A Word from Pastor Greg

As we reflect upon the past year, perhaps the best way to sum it up is this:  Southwood has continued to be God’s church in ministry and mission. It hasn’t always looked the same as it did in the years prior to COVID-19.  There have been many changes, adaptations, alterations, challenges, and then even more changes and adaptations, etc.  Yet, despite it all, Southwood is still God’s church worshipping, growing, serving, giving and inviting others to grow in love for God and others.

As I take a look into the future, I see more change and transition coming at Southwood.  The most obvious is my retirement.  I will certainly be transitioning in my own life and you will as a congregation.  There will be much more said about these changes in the weeks to come.  But one thing will remain the same.  Southwood will continue to be God’s church in ministry and mission.  

Keep Southwood in your prayers.  Be open to how God will work during these changing and challenging times.  Continue to serve and give and care for the sake of others.  And above all, continue to grow in your love for God and others in all that you say and do.  May God bless Southwood in 2022!

—Pastor Greg Olson, Senior Pastor

photo: Pastor Greg Olson

Sunday, January 23, 2022, 12PM in the Sanctuary

All confirmed, communing, and contributing members of the congregation are urged to join together for a celebration of God’s blessings upon Southwood, and to conduct the annual congregational meeting. At this meeting, we’ll be making decisions about Southwood’s future, including our 2022 budget and election of our Church Council members.

Worship & Music

Worship with Southwood

  • In-Person: Attendance is approximately 2/3 of pre-pandemic numbers (churches around the country are reporting a 45-60% average)
  • Online: On average, 452 unique households viewed each week with online worship reaching viewers across the US, Canada, Tanzania and Honduras.

  • Community Choir and Men's Chorus were reintroduced in 3rd Quarter
  • Music ministry opportunities are redesigned to be short-term commitments (3-4 weeks) and include an opportunity to serve within the church or community
  • View Online Worship Services


    58 New Members Received

    Welcomed through Discover Southwood classes offered in April and October

    Life Events:

    • 72 Baptisms
    • 12 Weddings (Includes off-site ceremonies)

    Get Connected

    Adult Ministries:


    242 participants for the Women's Spring Retreat and the Seniors' Picnic with the Pastors

    Group Finder

    This new online tool made it easy to find a group

    20 groups were open for people to join that included every stage of life, in addition to the long-term established groups

    Join a Group


    400 participants in pastor-led classes and Small Groups

    Faith growth thrives when done in community

    Sunday Volunteers

    359 volunteers welcomed attendees on Sunday mornings


    Children's  Ministries

    Sunday School

    441 children registered for Sunday School


    New check-in system used for Sunday School to create a secured pick-up procedure for 3 to 7-year-olds

    Children's Ministries Volunteers

    288 people made a difference in children's lives:

    • 70 Advent Festival Volunteers
    • 90 Sunday School Volunteers
    • 128 Vacation Bible School Volunteers

    Offering Outreach

    $5,000 to support Lincoln Public Schools in need

    Advent Festival

    200+ children and family members attended

    Youth Ministries

    Middle School DELVE

    250 middle school students and 32 volunteers participated

    DELVE Programming Change

    DELVE, Southwood’s middle school confirmation program, moved to Wednesday nights for all students

    Allowed for greater pastor involvement and resulted in over 80% regular attendance (an improvement over Sunday morning attendance results)

    High School Youth Group

    70 students participated in gatherings and/or retreats and mission trips

    32 students served in Sunday School

    10 students led DELVE groups and as an entire group, served for over 2000 hours in our community and elsewhere

    Young Adult Ministry

    Launched a new ministry for young adults that began meeting regularly

    Participants range in age from twenties to mid-thirties

    2021 Missions

    Mission Sunday:
    • 504 Southwood Serves Volunteers
    • 746 Blessing Bags made
    • Pastor Manolo visited worship
    • 300 Backpacks packed
    Giving Trees:
    • 1,100 Gifts donated for Community Organizations, Global Mission Partners and Southwood Families
    • 195 Christmas in July Gift Cards totaling $5,515 donated to Community Mission Partners and Southwood Good Samaritan Fund & Care Ministries
    New Mission Newsletter:
    • 228 Subscribers

    Sign up to Serve

    Community Missions

    Southwood served our neighbors in a variety of ways in 2021:

    • $55,000 donated to Food Bank of Lincoln Raising Our Response to Hunger Campaign
    • 11,389 family members served through Food Bank Distributions, Food Markets, LPS Pantry and Backpacks
    • 48 students received a school physical at Clinic with a Heart
    Southwood volunteers served 2,752 hours in 2021 with our Community Mission partners.

    Global Missions

    Southwood supported our global partners' work in 2021:

    • 132 quilts made by the Piecemakers
    • 5 homes and 4 pilas built by our sister church in La Ceibita, Honduras
    • Completed medical clinic in Uswaa, Tanzania that has seen 230 patients since November 2021
    • 84 students supported by Tanzania Education Scholarship Program for secondary schools and university programs

    Care Ministry

    • Prayer requests shared daily with our Prayer Team
    • Healing Prayer services reintroduced and offered twice in the fall
    • Grief support offered through calls, cards and brochures to over 75 families this year
    • Care Team worship services reintroduced at 5 assisted living/memory care facilities in Lincoln

    Request Care

    17 Funerals

    Held at Southwood

    Care Gifts Created

    252 prayer shawls
    46 baby blankets

    Good Samaritan Fund

    55 requests received

    Supported 11 families

    during Thanksgiving and Christmas (consistent with 2019 and 2020)

    Giving to Southwood

    Make a donation to Southwood through a one-time gift or as a recurring gift.

    Give Online

    2021 Budget

    98% of budgeted income received totaling $3.18 million

    Lent & Easter Offerings

    Over $22,000 received

    100% dedicated to our global mission partners

    Thanksgiving Offerings

    $6,000 dedicated to our hunger mission partners

    Christmas Offerings

    $27,000 received and dedicated to our community mission partners

    Good Samaritan Fund

    $32,000 donated by Southwood members to this fund

    Used to help people in financial need in our community

    What's New

    50th Anniversary

    Southwood celebrated 50 years with over 1,000 attendees at a church-wide celebration.

    As a church, two gifts were presented celebrating our past ($50,000 gift to the Tanzania Medical Clinic) and future ($50,000 gift to establish a Disaster Fund)

    Branded apparel and merchandise offered at Southwood's Pop-Up Store

    A congregation-wide "Do 50" campaign encouraged families to:

      • Pay $50 forward to an organization of their choice
      • Spend 50 minutes weekly growing their faith
      • Volunteer 50 minutes in the community

    Our Story