Through generous donations by Good Shepherd’s members to our Gifts of Love fund, our Social Ministry mission “strives to generously welcome, nurture, and serve each other, our community, and the world.”
That means we support local nonprofit organizations that provide food, shelter, health care and services in the community. Additionally, we donate to important programs that benefit God’s people around the world, such as Lutheran World Relief’s emergency responses to disasters here and abroad. This includes the crisis in Ukraine, and natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.
This year during Lent the congregation made Lutheran World Relief “Kits of Care.” More than three dozen personal care, school, baby, and fabric kits were carefully assembled and will be shipped to a Lutheran World Relief Distribution Center. Thanks to the congregation’s generosity, these kits will be sent to people coping with poverty, hunger, conflict, and more in countries like Ukraine and elsewhere.
We’ve also contributed to Lutheran World Relief’s Coronavirus relief efforts.
For many years we have also supported two precious children through Compassion International: Leydi in El Salvador who is now 15; and Messiah, in Ghana, who is now 10.
Each summer, (with the exception of 2020 and 2021), Social Ministry also organizes an annual yard sale. Many members of the congregation donate household goods, toys and clothing, and help organize and set up the sale and volunteer the Saturday of the sale. This is a joyous day as we meet many members of the community surrounding the church, and we know many people come for back-to-school clothes and to find affordable items.
Prior to Christmas, we set up a Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s “Good Gifts” tree in the narthex. The “ornaments” each have pictures of chicks, pigs, cows, and other items that members can purchase. That money goes to the item depicted on the ornament. These gifts can transform the lives of a family living in poverty. For example, a flock of chicks ($10 ea.) grows up to be chickens and their eggs not only provide an ongoing supply of protein rich meals – they can also help start a small business to generate a steady source of income.
Come fall, the congregation fills dozens of boxes with toys and personal essentials for Operation Christmas Child. We also focus on a Christmas program close to home with the Annual Holiday Gift Program for children in Frederick County and we collect hats and mittens for local school children.
Through Gifts of Love, we have in recent years have supported the Religious Coalition, the Frederick Rescue Mission, Faith House, Mission of Mercy, Shoeboxes for Seniors, Heartly House, Blessings in a Backpack, SHIP and the Community Action Agency’s food bank.
Good Shepherd also served as a host church for the Religious Coalition’s Emergency Family Shelter.