Local and World Mission Support
The West End Christian Community Organization (WECCO) is a coalition of seven Christian congregations in the "west end" area of Austin County, Texas, embracing the area that includes Welcome, Bleiblerville, Nelsonville, Shelby, Industry and New Ulm. A coordinating board, with members from each participating congregation, meets quarterly to plan joint community events and services. Congregations from the Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Brethren and Roman Catholic Churches participate actively in WECCO.
Each month one of the congregations assumes the responsibility for the monthly Food Distribution program in the West End, at the Industry Volunteer Fire Department station. The food is purchased locally with funds donated by the WECCO congregations; clothing donated by the congregations is also available for those who need it. WECCO also plans community celebrations in which all the congregations participate, including an observance of the National Day of Prayer in May, a CROP walk in Industry in November, and the community ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This service rotates among the participating congregations and pastors of all congregations participate in leading the worship.
The Welcome Lutheran Scholarship Fund has its roots in a decision in 1967 by the Welcome Lutheran Church Men to establish a "Student Fund" to offer scholarship assistance to young men of the congregation to study for the ministry of the church. Original funding came from contributions from members, which were matched by Lutheran Brotherhood.
In recent years, funds for the Scholarship program have come from periodic Mission Festivals and fundraisers, and memorial and other gifts to the Scholarship Fund. Presently, the Scholarship Committee consists of four members elected by the congregation and the pastor of the congregation. Recipients of scholarships today must be college students attending a four-year Christian college or university or a Lutheran Seminary with the intention of becoming a full-time church worker. Since 1997 the congregation has awarded a $500 scholarship each year to a man or woman attending the Lutheran Seminary Program.
Welcome Lutheran participates with many of the same West End congregations that constitute WECCO (above) in a special three-times-a-year Mission Meals ministry with more than 50 families in the West End area of Austin County. Each August, congregations prepare and serve a Chicken & Spaghetti dinner to many of the families participating in the program. And each spring, another hot meal is prepared. Volunteers from the congregations prepare the meals; other volunteers deliver the meals throughout the county. The highlight of the program is the Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey and dressing with all the trimming, delivered during Thanksgiving week each year. Volunteers are always needed to help prepare and deliver the meals!
Once a month the Sunday School children either sing or play a special song on their handbells during the Worship Service. Then they take up a noisy offering. This offering helps a different cause every month -- from helping local people in their needs, to special charities and even to support special events and service projects of the ministry at Welcome Lutheran Church.
Welcome has collected shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (a ministry of Samaritan's Purse) for the past several years. Each shoebox is filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and other gifts including a message about Jesus Christ. These shoeboxes are then wrapped and sent to children all over the world. To learn more about Operation Christmas Child click here>>.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR) Lutheran World Relief works to fight poverty and promote a more just and peaceful world by helping people help themselves. The Women of Welcome lead our collection efforts for LWR, including sewing quilts and assembling school and health kits. To learn more about LWR click here>>.
"You are always welcome at Welcome Lutheran"