is a decision you can feel good about. At our institutions you are more likely to finish in four years, inform and solidify your values, enjoy a sense of community and build the skills that employers value. And the price tag? Financial aid options are available to students at all income levels.

November – Women’s Thank Offering

Women of the Lutheran church have been gathering in the setting of Thank Offering services
since the early 1900s. It is a tradition grounded in our celebration of community,
meeting together as faithful women joyfully giving thanks and praise for
what God has given to us.

December – Jail Ministry

According to the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 2.2 million persons were incarcerated in U.S. Federal and State prisons or county jails at year-end 2010. The command of Jesus in Matthew 25: 31-46, to visit those in prison, challenges both our deepest fears and our sense of moral superiority. Yes, prison ministry is a justice concern.

Members of Ascension’s Jail Ministry visit inmates of the Ventura County Jail for Bible study and prayer on Sunday morning about twice a month. They also witness to inmates about their own faith journeys.