As disciples of Jesus Christ there are many ways we live out our faith. One of the ways we do this is by serving others, especially our neighbors and those in need. Here are just a few of the ways that members of Good Shepherd serve our neighbors.
ECUMENICAL FOOD SHELF ~ The Essex Jericho Underhill Ecumenical Ministry (EJEUM) Food shelf is located at Good Shepherd. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings concerning those in need, the mission of the Essex Jericho Underhill Ecumenical Ministry is to operate a community food shelf, provide educational experiences, and provide emergency aid for community members. EJEUM is a partnership of local churches, groups and individuals working together to combat hunger. We are a network partner of the Vermont Foodbank. Follow the link to find out more information about their work and how to get involved. Food distributions are held at Good Shepherd on the third Saturday of the month, starting at 9:30 am.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY ~ Knitters and/or crocheters, either working together or individually, create a simple shawl which is then given away. The shawl not only provides warmth to its wearer, but through the dedication and prayer of the knitter it is also a reflection of God’s comfort and care. If you know of someone who might enjoy the comfort of a hand-created shawl, please let us know. We would be delighted to provide you with a shawl to give to your friend, relative, baby, teen or anyone in need of a hug. The shawl can either be given in celebration of a special occasion (e.g. baptism, parents expecting a child), to a friend or relative going through a difficult time or for someone recovering from an illness. Please call our church office if you would like to request a shawl or if you would like to find out more about this ministry, such as who to contact and when the meetings are held.
PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE GLOBAL ~ A young couple at Good Shepherd, Isabel and Alex Tuck, founded this organization in March of 2009 from their home in Fairfax, VT. They created it to provide individuals with the tools necessary to help themselves and their communities escape extreme poverty. Their well-rounded approach is accomplished by providing interest-free micro loans, training, and exposure to new markets. In return for the funding and help provided, the individuals verbally agree to repay the 0% interest loan. Everyone understands that repayment is important, because it allows other community members to participate and the community is strengthened with each project. By partnering with the individuals of these communities, they are empowered to develop businesses which will generate enough income to raise their family and community out of poverty.
On the PHPG website, you can learn more about the current project in Nicaragua, meet Alex and Isabel, and see what a difference PHPG is making in the lives of many poor families. It is easy to donate through the website, but also fun and valuable to participate in the Valentine’s Day Brunch and the Brain Freezer 5K. Join the Tuck’s online newsletter here.
~ Above, you see Gema and Isela who have taken out an interest-free loan with PHPG to start a new and used clothing store in Pantanal, a squatter community located 2.5 miles outside of Grenada, Nicaragua.
SUNDAY SCHOOL PROJECT: GLOBAL BARNYARD ~ The Global Barnyard has been the focus of the Sunday School Offering. The goal has been to learn to “let go” of the gifts that God gives us and share them throughout the world. When we do, we spread God’s love to all. This project was one of many that included collecting food for the food shelf, raising money for the Crop Walk, and sending money to the Lutheran World Relief fund for the people in the Philippines.
EQUAL EXCHANGE CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, ETC. ~ Good Shepherd has a ministry that makes an effort to educate its members and visitors about the concept of supporting Fair Trade that helps small farmers throughout the world.
In cooperation with a Fair Trade company named Equal Exchange there is an opportunity to enjoy various food and drink products that originate throughout the world.
The coffee that is enjoyed during fellowship time after worship is all purchased through Equal Exchange and brewed with a state of the art brewing system. Tea that is served also comes from small farmers through Equal Exchange.
Products can also be purchased, mostly at wholesale cost, by people who wish to visit the store before or after worship. The list of items is growing and currently includes coffee, cold brew coffee, tea, cocoa mix, baking cocoa, olive oil, chocolate bars and cheese. The focus of this effort is to educate people about the value of Fair Trade, supporting small farmers and the enjoyment of fine products.
FRANKLIN ALLIANCE FOR RURAL MINISTRIES ~ FARM is an ecumenical ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) serving the rural community of Franklin County, Vermont that is situated in the northwest corner of Vermont along the Quebec border and Lake Champlain.
FARM seeks to do the following:
To serve the rural farm community of Franklin County through an ecumenical ministry that promotes food sovereignty for all.
To facilitate a dialog between migrant workers, local farmers and townspeople in order to raise awareness of economic, social, cultural and political factors that impact food sovereignty locally and globally in order to seek a common ground to foster mutual respect among these diverse groups and to create a united front to organize for sustainable agriculture.
To provide pastoral and prophetic accompaniment of Latino migrant workers and their families that includes the formation of a Spanish language worshiping community.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – 273 Vt Route 15 – PO Box 495 – Jericho, VT 05465
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