Good Shepherd supports mission projects that are local, national, and global. From helping people recovering from natural disasters to supporting local organizations that are making a difference in local communities, Good Shepherd's Missions Committee ensures that the resources we donate are used to make a difference in our world. In addition to $180,000+ that we donate monetarily on an annual basis, we also donate food to a local food pantry, cook for the homeless, serve at homeless shelters, collect clothing for the needy, and build walls for a home in our parking lot every year. Here are some of the Mission activities that take place every year:
Missions during the time of COVID-19
As we together strive to navigate this unique time, we strive to still Be the Church. One way to do so is by supporting business that are friends of the congregation or employ our members. Attached you'll find a form that lists retail and food service businesses that support the congregation and its members. Consider supporting them with your business during this difficult time.
Good Shepherd helps out our local food pantry throughout the year. Every month, we have a box in the Narthex where food donations are taken. These items can be brought in every Sunday or dropped off during the week. In addition, our Sunday School Students do an annual bake sale where the proceeds are used to support the food pantry. Before Easter, shopping bags are distributed on Sunday mornings with instructions for members to fill the "Eater Blessing Bags." These bags are then taken to the food pantry to help clients have Easter dinner for their families. Additionally, at Thanksgiving, we ask for food donations that are brought forward during our Thanksgiving services. These food items are then taken to the food pantry to help those in need.
Homeless Cooking and Homeless Shelter Visits
A group meets monthly in the church kitchen to cook meals for a homeless shelter. These meals are then frozen and taken to a shelter for them to use. Our High School Youth make periodic visits to shelters throughout the year to cook and serve dinner.
Rudolph's Big Build
Since 2012, Good Shepherd has hosted a "Big Build" in our parking lot. During this weekend project, walls for a home are built and framed in our parking lot. After a dedication on Sunday morning, the walls are then loaded in a truck where they are taken to the destination where they are built into a home. In 2018, we renamed this event "Rudolph's Big Build," in memory of Bill Rudolph who passed away suddenly this year. Bill was a huge proponent, supporter, and participant in the "Big Build" and many other projects at Good Shepherd. Rudolph's Big Build will take place on September 27 and 28 this year, rain or shine.
Every year before Thanksgiving, Good Shepherd collects warm clothes that are then donated to those in need. For the past several years, we have partnered with First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in Bridgeport to support God's Closet.
Feed My Starving Children
At various times throughout the year, groups from Good Shepherd visit Feed My Starving Children to help this organization pack meals. It is a fun way for people of all ages to come together and make a difference in our world.
High School Mission Trip
Two out of every three summers, our High School Youth participate in a Mission Trip. The trips allow our young adults to volunteer in a community different from ours and share God's love with people in need. Participants in these trips spend six months getting to know each other with monthly meetings and activities and participating in fundraising events for the trip. For the third summer, our Youth participate in the ELCA Youth Gathering. Typically, one of the three main days of the Gathering is a service day.
Capital Improvement Grant
Each year in July, Good Shepherd awards a grant to an organization which is embarking on a capital improvement project. We encourage organizations which support God's work in the world and their community to review the attached document and submit the requested information. Deadlines can be found in the attached document.
Agencies We Have Supported
LUTHERAN CHURCHES or AGENCIES
Lutheran World Relief
Lutheran Disaster Response
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Lutheran Outdoor Ministry
Lutheran Music Camp
Lutheran Church Charity Comfort Dogs
First Trinity Lutheran, Chicago
First Lutheran, Logan Square
Ashburn Lutheran, Chicago
Lutheran Church in Bethlehem
Lutheran Seminary in Russia
Metro Chicago Synod of the ELCA
NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH
Centro Infantil de los Angelos
International Partners in Mission
Crossroads Mission, Big Build
Feed My Starving Children
Heifer Project International
LOCAL and COMMUNITY AGENCIES
Aero School for Autism
Bridge Teen Center
Chicago Bible Depository
Community Center Foundation
Cooking for the Homeless
Crisis Center of South Suburbia
Feed, Clothe, Help the Needy
Giant Step School for Autism
Lighthouse for the Blind
Make A Wish - Illinois
Paws Assisting Wounded Warriors
Palos Township Food Pantry
Ronald McDonald House
The Night Ministry
Together We Cope
Palos Food Pantry