Service is a key component to the life of Grace. We seek to be Christ’s hands and feet in the city of Baltimore, in our nation and throughout the world. Jesus told his followers, “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before others.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
COVID-19 changed our 2020-21 outreach projects, and yet Grace Church is addressing more local needs than ever before!
Project Transformation, new to Baltimore, is a national ministry that builds reading skills, encourages leadership development, and guides ministry skills in youth of all ages. Volunteer roles include Virtual Reading Tutors, Summer Interns (for 2021) and financial support to help PT purchase tech equipment that was not anticipated before the pandemic. Grace members also donated supplies and funds for books and materials needed for activities.
The Weekend Backpack Ministry continues for kids who are food-insecure, and funds to support food purchase currently comes from our 2020 Christmas Offering. Parents and children from our Grace Preschool have helped packed bags in the past, and they will again!
Meal and Food Box Deliveries were made by Grace volunteers to assist GEDCO CARES, the Maryland Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters, and Be A Chef For A Day food delivery.
Food Donations took many forms. In 2020, Grace supplied 22 large Thanksgiving baskets to families in need, partnered with our Boy and Girls Scouts Troop 612 for four food drives for the GEDCO CARES pantry, brought casseroles to Our Daily Bread, and suppported food and household donations to Bel-Air Edison School/Turnbridge Charter School.
Clothing Donations were given to The Samaritan Community Bolton Hill, Manna House, and individual families in need.
School Supplies were collected and bags packed to help students at Roland Elementary/Middle Schools start the school year right! This year, we assembled 40 bags.
The Grace Care and Visitation Team made calls, sent cards, and visited (online) our members known to be prone to isolation or in need of help for basic errands.
The Barnabas Ministry began late in 2020, matching our youth with a ‘secret pal’ who sends cards of encouragement, small gifts, and in general keeps in touch with love from Grace!
Grace Mask Makers volunteered to make over 100 masks, to be given out over time to anyone coming to Grace without a mask.
The Inn Project, a shelter in Tucson, AZ, provides respite for asylum-seeking families, It’s a ministry of the Desert Southwest Conference of the UM Church which legally shelters migrants. Grace collected and shipped many boxes of clothing for children and adults, and members dontated over over $2,400 for food, personal supplies, diapers and other necessities.
Transit Stop for Medical Workers – Grace Church was proud to partner with the MD Departent of Transportation as a transit stop for medical employees from GMBC and St. Joseph Medical Center. 24/7.
Bells for COVID Workers – We programmed our bells in the tower to ring at 7 pm every evening, along with other area churches. This was a reminder for neighbors to think about, and pray for, COVID workers in all fields of work.
For Summer 2020, we had lots of plans, locally and in various parts of the country…
Of course, the pandemic changed those plans quickly and dramatically. We will return to these projects when the time is right! Many are part of our outreach and missions traditions:
Youth Mission Trip to Harrisburg, PA
Youth and adults will be engaging in the community to work with local children’s programs, community gardens, senior care facilities, and local neighborhood associations for small home repair, community beautification and cleanup projects. No matter what your skill level, you will be welcomed!
West River United Methodist Camp
This is a great opportunity for adults for volunteer to lead sailing, kayaking, arts and crafts, fishing, sports and drama. Families can attend together so all may enjoy the camp, located on the West River near Annapolis.
Here in Baltimore…
Free Kids’ Summer Suppers and More! at Wilson Park Christian Community Church, Baltimore
We volunteer two evenings each week during the summer to cook and serve supper, plus provide opportunities for arts, sports, music and reading from 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Each week, Grace provides backpacks to children who live in food-insecure households through our Backpack Ministry. Grace provides the supplies, and we partner with parents from our Grace Preschool to pack and deliver the bags to our designated schools.
Every Sunday, congregants may take a Manna Bag with them to offer food and water to someone seeking nourishment.
Other programs Volunteers from Grace serve in the Reading Partners program in Baltimore City. Through our Mission-Outreach team, we support many local and global nonprofits including Manna House, GEDCO, Susanna Wesley House, The Inn Project and Curamericas.
If you would like to learn more about outreach projects at Grace, please contact Rev. Levon Sutton.