In Jesus, God has shown Grace Lutheran Church not just the hard parts of Covid time. We have also discovered blessings, and we see God’s hand in them. For instance, we never had an online video presence at Grace before the pandemic. Yet we knew we could not just be absent when our buildings were closed. For several months, we worshipped together just online, even through Holy Week, and God richly blessed us!
In July 2020, we returned to worship in person, but our video presence continues for those who aren’t ready to be back, or can’t be. God is deepening our witness and our work.
Our outreach ministries, the heart of who we are as a people of Grace, have also grown and multiplied during this season: Stepping Stones, Grace’s Nursery School and Daycare, has been changed by Covid restrictions, but the presence of young children in our building cheers us! Through the work of Finance leaders in the congregation, the Stepping Stones Committee and a dedicated Director, Stepping Stones received CARES Act PPP funding. With it, staff worked on curriculum, safety protocols and planning for Keystone Stars Star 2 certification. We re-opened in early June with just 5 children, but are now near the number of children we had enrolled in March, with more calls for tours coming weekly. We are rebuilding staff and student body for the support of families in our community. On September 17th, thanks to those months of work by Director and staff, the center received its Star 2 certification.
Bread Drop is a ministry begun in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the realization that those experiencing homelessness in Center City Philadelphia would no longer be able to access their normal places to obtain food. It began with a member of Grace asking if other members might be willing to prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And they did, providing over 200 that first week. Quickly, that number grew exponentially. Now, between 3,500 and 4,000 PB&Js are produced each week by an expanding coalition of churches, nonprofits and unaffiliated persons who also provide snack bags and fresh fruit. Food is delivered to social service agencies and food pantries in four Pennsylvania counties and to New Jersey. In March of 2021 Bread Drop became a partner of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton. This close relationship between the two church ministries will help us grow in service.
Because Bread Drop is delivering such a large volume, it is important that our offerings be standardized. Instructions for making the sandwiches are found below. Grace’s sandwich drop-off day is Tuesday, 8 am to 7 pm, to coolers at the church, at the Stepping Stones entrance. For more on Bread Drop see their Facebook Page
Bread Drop: PB & J Sandwiches, Instructions
- You make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on soft white bread and put them in ZIPLOC bags, 1 sandwich per bag. Use cheap white bread with gobs of PB and J. A loaf will get you nine sandwiches. Please consider buying two loaves.
- The coolers will be at the entrance to Grace all day each TUESDAY. Leave your donation in the labeled coolers between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm
- Please email, call or text Jelly Czar Lou to let him know how many sandwiches you made.