"For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life." Ephesians 2:10
The Church of the Good Shepherd is a very Mission conscious church. Through service, special collections, and special offerings we strive to help those in need from our local area, our state, our country, and beyond. The missions described here are the major church wide missions, however they are by no means all inclusive. Explore these pages to see what our individual church groups are doing!
Opportunity House is a multi-service organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living. The Church of the Good Shepherd offers service to the shelter where the homeless are provided a hot meal and a warm, safe place to sleep. We prepare and serve the evening meal on alternating months. Everyone in the church becomes involved – some provide food, some cook the meal, and others transport and serve it. Anyone over age 10 can help and so this has become a bonding inter-generational mission.
The Community Food Pantry is an ongoing project for the members of the Church of the Good Shepherd. We collect food for the pantry which services anyone who is in need of food assistance and who resides in the Boyertown Area School District (plus the townships of Hereford, District, Pike, Oley, and Amity). As well as food, donations of items that cannot be bought with food stamps, such as shampoo or toilet paper, are always welcome. Recently our Sunday School classes have begun a themed monthly collection of foods.
Safe Berks (formerly called Berks Women in Crisis) offers safe shelter for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Church of the Good Shepherd helps by providing items on their “wish list.” This includes anything that would be needed, but might have been left behind by a hurried exit – personal care items, diapers, blankets, and more.
Join us in Zwingli Hall every Wednesday – November through March - for food and fellowship. While our goal is to serve a nutritious hot meal to our less fortunate friends, all are welcome. Some of us need food while others simply need to get out and talk to someone. Help us provide hospitality to all as we get to know our neighbors. The Shepherd’s Café is staffed by volunteers from Good Shepherd UCC and Shepherd of the Hills Church.
Heifer International is a global nonprofit working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development. Not only do you financially contribute to Heifer International (which sends animals and sustainable farming instruction to communities in need across the world) but we also send a mission team to the Heifer Farm in the summer to learn more about sustainable agriculture, global diversity, and to help further Heifer's mission.
For the Mission Team, Christmas starts in October with the collection of empty shoe boxes. Known as Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, the boxes will be distributed and church members will fill them with gifts for children in need. The shoe boxes travel an amazing journey before they reach their destination in more than 100 countries. At their journey’s end, some Pastors host shoe box distributions while others use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas.
While many are looking under the Christmas tree for presents, our church members are looking on the tree for stars, stockings, and tiny trees. This is our Christmas Gift Tree and each ornament represents a gift for someone in need. Red stockings list clothing or toys that will be a special treat on Christmas morning for a child registered with Multiservice. Green tree symbols will go to Bethany Children’s Home, where they are distributed to abused, neglected or abandoned children. Star symbols will go to residents of Berks Heim, our county Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. And this past year, when all of the ornaments were gone, we added more – gifts were bought and delivered to Safe Berks for the women and children, victims of domestic violence, who are housed there.
5 for 5
The United Church of Christ is dedicated nationally to meeting people at a point of critical need in their lives. Intrinsically, it depends on the support of individual churches, such as the Church of the Good Shepherd, to make a collective positive impact. We are gratified to be 5 for 5, which means that we are a leader, providing support to Our Church’s Wider Mission and the Special Mission Offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen The Church, Neighbors In Need and The Christmas Fund. Here is how the Special Mission Offerings work to meet these critical human needs:
One Great Hour of Sharing
Supports partners in countries with ministries that fund health, education and agricultural development, emergency relief, refugee ministries and both international and domestic disaster response, administered by Wider Church Ministries, Global Sharing of Resources.
This offering is received on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
Strengthen the Church
Supports church growth, pastoral and lay leadership development, youth and young adult ministries within conferences and administered by Local Church Ministries.
This offering is received on Pentecost Sunday.
Neighbors in Need
One-third of this offering supports the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM) and two-thirds is administered by Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.
This offering is received on First Sunday of October as part of World Communion Sunday.
The Christmas Fund
Provides direct financial assistance to retired and active United Church of Christ authorized ministers and lay employees and their surviving spouses, including pension and health premium supplementation, emergency assistance, and Christmas thank-you checks. A ministry of the Pension Boards, the offering is received annually on the Sunday before Christmas.
This offering is received on the Sunday before Christmas.
We believe these Special Mission Offerings collectively serve to lift people closer to the abundance and wholeness to which Jesus Christ has called us to work together to bring about.