Community Connections


Cubs & Boy Scouts

To find out more about Troop 892, visit their website at
To find out more about Pack 802, visit their website at

Girl Scouts

Troop 1644 - every Sunday except holidays at 6:30pm in the Gathering Room

Troop 1632 - first and third Wednesdays at 6pm

Troop 1458 - every other Tuesday at 6pm

Troop 00258 - Wednesdays at 6pm

The Shepherd's Center of Orange Park

Thursdays 9am - noon

Women of the ELCA

As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

CLICK HERE to check out everything that's going on with Women of the ELCA.

Lutheran Social Services

LSS has a heart for Lutherans!

LSS knows that many in our community, some of them our fellow Lutherans, face struggles that, at times, are greater than they can handle alone. If there is one thing that working in social services teaches, it is that none of us are immune from problems.

This month, we want you to know that we are here to help you if and when you or someone you know needs help. We have food for those who can’t afford to buy their own, therapists to help those struggling with mental health issues, case managers to help with physical health issues related to being HIV-positive or living with AIDS and fiscal coordinators to help pay bills for those who cannot do so themselves. We have lots of reasonably priced goods in our thrift store that help save precious dollars.

We have put food into the hands of grateful people with tears in their eyes, as they tell us how they used to donate food to help hungry people never imagining that one day they would be the ones needing help. Their “God bless you” as they leave warms our hearts as we continue our work motivated and guided by the compassion of Christ.

We have welcomed more than 15,000 refugees to our community who arrive confused and scared, because they had to flee their home country in fear of their very lives. They arrive with nearly nothing – few clothes, no transportation, little or no English-language skills and no clue where and how they will live in this very different culture to which they have been sent. We console them, guide them, give them places to live and encourage them to believe that they can be self-sufficient, safe and happy in their new home.

We have ministered to those who are HIV-positive, many eventually dying of AIDS. While we are cheered that modern medicine is helping many live longer, we grieve when they die after years of receiving care from us, because they have become much more than “clients.” Our mourning at times has been so great that we have asked one of our Lutheran pastors to come minister to our staff.

We have paid the bills and fought for fair treatment of those who cannot manage their finances, even when, because of their age, mental state or addictions, they are angry and frustrated with us because they can’t spend their money the way they want. We persevere knowing that we are making sure they have a roof over their head and that their basic living needs are being met.

At first blush, you may think that you don’t fall into any of the groups of people we help daily, but we encourage you to think more broadly about the skills, expertise and connections we have developed in the past nearly 35 years of LSS’s existence, thanks to our Lutheran congregations. You can come to us confidentially, and we will open our hearts and hands to help you, even if all we are able to do is share ideas about where you may be able to go for help.

Contact Karen Rieley, director of refugee services and LSS program development,, 904.730.8281. And, you are always welcome to visit these two services located at LSS’s main offices, 4615 Philips Highway, Jacksonville, FL 32207:

The Sharing Place Thrift Store
Monday – Saturday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For information, call 904.446.9560

LSS Food Pantry
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
10 a.m. – 12 noon
Tuesday and Thursday
3 – 5 p.m.
For information, call 904.448.5995

LSS needs Transportation Teams!

Lutheran Social Services needs help resettling newly arriving refugees from Burma, Cuba, Colombia and other countries around the world. This is a wonderful opportunity to help families and individuals who have escaped threats to their lives and oppression by welcoming them into our community.
Please consider forming a Transportation Team of people who are willing to drive refugees to the many appointments they have when they first arrive – from the airport when they arrive to the apartments volunteers have prepared for them and taking them to medical appointments, the Social Security Office, their children’s new schools for enrollment, for example. Along the way, you can help them learn about their new community, showing them where things are and helping them learn about our bus system.
We welcome individuals as volunteers; however, you might find a team more fun. One of you can serve as the Team Leader who will call the others in the group to see who is available when help is needed.
Share the compassion of Christ by welcoming the stranger in our midst. Contact Colette Rominger, LSS volunteer coordinator,, 904.730.8245.

The Sharing Place Thrift Store – Donate and Buy!!!

Lutheran Social Services’ The Sharing Place Thrift store accepts donations of almost anything that is new or gently used, to assist people in the LSS Refugee & Immigration Services program, as well as those in the AIDS Care and Education program. To make a donation to The Sharing Place, call Linda Hale at 904.448.5995.

All purchases benefit LSS programs and the people we serve. The thrift store accepts donations of and sells the following and more:
• Beds – mattresses, box springs and bed frames (full/queen or twin)
• Bed and Bath items (towels, sheets and pillows)
• Sofas and side chairs
• Dining tables and chairs
• Beds – mattresses, box springs and bed frames (full/queen or twin)
• Cookware – pots, pans, utensils and dishware
• Pictures (framed art)
The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in the LSS building at 4615 Philips Highway facing Hudnall Road. For more information, call 904.446.9560.

Community Connections Calendar