The members of Grace Lutheran Church touch the lives of many people in our area and around the world through various OUTreach projects.
In 2020, some of our projects were put on hold during the COVID 19 pandemic. Our prayers have been answered that, in 2021, most of our projects have resumed.
Key Organizations we support throughout the year (keep scrolling down to see how we support each of them):
- Laymen Playmen, Inc. – www.laymenplaymen.com
- Sanctuary Village (tiny house community) – Sanctuary Village – Facebook
- Bread Drop – Facebook
- Laurel House – www.laurel-house.org
- Manna on Main street – www.mannaonmain.org
- Hatfield Food Cupboard – firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 2021 the show was cancelled. For more information on the group and future productions see http://www.laymenplaymen.com
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 very 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. See tinyhousecommunity.org. Breaking news: On October 14, 2021 from 11 am-10 pm, all BERTUCCI’S brick oven pizza & pasta locations are donating 15% of all proceeds to Sanctuary Village! Download the flyer here: SV Bertuccis Oct 14; go here to view the menu.
The City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services has granted Sanctuary Village land, and half a million dollars to provide support services. The Councilperson for Holmesburg, Councilman Bobby Henon, and the Holmesburg Civic Association are supportive of the project. Our board includes members of the Welcome Church, a multi-denominational congregation made up of the homeless and formerly homeless in Philadelphia. Our board also 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.
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.
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 (Valentine’s Day), 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. In 2021 we collected gift cards for the families to shop for the items most needed.
During the Lenten Season we collect a special Rice Bowl offering each Sunday. Our gifts are shared with three agencies: Manna on Main Street 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. The Rice Bowl project continued in 2020 and 2021.
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. This project was completed in 2020 and will be held in 2021.
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!
July and August we turn our attention to the collecting back packs 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 Marie Goretti. Each church is assigned specific items to provide to fill the back packs. This project was on pause in 2020.
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.
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. The CROP Walk took on a new look in 2020. A virtual walk was held. Volunteers were encouraged to walk in their neighborhoods and collect sponsorships online.
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. This project was on pause in 2020.
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..
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.
Bread Drop – a new outreach project that began at Grace shortly after the shut down in March of 2020. Our friend and member of Grace, Lou, saw a huge need for food for the homeless because of the closure of the usual sources of food for the unhoused. For more information about this amazing project, see our home page and click on Pandemic Blessings or go to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BreadDrop/?ref=py_c.
Sanctuary Village Philadelphia – another new outreach that is just in the beginning stages of development is a project of our friend and member of Grace, Cathy. We hope to find many ways to support this project to provide shelter for the homeless in the Philly area. Read about Sanctuary Village Philadelphia on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/Sanctuary-Village-Philadelphia-666425597143032/) and on their website ( https://www.tinyhousecommunity.org/).