Our Grace Meal will be focused on serving a free hot lunch on Tuesdays, for our Kendall County residents; who are financially burdened, hungry or lonely. This new ministry began on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Serving Noon-1:30 PM at the Church of the Good Shepherd, United Methodist in downtown Oswego at 5 W. Washington Street.
2012 we served over 2,000 meals.
Thank you to the United Methodist Church Creative Ministries Grant for $500 to help us sustain our services and ministry outreach to those in need!
We are offering a free lunch Sunday, May 19 from noon-1:30 PM to the students and their families in Oswego School Dist #308 who are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. Feed Our Children is offered to our community in need, to show them that we love them! It is part of the ReThink Church-Love Your Neighbor Ministry sponsored by the United Methodist Church. Thank you to Nancy's Pizza for the donation of spaghetti sauce!
Donations can be sent to Church of the Good Shepherd, United Methodist at PO Box 695, Oswego, IL 60543. Phone 630-554-3269. Thank you to the following local businesses for donations and support: Cinto Dentistry in Oswego, Wurst Kitchen, Nick and Vito's II restaurant and the Oswego Family Restaurant, Nancy's Pizza at Rt 34 and Eola, My Lil Sisters Donut Shop in Oswego, Jewel on Orchard, and several individuals in the community with their monetary donations including the Marmalade Tree in Oswego collecting donations for the ministry. Thank you!
Volunteers Needed! If you are interested in assisting with the Grace Meal, please give the church office a call at 630-554-3269. It is rewarding and worthwhile to share your time and care to your neighbor in need. Come and join us to do the Lord's work together, here in our community.
Here are two of the articles Pastor Phil composed for the Grace Meal Newsletter for our guests:
GRACE MEAL - WHY WE DO IT by Pastor Phil Sheets
“Suppose there are brothers and sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” – if you don’t give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.” James 2:15-17
We Americans expect to see words and actions working together. "Actions speak louder than words" "They don’t practice what they preach" "Put your money where your mouth is" are some of the sayings that jump to mind.
For more than a hundred years, the Church of the Good Shepherd has stood in downtown Oswego as a symbol of Christian care and compassion. The church is home to a faith family that engages in a numerous good works and Christian outreach, and the church itself houses a youth ministry, Stephen ministry, the Little Shepherd Preschool, the Friday night PADS program for Kendall County, several AA groups, and other programs besides.
The Grace Meal (GM) is the latest addition to a church family and program that takes healthy Christian pride in responding to the needs of our times in our community. We respect and share in the Christian tradition that puts a great focus on the final words in Matthew’s Gospel, to preach the Gospel and baptize all nations (Mt.28:18). But Good Shepherd’s congregational focus tends even more towards an earlier passage in Matthew’s Gospel, Matt. 25:35, that explicitly states that if we wish to honor, know, and feed the Lord, we simply need to serve our brothers and sisters who have those needs. This theme is reinforced for us by the passage in Mark 10:51, where Jesus says to blind Bartimaeus, “What would you have me do for you?” Amazingly, Jesus does not tell him to sit and listen to a sermon, or to repent of his sins, or to fall down and worship him as the Messiah. Instead, he simply asks Bartimaeus to tell him what he needs from him – and he will implicitly seek to provide it.
As the economic needs of our time continue to mount, we of Good Shepherd are very clear that if our other witnesses to the Gospel are to have credibility – our worship services, our adult studies, our life together in Christian fellowship – then, as James said, that can only be established by actions accompanying those spoken professions of faith. We offer the Good Shepherd Grace Meal as yet another evidence that we do indeed live the Christian faith that we proclaim.
THE WELL-NAMED GRACE MEAL by Pastor Phil Sheets
I have spent my life regularly requesting help. I ask church folks to help with choir, to join committees, to be leaders, to participate in many and varied ministries. In my neighborhood, I ask people to help me move furniture, to get the lawn mower working, to watch the dog when I’m gone for a few days. And back when I was a new seminary graduate, I crashed a Methodist cabinet meeting during their lunch break and called out loudly and desperately “I’m getting ordained in two weeks and I still don’t have a placement!” (I got one). I don’t know if asking for help is what I do for a living, but it certainly is a major part of it.
The Grace Meal at Good Shepherd is a genuine spiritual exercise for those who are willing to receive it in that way. “Grace” means gift – and as a healthy Christian congregation, we understand that a healthy gift is always a two-way street. Our church is blessed and grateful that we are able to offer this gift to our brothers and sisters. We offer it with humility, courtesy, and profound respect for those who are willing to receive this hospitality. And we sincerely hope that those who share this meal with us will know that they are loved and cared for, as part of our extended family. We believe that Jesus gave his Gospel and his life for every person, not just for Christians, not just for members of our congregation. And so we truly seek and strive for that connection with every person with whom we have contact, and certainly with every person who enters this building, whether for our Preschool, or AA, or PADS, or Sunday worship or counseling with a Stephen Minister, or for this Grace Meal.
“Grace” also means a sharing in the very life of God. And so we are not just offering soup and bread and coffee, but the possibility of that life-giving relationship – a relationship that sometimes opens itself to us only after a difficult path has been taken. So please - let us share this meal together as pilgrims together, seeking to know and celebrate the Father’s will for each of us and all of us.
If you’d like to talk about this I am usually available in the church office or by calling 630.554.3269. I would be pleased to be of whatever help I can be. Pastor Phil Sheets