The members of Grace Lutheran Church touch the lives of many people in our area and around the world through various outreach projects.
Key Organizations we support throughout the year (read below to see how we support each of them):
- Laymen Playmen, Inc. – www.laymenplaymen.com
- Sanctuary Village (tiny house community) – tinyhousecommunity.org; Facebook
- Bread Drop – Facebook
- Laurel House – www.laurel-house.org
- Manna on Main – www.mannaonmain.org
- Hatfield Food Cupboard – cob.org/foodcupboard.html
- ELCA World Hunger – www.elca.org/hunger
- Mitzvah Circle – www.mitzvahcircle.org
- Church World Services – www.churchworldservice.org
- Hatfield Community Churches Coalition – contact Pastor at Grace
- Philadelphia Welcome Church – www.thewelcomechurch.org
THE LAYMEN PLAYMEN, INC. is a multidenominational Christian community theatre group that is supported by Grace. The purpose of the group is to provide theatrical productions with the proceeds to be used to help serve the needs of the less fortunate in the Hatfield community. The group is committed to serving the Lord and the needs of the local community. The 2020 production of Cinderella was held in February of that year – just before the COVID 19 Stay at Home order in March. The production in 2022 was Guys and Dolls.
SANCTUARY VILLAGE is a 501c3 organization that was created to offer an efficient and effective way to address chronic street homelessness in the city of Philadelphia by creating a village of tiny houses. Sanctuary Village’s Vision is to build tiny houses to serve as transitional housing for chronically homeless individuals who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection/complications. This will offer the security and stability to obtain needed services for a better quality of life and a move to permanent housing. This idea is based on a successful model of tiny house transitional housing being used in Seattle since 2015; Seattle now has thirteen tiny house villages and is planning to build more. The City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services has granted Sanctuary Village land, and half a million dollars to provide support services. Our board includes members of the Welcome Church, a multi-denominational congregation made up of the homeless and formerly homeless in Philadelphia, along with individuals with experience in design and construction, shelters, and communication. What brings us together is a belief that housing is a basic human right, and that all people deserve to live with dignity. To learn more or to donate, see tinyhousecommunity.org. Read the March 2022 newsletter: Sanctuary Village Newsletter_3.2022
Our congregation supports the HATFIELD FOOD CUPBOARD throughout the year. We collect food weekly and provide volunteers to help restock food and distribute food. Our confirmation class spends at least one evening during the year learning about the Food Cupboard and helping to restock food. Members of Grace volunteer at the Food Cupboard in various roles. Our outreach to the food cupboard has continued to function throughout the pandemic.
BREAD DROP is an outreach project that began at Grace in March 2020 and is now based at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton. Our friend and member of Grace, Lou Farrell (pictured below), saw a huge need for food for the homeless because of the closure of the usual sources of food for the unhoused. “He looked at a really scary time and figured out how to help,” said Lou’s daughter, Maggie Weber. Lou devised a system by which people make simple PB&J sandwiches and prepare fruit and snack bags and drop them off weekly at designated locations. Lou then drives about 300 miles each week to ferry the food to centers across Philadelphia metro area for distribution. Bread Drop recently passed the milestone of 200,000 sandwiches delivered. Hear a recent interview on WHYY with Lou broadcast on February 14, 2022 (scroll down to “All Episodes”).
In January we celebrate GRATEFUL GRACE, a special offering to help other churches or communities that have suffered hardships. This offering reflects the gratitude that our congregation feels for the help we received following our church building fire in December 2011 and to acknowledge that we are still blessed with resources which could help other people suffering hardship. As other congregations have given generously to us since the fire, Grace now gives to other congregations in need. Our giving through Grateful Grace has travelled to South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
In February we provide gifts for LAUREL HOUSE which is a local shelter for abused women and their children. The shelter also provides educational opportunities for the families.
During the Lenten Season we collect a special RICE BOWL offering each Sunday. Our gifts are shared with three agencies: Manna on Main in Lansdale, The Hatfield Food Cupboard, and the ELCA World Hunger appeal. We are able to help those in need in our area as well as around the world.
In May we honor and remember our mothers through the purchase of pink and white carnations. The funds raised by this project are shared with Laurel House, a local shelter for women and children.
In June 2017 our members participated in a new project called BOOKS FOR BABIES. Through the Mitzvah Circle Foundation books are distributed to infants and toddlers. Our members stepped up and far exceeded our goal of 100 books. Members donated 172 books and in addition a friend of the congregation gave 55 books for older children. Our neighboring church, Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church also donated 15 baby books for a grand total of 242 books!! Along with the books several baby afghans were donated. In 2020 our project with Mitzvah was on pause.
Pictures from our trip to deliver Books for Babies to the Mitzvah Circle:
In July and August we turn our attention to collecting backpacks for preschool children who attend day care centers and nursery schools in our area. The back packs are distrusted through our daycare center, Stepping Stones, as well as Friendship House, and food cupboards at Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church and Church of the Brethren. Area churches participate in this project: Grace, Bethany, Emmanuel, Church of the Brethren and St. Maria Goretti. Each church is assigned specific items to provide to fill the back packs.
During the month of September we collect canned goods and non-perishable food items for Manna on Main Street in Lansdale and the Hatfield Food Cupboard. In addition our members share an offering with Lutheran World Hunger. This past September’s “Harvest Home” gathering:
In October we host a team of walkers to participate in the North Penn/Lansdale Area CROP Walk. Funds raised by our walkers are distributed by Church World Service. CWS mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, and shelter the homeless.
Winter Coat Collection for Children: The Hatfield Community Christian Coalition sponsors a winter coat collection for children in the Hatfield Area. The goal is to provide every child in Hatfield with a warm coat for the winter season. Coats are collected in September and October and then distributed to area children during the month of November.
Warm Winter Socks-Hats-Scarves-Gloves are collected for the homeless people in Philadelphia. The Indian Valley Lutheran Cluster churches travel to the Welcome Church for both the worship service and fellowship time following the service. The Welcome Church is an ELCA congregation proclaiming the hope and love of a gracious God to all people and especially to people experiencing homelessness. The Welcome Church is a church without walls providing a ministry to those who call the Logan Square area their home. These gifts are appreciated by those who must battle the upcoming winter weather outdoors.
In November and December, we collect gifts for area families so they can experience the joy of the Christmas Season with their families. Members choose gifts from a list of items needed for these families. In addition, our confirmation class shops for some of the gifts that the families need. Each year over 35 families are provided gifts for them to share with their family on Christmas Day.
H3C (the Hatfield Community Coalition) is an organization that includes local church leaders, community helpers and food cupboard leaders. Its purpose is to identify and support needs in the Hatfield community. Supporting organizations include Grace, Emmanuel EC Church, Church of the Brethren, Bethany Bible Fellowship, St. Maria Goretti, St. Vincent de Paul, and Heidelberg UCC. Contact the Grace pastor if you know of someone who is in need.