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Disaster Response
LCC Certifies 37 New Chainsaw Operators Print E-mail
LERT Thirty-seven LERT volunteers received their chainsaw training and certification on Saturday, April 23. LCC thanks Walcamp and its staff for hosting this advanced training session for us once again. Volunteers who received their training and certification represented the following congregations in Illinois:

Cross, Yorkville
Edison Park, Chicago
Immanuel Palatine
Lord of Life, La Fox
Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry
St John Wheaton
St Peter Schaumburg
St Peter's Hampshire

During the morning classroom session, LCC's chainsaw instructor, Ed Boerman, led the class through usage, maintenance and safety of chainsaw operation. After a hearty lunch, the newly certified LERT volunteers joined a chainsaw crew of 41 chainsaw operators and drag crews for some hands-on action. The combined chainsaw crews worked to clear away downed trees and brush from the winter storms to help the camp get ready for it coming summer camping season.

LCC received the following note of thanks from Bill Indelli, Site Operations Director of Walcamp:

It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend. From Walcamp we wish to express our most sincere appreciation for all the work that was done by LERT here at Walcamp. It was a blessing to see so many people enjoy what they were doing. Their work here this weekend really helped us get ready for our season of camping here.

I thank you very much for this past weekend!!!!

Watch the team take down a tree
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 17:28
Special Appeal: Fire Destroys Church and Damages School – K9 Comfort Dogs and Financial Assistance Requested Print E-mail

 St. James Lutheran Church

An overnight fire tore through St. James Lutheran Church in south-central Minnesota this past Tuesday night. The church, founded in 1890, is also home to Northrop's ONLY grade school — St. James Lutheran School, with children in pre-K through eighth grade. The total loss of the sanctuary and damage to the school renders both unable to open. Thanks be to God that no lives were lost in this tragic fire! However, lives will be changed and affected as the members of St. James now have to relocate. The town of Northrop has about 225 people and most attend St. James. They have a temporary worship site at Martin Luther High School in town. The children in the school (60 of them) will also start on Monday in temporary classrooms at Martin Luther High School.  St. James Lutheran Church

No one was in the church at the time. The sanctuary is "a total loss”, authorities said.

God’s people are called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ in times of need. The people of St. James and the Northrop community are hurting. They have lost the place where they have been baptized, confirmed, married, buried, and have met to worship week after week since 1890. They are grieving their church home and school. Imagine the loss, the pain.

“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry has been invited by the District Staff of the Minnesota South District to travel to Northrop to bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are hurting and in need. The Rev. Robert C. Trueblood, Pastor and School Superintendent of St. James Lutheran Church and School, and Principal Sarah Garcia have asked for assistance and the presence of the Comfort Dogs. St. James Lutheran Church

LCC ONLY goes where invited to serve and NEVER charges those whom we serve.

Please pray for the members of St James Church and School. The real “CHURCH” is still healthy and will go on stronger. Their place of school and worship will need rebuilding. Pray for all the handlers and K-9 Comfort Dogs as they travel to spend the next days in the town, church and school.

Please give today to help with the travel expenses of the Comfort Dog teams traveling to the Minnesota South District to serve these hurting men, women and children.

Please consider giving as well to the fund that LCC has set up to help St. James rebuild their Church and School.

Give Today to Help St. James rebuild their Church and School Give LCC Comfort Dog Travel Fund

Serving Together, Serving Christ, so we can serve others in Jesus’ name,


Tim Hetzner
Lutheran Church Charities

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2016 17:56
The Idiosyncracies of Tornadoes Print E-mail
DR It is a fact that tornadoes have immense destructive power and we have heard stories of how they destroy one house in a neighborhood, but leave the rest unscathed. Last week, after a tornado had blown through East Moline, IL, some of our LERT trained volunteers saw those idiosyncrasies in person.

A LERT crew was working on a farm where the home had been blown off its foundation and the roof was missing. Donna, the home owner, was deeply saddened that her wedding dress was blown away. The dress had great sentimental value because, not only did she wear it, but it was also worn by her daughter and lace from the dress was in her granddaughter’s wedding dress. The granddaughter had been married the Saturday before the tornado. The dress had been stored in a clear plastic container in her house but, with the destruction, Donna had given up hope of finding it. However, after the tornado, Donna was told by a friend that the dress had been found - along with the new shoes she wore to her granddaughter’s wedding. Someone on the Iowa side of the Mississippi had found the container with the dress intact. They had taken a photo and posted it on the web where Donna’s friend saw it!


Considering the destruction of the family homestead on March 17, the return of wedding dress was very much appreciated. East Moline was struck with a number of tornadoes on that Thursday, but on Saturday, March 19 more than 150 LERT trained volunteers from the Central and the Northern Illinois Districts of the LCMS met at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in East Moline to help in the clean-up. The chainsaw crews were particularly busy cutting up trees, some of which were over 200 years old, while other crews continued to find the remembrances of private lives that had been blown away. Bibles, tea pots, knives, even envelopes filled with locks of children’s hair were found and, if possible, returned to their owners.

KWQC covered the crews working in East Moline - CLICK HERE for the news clip. There is still a lot of clean up to be done around East Moline. If you would like to help, contact Dianna Bonfield at 866-455-6466 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you would like to make a gift to help those affected by the tornadoes CLICK HERE.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 07:51
Help Needed for those Suffering from Recent Disasters in Illinois and Southern Region Print E-mail


For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. - Isaiah 49:13

So much of the news lately is focused on the political process. While the news has focused on so many other things disasters have occurred in various areas of the country. LCC has been asked to respond!

LCC has been asked to send chainsaw volunteers to the East Moline area in response to the 14 tornadoes that tore through that region. Zion Lutheran Church in East Moline will serve as our base. We are deploying volunteers tonight and early tomorrow morning.

LCC is on standby to deploy pumps, and volunteers if needed, to assist people who are flooded. We are waiting for word that the water has receded enough to begin pumping.

Travel trailers are needed for displaced families! If you or someone you know has a travel trailer that they are willing to loan to a family that is displaced, that would be very helpful. Rev Ed Brashier, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Southern District, has families that are in need. Please call me at 866-455-6466 or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can help in this area.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS of Families in Monroe, Louisiana
Flood waters know no boundaries. They rise fast and destroy quickly. This is a harsh reality for Monroe, Louisiana. Pastor Paul McComack of Trinity Lutheran Church in Monroe, shares below some of the heartbreaking stories and needs for families. As the floodwater continues to recede, and families assess the damage, the number of families and needs will increase.

Family of 9 Suffers Total Loss in Flooding
One such family thought their dishwasher was leaking onto the kitchen floor in the middle of the night but it was flood water and, as they made their way to another part of the house, the water began to rush in quickly. They saw they had little time to evacuate, and as they did, the water in the house was already over a foot deep.

The family, a 4-generation household, consists of 4 adults and 5 children. Four of the children are foster children. The family is in the process of adopting 2 of the foster children, 8-year-old twins.

The children are ages 4 years to 14. They have suffered a total loss and will need to replace everything.

Single Mom and Daughters Lose Everything
A single mom and her two children who lost all their earthly possessions when their apartment flooded. The children are ages 9 and 13.

The family had just escaped an abusive relationship and was attempting to rebuild their life when disaster struck. Mom had found a good paying job and had a modest apartment of their own. They were acquiring furniture and other needed items and things were feeling safe again…normal.

And then came the rain.

Their new apartment and everything in it was flooded. Loss again.

Family of 8 Displaced by Flood
The Griffith family has six children, three still living at home. They were flooded in the Town & Country subdivision area and have just today been allowed back into their neighborhood to begin assessing what sort of damage they're looking at. This family has been staying with Pastor Paul's family since last Wednesday.

Family of Four living in Cramped Quarters
Another family of four, the Millers, will be benefiting from one of the trailers that Rev. Ed Brashier will be delivering next week. They are living in some very cramped quarters right now while they wait for the 3 feet of water standing in their home to recede. They too will need cleanup efforts and rebuilding/refurnishing their home.

Family Discovers Flood Insurance Policy Not Activated
DR Clint and Tonya, along with her two teenage children, were certain that they had flood insurance. But when he called to report their situation last week, he was told by his insurance company that they saw the request being made some years ago but that the policy was never put in place. Somewhere along the way the insurance company dropped the ball. Now the family is living in a travel trailer which belongs to an employer while they wait for the opportunity to move ahead on the work in their home.Their teenage children have traveled with the church on youth trips and several youth outings. They will need furnishing and reconstruction efforts as well.

4 Feet of Water Overtakes Home
George, a member of Trinity, is staying with neighbors while he waits for the 4 feet of water that has flooded his home to recede. Members of Trinity are standing by waiting to help with his cleanup and reconstruction efforts. He will need to replace most everything as well.

No one likes disasters - but ALWAYS, in the midst of Disaster and their recovery, God and His people work in mighty ways showing people HIS Mercy and Compassion!

Please consider helping to be Jesus to those who suffer. Disaster Response Support
Flood Assistance in Monroe, Louisiana
Consider sending a Care Card to help someone in need CLICK HERE for more information

Serving Together, Serving Christ Jesus, so we can serve others IN HIS NAME!


Tim Hetzner
Lutheran Church Charities

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 14:33
LCC Conducts LERT Basic Training at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in McHenry, IL Print E-mail


LCC conducted a LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) Basic Training at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in McHenry, IL on Saturday, February 27th. The McHenry County LERT Team is made up of members from Fellowship of Faith Lutheran Church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, as well as other residents of the McHenry community and surrounding areas. Approximately 42 participants, represented by twelve different area churches, were in attendance. Speaker Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities in Northbrook, Illinois presented this comprehensive program, designed to train volunteers for disaster response and prepare them to serve God’s people during times of crisis and need. LCC is frequently the first boots and paws on the ground when disaster strikes.

As natural and man-made disasters continue to increase, so does the need for trained volunteers. If you or your church would like more information on how you can be a part of this vital, growing ministry, please contact Dianna Bonfield at Lutheran Church Charities at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 866-455-6466. We thank all those who participated in this valuable training and look forward to serving with you.

Congregations who participated:

Community of Faith Lutheran Church, Spring Grove
Edison Park Lutheran Church, Chicago
Fellowship of Faith Lutheran Church, McHenry
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere
Lord of Life Lutheran Church, LaFox
Shepherd of the Hills, Lutheran Church, McHenry
St. John Lutheran Church, Hebron
St Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge
St Paul Lutheran Church, Mt Prospect
Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle
Zion Lutheran Church, Marengo

Last Updated on Monday, 29 February 2016 12:59
LERT Volunteers Receive Certification Print E-mail
LERT Volunteers LERT volunteers (18) completed their Mucking Out and Flood Clean-Up Certification on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Course instructor, Richard Roths, brought much to the table as he served many years as a FEMA instructor. A special thank you to Roths for his time and talent.

Participating LCMS NID Congregations:
Trinity, Roselle
St. Peter, Schaumburg
Good Shepherd, Elgin
St. Peter, N. Plato
St. John, Green Valley

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 11:41
Become a LERT Volunteer Print E-mail

LERT Basic Training THIS Saturday - Update your chainsaw badge!

LERT logo Looking for something that will really Make A Difference? Looking for flexible hours? Looking to put your skill set to good good use or learn new skills? Looking to be part of the bigger picture? Looking for a sense of real purpose?

Look no further!!

You are invited to be part of a Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT)!

Following a disaster, Lutheran Early Response Team volunteers assist survivors to salvage what remains of their lives and homes and start fresh.

Training for this dynamic and life-changing, crucial team starts with a 4-hour basic training for certification and vesting, which includes an exclusive LERT ID card providing access to disaster sites to assist with the recovery process.

Through the simple act of showing up, offering solace, and trying to serve, hundreds of people in the past year have been touched by the volunteers and staff members of LCC's Lutheran Early Response Teams.

The next LERT training session is:

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church

404 N Green St
McHenry, IL 60050

Each session is from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and includes brunch. Participants in the four-hour training receive official credentials, a LERT manual, and a LERT vest.

You can register for training HERE or call 866-455-6466.

Questions? Contact Dianna Bonfield at LCC with questions at (866) 455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Serving together serving those who the Savior loves, LCC/NID Disaster Response Team

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:48
51 Participants Attend Basic LERT Training Print E-mail

LERT Training

THANK YOU to Lord of Life Lutheran Church in LaFox, Ilinois for hosting the Basic LERT Training on Saturday, January 30, 2016. 51 participants from the following NID congregations were trained: St. Mark, St Charles; St Peter, Hampshire, the Cross/Helmar Team of Yorkville, and Lord of Life Lutheran Church, LaFox. Lord of Life Lutheran Church added 33 new members to their team, increasing their membership to 62. This training brings our Northern Illinois District team of LERT credentialed volunteers to nearly 1,100!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 13:39
When Disaster Strikes…Who You Gonna Call? Lutheran Church Charities! Print E-mail
LERT logo Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere - people and churches need to be prepared. In disasters, LCC volunteers and LERT teams serve as the hands and feet of Jesus through their physical labor and share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need of help. Many people who have had their homes and lives destroyed in a disaster are in shock or denial and the only one who can help them put their lives back together is God. That’s why LERT volunteers ask if they can pray with those suffering, and that’s why they say “yes”.

In the past year, LCC LERT teams worked and prayed in:

  • Rochelle and Fairdale (first anniversary April 9, 2016)
  • Watseka
  • Quincy
  • Coal City
  • Sublet
  • Braidwood
  • Frankfort
  • Holly Springs, Mississippi

Depending on the situation, LCC LERT teams:

  • Muck out/Flood clean-up
  • Tarp holes in roofs
  • Use chainsaws to cut downed trees
  • Remove debris
  • Offer comfort
  • …and prayer

LCC also offers presentations on how churches can be prepared in case a disaster strikes their congregation or community. The presentation shows how, by being properly prepared, you can protect your pastor, staff, members of your church, and their families.

Through the simple act of showing up, offering solace and trying to serve, hundreds of people in the past year have been touched by the volunteers and staff members of the LCC.


The next LERT training sessions are:

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church

404 N Green St
McHenry, IL 60050

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Lutheran Church Charities

3020 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Lutheran Church Charities

3020 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062

Each session is from 9 AM to 1:30 PM and includes lunch. Participants in the three-hour training receive official credentials, a LERT manual, and a LERT vest.

You can register for training HERE

Or call 866-455-6466. Questions? Contact Dianna Bonfield at LCC with questions at (866) 455-6466 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2016 11:22
LERT Volunteers and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Unite in Texas Print E-mail
Tornado Disaster response and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministries joined together on January 23, 2016 to bring aid and comfort following the December tornadoes in Garland, TX.

Comfort Dogs Phoebe and Pax from St. Paul Lutheran in Ft. Worth, TX joined together with more than 300 LERT volunteers from the state of Texas to assist the residents of Garland.

In spite of the brisk and chilly day, the atmosphere was warm and invigorating as crews eagerly worked to clean up the storm-damaged community. Chainsaw crews were among the volunteers along with the Holy Cow Smokers from Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Flower Mound, TX. Holy Cow Smokers prepared 800 pounds of pulled pork for 1,200 lunches as well as 500 sliced brisket dinners. The meals were served at Tree of Life Lutheran in Garland.

To gift to the LCC disaster response efforts, CLICK HERE

To gift to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Fund, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 10:35
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