Can a small church with Big Heart feed over three hundred families? You heard right! Yes, it can and it does. Grace United Methodist Church at 193 Union Street in the Heart of Bangor, Maine is just such a place! Grace UMC feeds Bangor’s hungry.Want to be part of this great caring and sharing movement? It takes many people to do such wonderful tasks. Many Volunteers are helping the members of Grace Church to pull off this feat. Many of our Saving Grace Thrift Shop Volunteers are helping in this important Grace Church Ministry. If you want to be part of this important team and to help Bangor Maine’s less fortunate, we will greatly appreciate your help .
A short story from the Thrift Store: April 21, 2017 from Lynn!
This week I’ve spent much of my time downstairs helping out our volunteers. They tell me what needs to be done and I try to get those jobs done. As I busied myself with those tasks one of our Food Ministry families entered the shop. I smiled at them, nodded and asked the gentleman how he was as I slowly made my way through the shop, arms loaded with new trinkets. This family is homeless and has shared prayers and stories with me off and on this winter. They have suffered greatly not always able to find shelter at night. The gentleman turned and began to walk in the direction I was headed. I heard him say, “Lynn wait… I want to know how you are? You haven’t been here so much…” I laid my trinkets down on a table and turned to look at this weathered, tired man. “Oh”, I said…”I’m sorry I’ve not been in the shop much. I have elderly parents who have been having a hard time this winter and I’ve been out helping them.” The man looked down at his feet and softly said “I’m sorry to hear that. I just want you to know you’ve been missed. We will pray for you.” Then he turned and walked back to the food line. I couldn’t find my voice (yes I know that is hard to believe)…I was so humbled that this man who struggles to find food and shelter each and every day would have noticed that something might be off in my life. His offer to pray for me meant so very much.
Each day Saving Grace Ministry team prays to be the hands, feet and arms of Christ to all who enter and most importantly to see Christ in all whom we encounter. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Christ so clearly as during that very brief moment I just described. What a blessing!
The volunteer/servants who minister to the people in the Thrift Store have these kind of encounters far more regularly than I. It is part of the reason why they stay and work. They truly understand that God is present in our midst. They tap into our LIVING CHRIST daily! HE sustains them. The work is not always easy and we have to learn to set aside whatever judgments that come to our minds too easily, but when we do the reward is so great!!!
We come to all of you today to ask YOU to consider volunteering a simple 4 hours a week throughout the summer. If that request seems too great then but 4 hours a month. 9am to 1pm either Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Please join our team and you will be so blessed! That is a guarantee.