Grace Communion Woodbury’s Love Avenue is directed towards feeding the hungry and giving the lonely a place to connect. With long-term goals of having mission meals to contribute to this endeavor, our short-term goals are more within the grasp of our currently small membership.
Our Love Avenue team has begun creating half-size aluminum steam pans (available at warehouse club stores) to assist families struggling between “heat or eat” through the winter months. They have been experimenting with recipes in order to learn the amounts and costs for each meal. So far, there have been two large “meal-making” parties after church netting between 15-17 half-size steam pans of food. The first was a shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes on top. The second was Mexican rice and chicken fajitas; tortillas, sour cream, and salsa included.
They delivered the hot pans to unexpecting families. The families’ faces lit up when receiving the hot and ready-to-eat dinners, and they expressed their gratitude. Any pans that were unable to be delivered the same day were put in the freezer for later delivery. An unanticipated benefit of these meal preparations is that when a guest came to church and mentioned he was attending a funeral later in the day, we were able to offer a frozen dinner for him to give the grieving family.
There are no strings attached to this outreach. Recipients are not asked to join our church. They are simply receiving love and assistance in a tangible form. The foil lids have our church name on them as well as the words, “You are loved. You are valuable.” If the meals are delivered hot, recipients are verbally informed as to the meal content. If frozen, they are labeled with content and heating instructions.
This “first phase” of our Love Avenue walk has been a growing and learning experience. We are enjoying where we are now in the process and are anticipating a well-developed Love Avenue as we continue.
Watch the WeAreGCI video featuring Brad and his wife, Marlene.