We Do Church in the World!
Our mission activities are varied and ambitious. Some of our service is local and very hands-on. Other world-wide initiatives we support through funding and education. Out theological basis is the idea that Jesus is coming to establish the heavenly kingdom- and we act decisively in anticipation of that, treating those in need with the generosity and kindness that shows that Jesus is Lord.
Here at home we operate a food bank that serves two zip codes: 80234 and 80260. We’re open 4 days a week and 1 evening a month to provide nutrition assistance to those in need. This well-staffed, well-managed, award-winning operation has been offering help in our community for over 26 years. Recently, our client load has more than doubled from around 300-350 per month to over 775! We are grateful for the way in which God has enabled us to persevere in the face of this challenge, and continue to provide help to the hungry in our community.
Another local initiative of Good Shepherd Church is our partnership with Growing Home, an innovative outreach operation that ministers to homeless, unemployed and under-nourished people in the North Denver Metro area. The basic concept of Growing Home is amazing: 12 churches partner up to provide a week’s worth of shelter space each quarter of the years. We team with Northglenn United Methodist church to provide staffing, meals, counseling, and general support services to up to five families on two nights in each quarter.
Further afield, we support Marion Medical Missions by providing funds to dig shallow wells in central & southern Africa. This vital ministry dramatically improves the health and life expectancies of local populations in nations like Malawi, reduces infant mortality, and improves quality of life for people who previously had to boil their water, or drink dangerously contaminated water, or had to walk miles to get their water and carry it back by hand.
We also partner with other Presbyterian churches in Denver Presbytery in support of the Presbytery of Zimbabwe. That nation has suffered greatly over the past few decades, and Zimbabwean Presbyterians have been making a difference in providing food, education, HIV/AIDS education and other services to the people of that country. We are grateful for our partnership with them and the opportunities to serve that it provides.
Other mission initiatives include Operation Christmas Child, our annual CROP Walk, nutrition assistance for one of our local high schools, and support for denomination-wide “great Offerings” of the church that benefit hungry, homeless, disadvantaged, and disaster-afflicted people in the US and around the world.
We are committed to the propositions that 1) God’s love is for everybody, and 2) that love is best expressed by God’s people in concrete ways.
Elder Mary McCarron, retiring director of Good Shepherd Food Bank, receives a “7 Everyday Hero” award from Channel 7 “the Denver Channel” journalist Mitch Jelniker on 24 November 2009. To see the TV clip, just go to Channel 7 News . Our food bank, in operation for over 22 years, has fed thousands of clients. Through the years we’ve averaged around 300 clients a month, but since the recent economic downturn we’ve seen serving 600-800 every month.
Some volunteers collect useable food items from all over the North Denver Metro area. Others distribute food to qualified clients from 10:00 AM to noon Tuesday-Friday. And on the first Thursday evening of every month, we open the Food Bank from 6:30-8:00 to serve clients who work during the day & can’t get to us during our usual hours.