Social Ministry at Grace and Beyond

Letter of Appreciation From Policarpo Paz Garcia Elementary School Spanish

Letter of Appreciation From Policarpo Paz Garcia Elementary School English

2016 PIN (People in Need) Resource Directory

Libro de Recursos

GOD’S WORK OUR HANDS- Mark your calendar for September 10, God’s Work Our Hands Sunday! As a part of this day focused on service, we will again be assembling 100 school kits for distribution by Lutheran World Relief. These kits help to make school possible for children around the world. We need your help to collect the supplies needed to create these kits. Starting July 29, please visit the bulletin board in the narthex to see what items are needed. Back to school sales are starting, so it’s the perfect time to help provide the school kit items. Cash donation are also welcome to fund non-donated items. It is a huge help to have all of these items returned to the church by August 31 in order to allow time to purchase any additional items needed. Contact Mary Beth Martin-Bellavia (815-338-5194, with any questions about the school kits. Thanks!

PADS...Grace Lutheran Church has agreed to provide all resources to run the PADS (place for our homeless to sleep) site on the 3rd Saturday of each month other than the physical location. Our homeless sisters and brothers will be staying at the United Methodist Church here in Woodstock. Grace will be providing the volunteers to staff the site from 5:00 pm on Saturday to 7:00 am on Sunday. We will also be providing dinner on Saturday evening, Breakfast on Sunday morning and bag lunches to send with each person who stays at the shelter. We need volunteers to help with the different jobs to make this run smoothly and give these people a safe warm place to stay.

The following times and jobs are needed:

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Three volunteers to set up sleeping area etc

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm dinner set up, service and clean up. Meal coordinator and 4 additional volunteers.

5:30 pm to 11:00 pm a floater to help where needed.

10:30 pm to 5:00 am two people to stay overnight to address any problems and make up bag lunches.

3:30 am to 7:00 am two people to make, serve and clean up breakfast. Help with waking guest and general take down as able.

5:00 am to 7:00 am two people to wake guest and take down sleeping area etc.

If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity to help our homeless sisters and brothers please call, text, or email Gretchen Hutchens at 815-341-7544, Non members are welcome to join us. Please let anyone that might be interested, know about this opportunity.

NORTHERN IL DIAPER BANK - The diaper bank is in need of men’s and women’s adult incontinence products. Undergarments in medium, large, and X large are needed along with pads and guards for men and women. Please use the drop off box in the upper entry.

MEALS ON WHEELS– Meals on Wheels needs YOU! We deliver meals one week every 5 weeks between 10:30am-12:00pm to those who are unable to cook for themselves. We need a partner for our team on Fridays. If you can help with this outreach ministry, please call Jeannie May, 815-943-4849.

DOWNTOWN OLD FIRE STATION DROP IN CENTER OPENS! - Through the efforts of some WACM folks and the City of Woodstock, a Daytime Drop in Center for the Homeless has opened in the Old Fire station behind City Hall. The Day Time center will be open for the homeless on Weds to coincide with the reality that Weds is the night for the McHenry County Homeless to find their way to Woodstock in order to be at the Weds night PADS site at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Grace is a large contributor to the Weds Night PADS program in financial gifts and in making a monthly meal. So then, “How might we be supportive of the new Weds Daytime Drop in Center?” Well as the center is in the beginning stages, it is in need of volunteers to be at the site and assist in the operation. If you are interested, and if you want to work a shift (7:45am-11:30am, 11:30a-3:00pm, 3:00pm-6:15pm you can contact Pastor Tom Rogers at 815.338.9370(w) 815.236.9411 (c)or show up in person on Wednesday and ask to help out!

CAREGIVER COUNSELING AND RESPITE CARE SUPPORT PROGRAM—Offered by Family Alliance of Woodstock and Huntley. Learn about: health risks to the caregiver, such as loneliness, stress and isolation; mindful practices and how to incorporate them into a daily routine; educational events and support groups. Adult daycare provided by Family Alliance while the caregiver attends. Call 815-338-3590 for dates and times. Find additional information online at

STEPHEN MINISTRY - is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place within the congregation. The ministry goal is to support the growth and health of the Congregation through use of Lay Leaders that are trained to care to hurting people in and around our congregation. People experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness. In the past Grace has used this program (we are still enrolled) and we are now revitalizing it. Grace is looking for caring people that would be interested in becoming either Stephen Leaders or Stephen Ministers. The Leaders would be asked to attend a Leaders Training Course this spring (April 12-18) in St. Louis, MO. Following the leadership course, these leaders would bring their education back to Grace and this fall se-lect and train the Stephen Ministers at Grace Lutheran for a 2 year term of service. If you are interested in learning more please contact Pastor Amanda, Pastor Ken, the church office or Claude Hutchens ( The website also has additional information.

DAY TIME DROP-IN VOLUNTEERS—One of WACM (Woodstock Area Community Ministry)’s ministries is a Day Time Drop-In center to provide shelter, laundry and a meal to those in need. WACM is looking for a few volunteers to serve on Thursday mornings from 6:30-7:30 a.m. to transition from a PADS site to a Day Time Drop-In center. Please contact coordinator, John Hudson,, if you would like to volunteer.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM —The Direct Assistance Program (DAP) is operated by the Woodstock Area Community Ministry.  WACM strives to provide emergency assistance to those families who need it most.  Because of the tremendous growing needs of the community, DAP has had to cut back on its  services due to a shortage of funds. You can help by making a regular donation to DAP using the white pew envelope.  WACM is jointly operated by 12 local congregations and organizations, including Grace.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED—The Direct Assistance Program is in great need of volunteers. DAP is open on Thursdays from 12-3pm, and meets in the nursery here at Grace. DAP assists persons in emergency financial crisis by providing gas vouchers, food vouchers, clothing, medical supplies, etc. If interested, please call Bob Kaplan at (815) 333-2508 or email at or DAP at (815) 338-0939.

Woodstock Diaper Bank—Do you need diapers or incontinence supplies? The Vine Christian Church, a partner with the St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership, now offers diapers for children and adults. To receive diapers, an application form must be filled out in advance. All who ask will receive. Elderly in need of diapers are encouraged to apply.

PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter)
On the fourth Wednesday of each month from October through April Grace members prepare and serve dinner to homeless people who are staying at the emergency shelter at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation church. Check the poster in the narthex for ways you can contribute to the meals.

PADS offers shelter and services for people who are homeless. For more information about other services for the homeless, visit

Food Pantry needs

The Woodstock Food Pantry needs our help to restock its shelves. Donations of nonperishable food, paper goods, and toiletries can be placed in the basket in the vestibule. Items especially requested include canned vegetables (corn, green beans), canned fruit (peaches, pears, pineapple), soup (vegetable, cream of mushroom, chicken noodle, tomato), toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. Cash donations through the church office are also much appreciated. Please bring your items on “Food Pantry Sunday” – the first Sunday of each month – or at any time. Thank you!


Habitat for Humanity

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY/THRIVENT BUILDS— Construction has begun on a Habitat for Humanity house at 1601 Hillside Drive in McHenry. This is an opportunity for Grace members to work together with a low-income family to make the goal of home ownership attainable for the family. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, August 3. There are two ways to help: 1) Join the construction crew. Construction experience is not required, but volunteers must be at least 18 years old (16- and 17-year-olds may work if a parent is present). Depending on progress made on previous Saturdays, the work on August 3 will probably be installing insulation or drywall. 2) Donate sandwiches, side dishes, or other items. Our church is responsible for providing lunch for about 15 volunteers.

Please sign up at the Information Center or contact Kristin Thurow (815-337-8214, For more information about Habitat for Humanity, visit (click on ―Our Projects to see progress and
a map for the Marengo house).

The ELCA website is a great resource for putting our faith into action through social ministry.  For more information about our church's efforts to help people who are hungry, poor,  or affected by natural disasters around the world, visit  For more information about ways we work for peace and justice in our world, visit


Tanzanian Banner Gift

Grace has received a painted banner crafted by the members of our partner congregation, the Arusha Town Lutheran Parish in Arusha, Tanzania. We offer our prayers of thanks for our partners in ministry at the Arusha Town Parish. The youth at Grace have painted a banner with the message "We are One in the Spirit," which was delivered in early July to Arusha.




Fair Trade Coffee/Tea/Chocolate sales

Stop by Grace's monthly narthex table of fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa goods. Grace receives no monies from these sales, but by purchasing these products we are ensuring that the farmers are given a fair price for their work.



Delicious flavors and varieties include:
Colombian Decaf Whole Bean / Colombian Decaf Ground
Hazelnut Creme Ground / Hazelnut Creme Decaf Ground
French Vanilla Ground / Toffee Caramel Ground
Cafe Salvador Whole Bean / Cafe Salvador Ground
Organic Mind, Body, And Soul Whole Bean
Organic Mind, Body And Soul Ground
Organic French Roast Whole Bean
Organic French Roast Ground
English Breakfast Tea / Green Tea
Earl Gray Tea / Organic Hot Cocoa Mix
Organic Baking Cocoa / Divine Milk Chocolate
Divine Dark Chocolate / Divine Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts
Organic Caffeine-Free Rooibios Tea / Divine Dark Chocolate with Mint
Almonds / Pecans
Dried Cranberries
To learn more about Lutheran World Relief and its Coffee Project efforts visit their Web site at

Woodstock Area Community Ministry: Grace is one of the member churches of WACM, which works to provide financial assistance for local families in need through programs such as the Direct Assistance Program and the Woodstock Walk for Hunger.

Valley Hi Nursing Home: The Social Ministry Team at Grace organizes “arts and crafts days” two to three times a year for the residents of Valley Hi Nursing Home. The most recent activity was in May. More information will be announced in the Grace for Today newsletter when the next activity is scheduled.


Links to Other Service Organizations Supported by Grace

Grace supports the following organizations either financially or by recruiting volunteers:



Willow Brooke Neighborhood Resource Center: Volunteers are needed to tutor children living in the Willow Brooke (formerly Lakewood) apartment complex. Contact the resource center at 815-338-1030.

Bread for the World/ELCA World Hunger Appeal Grace partners with Bread for the World and the ELCA World Hunger Appeal to raise awareness of hunger and poverty around the world and to work for justice for the hungry and poor. For more information, contact and

Family Health Partnership Clinic provides quality health care to the uninsured and underinsured in McHenry County.

Peace 4 All, Inc. offers education/prevention services related to domestic violence and helps people who are involved in domestic violence.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois provides a wide range of social services to individuals and families.

Senior Care Volunteer Network of McHenry County trains and matches volunteers with senior citizens who need assistance with shopping, light housework, transportation to doctor appointments, and so on.

Volunteer Center of McHenry County website:

WACM - Woodstock Area Community Ministries -