Ways we Serve
During supper Jesus got up from the table and tied a towel around himself. He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel. After he washed their feet and returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13)
This is the example Jesus set for us: serving others in ways that are personal, sacrificial, and needed. Our church constantly looks for ways to serve other people. There’s a lot of need in this world, and God is calling us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and lift up the lowly.
Our church serves in all sorts of places. We partner with IHN Family Shelter and Dismas House. We serve food at John Street Soup Kitchen and Kids Express in Worcester. We organize Holden’s yearly CROP Walk and support the Wachusett Food Pantry. We create school kits for Lutheran World Relief and assemble homeless kits to distribute throughout the city. We provide groceries for Florence House and sponsor immigrant and refugee families through Ascentria. Plus we operate two separate nursery schools and provide gathering space for community groups and organizations.
In 2021 our congregation worked with The Outreach Program to host our first-ever Meal Packaging Event, where we put together more than 16,000 nutrious meals to feed our hungry neighbors both locally and abroad. This has now grown into a yearly tradition, and we're working to feed as many people as we possibly can. In 2022 we partnered with other local churches to package 17,000+ meals together. More people, more meals, more love.
We believe God has given us the gifts we need to serve our world, and that God is calling us to use them. God’s calling you, too. By serving others, we bear witness to God’s love together, and turn the words we pray each week into action: “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”
During the pandemic we also established Immanuel's community garden - the Garden of Feedin'! Thanks to a local Eagle Scout, four raised beds were installed in our back yard, giving us plenty of space to play in the dirt and watch the miracle of new life and supportive community.
We're working together to grow all sorts of fresh produce to support feeding ministries and food banks in our local area. Our crops include kale, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and other yummy and nutritious foods.
There's lots of work to be done in our garden - planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting are happening regularly, and there are ways for people of all ages (and skills) to help in the garden. If you have a green thumb, enjoy gardening, or just like getting your hands dirty - and helping others while doing it - you're invited to get involved. Contact the church office to learn more or check our Facebook page for the latest information about planting and harvesting days.
"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'" (Matthew 25:37-40)