We first addressed GRC’s role for the food insecure through “Handfuls of Purpose” in July (VOG 7/16/20). It is Boaz’s description of gleaning that gave Ruth hope in a very dark season (Ruth 2:15-16). Let’s see how God, the Great Shepherd, has been recently leading GRC to deepen (Luke 5:1-11) its involvement and to serve the ‘food insecure’ through His gentle guiding.

Pastor Peter’s recent sermon serves as another reminder in our role to serve the quartet of the vulnerable as it stems from a directive (Matt 25:34-36) to include all the under-served. God’s Word rings clearly as we hear those words echoing through our soul: “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  This powerful verse is used as the Diaconate’s call to fulfill GRC’s biblical mandate to serve.

During this stormy COVID season, our efforts have included:

  • Collecting food for GRC members, Star of Hope Ministries (SOHM) and Father’s Cupboard Pantries. 
  • Since May, graciously giving up our warehouse space to SOHM, a Diaconate partner.  This has permitted them to unpack and repack over 1+ million pounds of food, which has fed the insecure through the Boys/Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic.

But God is calling us to go deeper still.

In John 6:1-15, we learn about Jesus, the crowd, and disciples when he feeds the 5,000, but what about the boy giving his few loaves and fish? (v9)

He selflessly gave his little meal, and Jesus did with it what only the Son of God could do. Thousands were satisfied by physical food, which pointed to the only source that satisfies the soul, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.

Through this boy with childlike faith, Christ, who never received glory, but sacrificed himself for bigger and more lasting implications, shows us who we are … GRC, we are that boy!  We never know how the Lord will redeem our little part and multiply it to give Grace to all the hungry. But right here is where we are being called to go yet deeper still.

The Diaconate has identified an acute need called, Handfuls of Purpose. We have decided to assist 50 local, food insecure families through the end of the year since their food pantry (Father’s Cupboard) and its host church have closed their doors. 

Here is where the motivating purpose, mission, and vision of GRC becomes reality and puts our belief into action. Our first distribution day is Nov. 5, and we need your help:

  • Re-locate the host church’s refrigerators and freezers to GRC
  • Collect non-perishable food 
  • Recruit GRC and community volunteers to sort and pack grocery kits

Please help GRC continue to fight the good fight. Take this shopping list the next time you go to the store; post it on your town’s Facebook site; or involve your personal organizations in this effort so that we might be able to provide mercy to others. For further ways to help, email to fooddrive@graceredeemer.com.

and beyond … 
As we look to the new year, we need to ask the Lord for His guidance. These 50 families from Father’s Cupboard need relationships and a new resource for their food insecurity. Whether it’s finding nearby pantries for these recipients, or for GRC to create its own permanent food pantry, we need your help. Please pray about your individual role, as well as GRC’s role, in serving the food insecure so that we might see God’s 20/20 vision through the plans He has set before us.

Werner Tretner is the Director of Celebrate Recovery and serves on our Diaconate.

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