Shepherd's Garden & Meadow
Joyful service looks like the kitchen team roaring in laughter as they prepare lasagna for EDR. It is the fun of discovering watermelons growing in The Shepherd’s Garden, or the beautiful conversation that happens as Lutheran World Relief quilts are tied. Serving joyfully is at the center of so much of our work together, from welcoming Family Promise guests to the Property Team building steps for our park and ride neighbors.
We support ministry partners like LCS, Hilltop Neighborhood Center, and Lutheran Campus Ministry. When service is joyful, it is done with grateful hearts, and the energy is contagious.
Below are some of our ongoing ministries, feel free to contact the office about any of these. Look to our news and events page for additional opportunities to serve our community.
The Shepherd’s Garden was started in 2017 to help produce more food for pantries. Year after year it has expanded and given back to the community.
Join in the team that is caring for our vegetable garden. All produce will go to the food pantries supported by LCS in Wilmington.
Beds are available to rent on a yearly basis in the new community garden area. Twenty seven 4′ x 8′ beds and 3 3′ x 7′ waist high raised beds are available. Garden and give – 10 % of harvest will be donated to the food pantry.
Pantry Donation Cart
During these uncertain times, many more people are struggling to meet their basic needs. The Shepherd’s Garden veggie donation cart has become a weekly pantry drop of site. Neighbors near and far are invited to come to the cart between 10 am and 2 pm each Wednesday and bring items to donate to the St. Stephen’s Food Pantry. All items are gratefully accepted, and some particular items of need are breakfast foods, canned fruit, baby food, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products, diapers (size 5&6 are especially needed).
We have volunteers sign up to thank people for their donations, it is non-contact, just a quick wave and a few words from a distance.
We are called to be good stewards of our natural resources. Good Shepherd his blessed to sit on a beautiful property. In our effort to conserve our resources, in 2020 we began a meadow area on part of the property. This area serves as a habitat for native plants and grasses that support pollinators and animals that make our eco-system work. A grant from First State Resource Conservation and Development and the Delaware Maryland Synod makes this possible.
Imagine the comfort and care you feel when you snuggle under a comforter or wear a piece of clothing made or worn by a loved one. That’s the feeling your share through an LWR Mission Quilt. Useful for shielding against the cold and rain, and for warm bedding, quilts can also be purposed as simple tents, floor coverings, or a wrap to hold a baby on a mother’s back. In a simple combination of fabric and thread, you reach out to people in their time of greatest need with a strong message of hope – you are not alone. (lwr.org)
Good Shepherd’s quilting group has been creating quilts for Lutheran World Relief since 1998. This group has made over 2000 quilts that have been delivered all over the world.
Join this group on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 9 am. The work goes until about 11:30 a.m., taking a break in the middle for devotions, prayer and announcements.
UPDATE FOR Covid-19
After these many years of outreach, it has become necessary to serve our own community. The Quilters are now engaged in helping with the overwhelming needs involved in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Their response has been to make masks. There are eight compo- nents in a face mask and many steps in its preparation. Various people of the group are involved in each step. There have hundreds of components and over 400 masks produced. One of the sewers has gone through 26 spools of thread!
Emmanuel Dining Room
The LCGS has served lasagne at EDR for over 30 years. On the 9th of each month a group gathers to prepare12 pans (252 servings!) of lasagne for lunchtime guests of the Emmanuel Dining Room. On the 10th of the month another group gathers to serve the lasagne. There is joy in providing a good, hot meal to so many. The guests know that lasagne is on the menu for the 10th and joyously anticipate it. Become part of this awesome ministry!
During Covid 19 all meals are prepared in accordance with social distancing guidelines. All meals are served in to go containers and Good Shepherd members do not interact directly with clients.
Four times a year we host families experiencing homelessness through the Family Promise network. This program offers these families the opportunity to stay together during this difficult time of their lives. We have the opportunities to cook a meal, drive the van, overnight host – call the office for dates of hosting and to sign up to volunteer.
Day of Service
Good Shepherd has been happy to participate in the ELCA wide day of service called God’s Work, Our Hands. The entire congregation in encouraged to participate in service on the Sunday after Labor Day for various service activities. There is a job for all ages. Join the fun!
Good Shepherd collects new and gently used clothing for distribution in Wilmington. The drop off point is by the office, under the coat rack. Please place donations in sturdy bags within a reasonable weight. (If it is heavy to you, it will be heavy for the other volunteers)
Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center
Good Shepherd supports and cares for the community at Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center whose mission is to provide supplemental educational activities for children in the Hilltop area of Wilmington in a safe and nurturing environment. We support them with our gifts of benevolence, adopt-a-child program at Christmas, Thanksgiving meal donations and our scarf and mitten tree during the holidays. There are other volunteer opportunities directly at the center as well.
The facilities and grounds of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd are an asset to the community and serves as not only a place of worship but a location that allows us to see Christ in our community at work. As members of the community and the world it is important that we maintain the beauty of the property and to operate the property in a manner that is responsive to global change with the lowest possible carbon footprint and with the lowest maintenance costs. It is our responsibility as a church community to spend limited resources in a responsive manner and to impact our global community in positive ways with as little negative impact as possible.
Our property team keeps the building working and updated for our rapidly changing world. The team meets once a month.
Lutheran Community Services
Good Shepherd has partnered with Lutheran Community Services (LCS) since its inception in 1959. Providing food, housing support and other services to vulnerable populations in Wilmington is the main mission. Good Shepherd is a partner that provides volunteers for food pantries, food donations, vegetables from our Shepherd’s Garden, a site to host events and leadership support. This valuable connection is even more vital in these uncertain times.
Each summer that does not include an ELCA Youth Gathering we participate in Workcamp, a week-long time of intense service completing home repairs in places of need. Recent destinations include Prince George, VA, Keansburg, NJ, and Schenectady, NY. In addition, we have offered support for a local Workcamp held in WIlmington, DE.
Our next possible workcamp will be in summer 2021. Adult chaperones and high school aged youth have found this a transformation experience. For more information, visit https://groupmissiontrips.com/
Community Blood Drive
Partnered with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, Good Shepherd has become a local location for blood drives. About 4 times a year we host a drive in our Fellowship hall
The next drive is August 22
The Blood Bank of Delmarva is continuing their Community Blood Drives, and Good Shepherd has again agreed to allow the use of our Fellowship Hall. The Blood Bank has put into place practices that are consistent with Covid-19 Mitigation Recommendations and will provide Cantina volunteers. Delmarvablood.org has timely information about donation eligibility. Please review the Covid-19 and Blood Donation section. If questions remain, you may call (888) 825-6638 for timely information.
Lutheran Volunteer Corps
The Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) is a full-time, volunteer service and leadership program. Each year, LVC places approximately 100 volunteers in urban areas across the United States to work for social justice with various nonprofit organizations. The program lasts one to two years. The volunteers live together in the areas they serve and are encouraged to explore living simply and sustainably in intentional community.
Good Shepherd supports LVC by offering to be host families for the volunteers. This provides the volunteer with a family to connect with during their service, a place for dinners and fellowship. Good Shepherd also participates in fundraisers to support the program.
Lutheran Campus Ministry At University of Delaware
The mission of campus ministry in the ELCA is to invite people in academic settings to engage more deeply with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the community that bears his name, so that they can discover and fulfill their vocation as disciples.