As a congregation we have made a conscious decision to stay in the downtown area. Our mission includes serving this unique community and its needs with unconditional, undeserved love. God isn’t just found in our church service, our fellowship with one another or in our private prayers. Jesus reminds us that we meet the Lord every time we see our brothers and sisters, especially those in need. The least, the marginalized, the poor, the homeless are God’s people and God is in them.
When the Food Pantry was accessed only through the steps down to the basement, the homeless in our community were often seen but seldom encountered. Circumstances changed with the Covid pandemic. The Food Pantry moved outside and in doing so became visible to the homeless, and they to us. We began to think about how to better serve their specific needs – not just with food.
As we continue to find ways and create opportunities to make a difference in their lives, we have found a partner in the Washington Street Mission. Like Grace Lutheran Church, this faith-based ministry has been in existence for more than 100 years. Washington Street Mission is committed to cultivating a community for those who may not have a physical home, or struggle with mental illness or addiction. Circumstances have landed the 150+ people who utilize the mission in a situation where most in our city reject them. They long for a place to which they belong.
Now the Mission has expanded not just in hours, but in the programs offered at the Mission, to lift up those who are able out of their dire circumstances. These programs offer Bible study, life and every day skills, job skills, coaching and mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities with local employers.
When we support Washington Street Mission, we are supporting an entire community working together to make a lasting impact on the growing homeless crisis in our city. The Giving with Grace! 2023 Stewardship Appeal has a goal of increasing offerings by $40,926. Some of these offerings will be used to serve these least of our neighbors. Pray for a generous response and please prayerfully consider increasing your offering for the coming year. With your help we can continue to make a difference.