April is set to be a very bright month in Missouri. For the fourth consecutive year, thousands of men, women, and children throughout the state will head out into their communities and be a witness for Jesus Christ while serving their neighbors. Dubbed SHINE! and based on Matthew 5:16, this year’s statewide servant will be held April 12-21, and groups from all corners of the state will be participating.

What started in 2021 with 5,000 participants expanded to more than 10,000 in 2023. “God’s plans for SHINE! have been bigger and better than any of us could have ever imagined,” says Leah Sieveking, SHINE! Coordinator for the Missouri District. “It’s been entertaining to see where He has led us all.”

Interest in SHINE! has even crossed state lines. Last year, the Missouri District was joined by the Northern Illinois District (NID). Sue Green, SHINE! Coordinator in NID says returning groups are ready for another year and new groups are eager to jump in. “As we begin our second year of SHINE! I’m heartened by the congregations who didn’t participate last year that contacted me early on to make sure they could participate this year,” she shares. “And I’m excited that some of the groups who participated last year are again participating but planning to serve in different ways.”

In addition to the Missouri District and NID, a congregation in Virginia and the Nebraska District will also be participating this year. Rev. Lonnie Jacobsen, Mission Executive for Nebraska adds, “The Nebraska District is joining SHINE! for the first time, and we are excited about the opportunity to have our congregations and campus ministry groups shine the light of Jesus while serving others.

As in previous years, matching t-shirts will be provided in 2024 for Missouri participants though the generosity of sponsors. This year we are thankful for Lutheran Church Extension Fund, Rod’s Sports, Concordia Plans, and Timothy Lutheran in Blue Springs. While shirts are no longer available for ordering, registration is certainly still open! Head to mo.lcms.org/shine and let the Missouri District know your plans for service. If your team didn’t receive shirts but would still like to look the part, email Leah at leah.sieveking@mo.lcms.org for the SHINE! logo that can be used on shirts of your choosing.

“Please continue to keep SHINE! groups in all four states in your prayers,” concludes Leah. “And get ready to be wowed at how God will use His children for His glory.”