Service is the cornerstone of our faith and how we are measured as Christ's disciples. Whether feeding the hungry, comforting the distressed or reaching out to the lonely, we are called on to willingly offer our time, talents and treasure to provide for those in need. A few of the ways we serve are listed below.
Good Shepherd contributes to the Lancaster County Council of Churches Food Bank. We do that in several ways: by collecting donations of cash or food items in worship the third Sunday of each month and every Sunday during Lent, by volunteering to stock items one month of each year (June), and by donating half of the annual disbursement from an endowment fund for world hunger to the food bank. The items donated in worship are placed in bushel baskets, and so we call the effort “Bushels of Love.”
In fellowship with brothers and sisters throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, two times each year we offer ourselves in service to our neighbors, doing lawn work, small house maintenance projects, and visiting. The bulk of the work occurs on one day: the second Sunday afternoon in September or the first Saturday in May. Work on projects that were not able to be completed on that one day is scheduled in the weeks to follow.
What we have come to call the “Grace Meal” is a community meal, open to anyone who may need or want one, that is served every third Wednesday at Grace Lutheran Church at Queen and James Streets in Lancaster. The meal is prepared prior to that day by a group of members at Good Shepherd Church. The day of the meal we start at 3 pm to prepare the room and get the food ready to serve by 5:30. It takes about fifteen volunteers to serve at 5:30. We are always looking for new faces to join us in fun, fellowship, and service on the third Wednesday of each month.
Good Shepherd has a long holiday tradition of setting up a Christmas “Angel Tree” in the narthex. The tree is decorated with numerous small green and red paper angels, each including the name of a child. Their names, ages and Christmas wishes are provided by Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County. Interested “santas” sign out one or more angels, return them wrapped and placed under the tree. A monetary contribution is another angel choice. The gifts are then gathered up and delivered to the agency, distributing them in time for a Merry Christmas.