Midweek Extra: Family Promise ministry with Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters

Pastor David Mueller talks with Pam Waters and Barbara Gilbert

Two familiar faces joined Interim Pastor David Mueller for the “Midweek Extra” — Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters. Both have been leading our ministry with Family Promise, which provides shelter for families who find themselves in need of temporary housing in northern New Castle County.

St. Mark’s has been part of this effort for a few years, providing meals and other services at the Family Promise site on Milltown Road for one week each quarter. Barb and Pam share much more about this work and the impact it is having in the lives of many.

You’ll find the segment on our YouTube channel by clicking on the link below.

 

Midweek Extra: Rob Gurnee of Lutheran Community Services

Interim Pastor David Mueller and Rob Gurnee of Lutheran Community Services

Interim Pastor David Mueller welcomes Rob Gurnee, executive director of Lutheran Community Services of Delaware, to today’s Midweek Extra.

LCS has been serving low-income families in Wilmington and New Castle County since 1959, assisting with emergency food, housing and many other needs.

The men discuss the ministries of LCS and how its work and that of other nonprofit agencies have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rob also talks about the “Pick Your Own” LCS Walk/Run for Hunger and the new format for the popular annual fundraising event that many at St. Mark’s have been part of — as donors, runners and walkers. (Check out a few photos from previous events below.)

It’s a good time to make your plan for participating in this year’s Walk/Run for Hunger. As the name of this year’s event suggests, you can “Pick Your Own” route, pick your own day, pick your own starting time. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The event is open until September 19. Register and gather sponsorships now. YOU decide when and where you walk or run. It can be around your neighborhood, block, favorite walking trail, your back yard, wherever you wish to walk or run. Be creative!
  • Pick up your T-shirt at LCS headquarters at 2809 Baynard Blvd., St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church at 1301 N. Broom St. or at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1530 Foulk Rd.
  • Take pictures or video of your walk if you are able (wearing your T-shirts, of course) and send them to LCS by email
  • Join the Zoom celebration online at 4 p.m. September 19 to culminate the event

REGISTER NOW! Individuals, churches, teams, dogs — you name it! — can register and collect sponsors OR support someone who is fundraising. If you need help, contact Alex with any questions. All proceeds go to LCS food programs.

Zero Gravity Spaghetti Dinner

Spaghetti and meatballs

Here’s an evening you definitely don’t want to miss — Zero Gravity’s luscious spaghetti dinner fundraiser!

The kitchen lineup includes: Chef Leonard McClane, sous chef Jerry Schrack and coordinator Cecilia Schrack.

On the front lines will be servers Holly Schrack, Solomon Schrack and Matthew Bradley. These youth enjoy serving and they do a great job. Get to know them!

Bring your family and your friends. You can expect great food and a chance to hang around with your St. Mark’s family.

Tickets are on sale now at $12 each. The money raised will support Zero Gravity’s trips to Mar-Lu-Ridge Summer Christian Camp as well as a trip to the 2021 National ELCA Youth Conference.

Come out, enjoy a good time and help this awesome team get some traction this year!

Connecting with EDGE for Tomorrow

Ginny Jones

Ginny Jones, executive director of EDGE For Tomorrow will be with us during the Adult Forum hour to bring us up to date on that ministry of our neighbors at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.

Founded in 2009, EDGE For Tomorrow provides services, support and advocacy for social justice, education and empowerment for those living below the poverty level in our local communities.

The EDGE After-School program is almost 8 years old and now provides free after-school care for about 30 children four days each week. It touches the lives of more than 100 families with programs that address illiteracy, poverty, parent education, family assistance and early childhood education.

Join us Sunday to learn more about this ministry and see how you might be involved.

St. Mark’s serves families, makes new friends in new partnership with Family Promise

Hector hugs his child

St. Mark’s partners with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County again from January 27 to February 3, our second week of “hosting” families at the Hospitality Center.

Our first week of service — Christmas Week 2018 — was a great introduction to this ministry, which serves families who are in transition and in need of housing. Scores of volunteers participated — preparing and serving meals, planning activities, providing overnight security and bringing special gifts and other essentials for this holiday week.

We made many new friends and one of them — Hector (seen in the photograph above) — was featured in Family Promise’s recent report on the things accomplished during 2018. His story, which was also covered by several local news outlets, was shared this way in Family Promise’s report:

“Hector had a full-time job and was supporting his four kids. But when his job was cut to just 25 hours, he couldn’t make ends meet. He had to give up his apartment, and his family bounced between houses of friends and family members — eventually ending up in a motel. The day before our new Hospitality Center opened in November, Hector had just enough money to pay for one more night in the motel. For a family like his — one headed by a single father — it was difficult to find resources, and he faced the grim choice of living in his car or splitting up from his kids. Supporters like you gave Hector a third option: our new Hospitality Center. He was able to keep his family together while receiving shelter, food, and hospitality. He shared his story on WDEL and Community Issues with Omar Rashada, and just this week, he moved back into permanent housing!”

What a glorious testimony to God’s provision — and what amazing timing for Hector and his family.

The Family Promise Hospitality Center, which opened in November 2018, shares space at The Jesus House and Retreat Center on Milltown Road. It has capacity for up to six families with children — about 20 people in all — giving them a way to stay together while they pursue new housing.

Each congregation that partners with Family Promise provides seven days of “hosting” services, which include meals, washing linens, activities for the kids (as desired by residents) and other things as needed. Our commitment is for four weeks each year.

There are many ways to participate. Connect with our coordinators, Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters, if you’d like to join us!

And if you’d like to help with supplies, here is a list of needed items which can be dropped off at the Family Promise Day Center at 2104 St. James Church Rd., Wilmington DE 19808 or stored in a (yet-to-be-established) Family Promise Ministry storage area at St. Mark’s: twin comforters, twin sheet sets, new bed pillows, towel sets (bath, hand, wash), dish sets, flatware sets, plastic drinking cups, sets of glass drinking glasses.

Thank you for caring for families such as Hector’s! Working with Family Promise and the many other congregations and groups who support this work, we can do so much more. Hope to see you at the Hospitality Center!

Photo: Courtesy of Family Promise of Northern New Castle County

St. Mark’s joins forces with Family Promise

New doors are opening – literally – for the St. Mark’s family in its partnership with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, which recently announced its  new Hospitality Center for families in need of temporary housing. And our first week of service is special indeed – Christmas Week! We will serve from December 23-30.

Barb Gilbert
Barb Gilbert

“What an opportunity for us to be Jesus’ hands and feet, opening our hearts and giving of our time and ourselves by providing meals, hospitality and support to those who need it most,” said Barb Gilbert, who with Pam Waters is coordinating the St. Mark’s team.

The Hospitality Center includes two ranch houses on the grounds of the Jesus House on Milltown Road. The Center will accommodate six families, up to 20 individuals. Continue reading “St. Mark’s joins forces with Family Promise”