Philadelphia

VOLUNTEER to Feed the Homeless at Arch Street United Methodist Church This Sunday

In the Shadow of City Hall there is a Church where all of God’s people can come and celebrate his life: Arch Street United Methodist Church is a community of faith-keeping and faith-seeking people who embrace diversity in our congregation and community, and affirm the dignity and worth of every person as created in the image of God. We celebrate and give thanks for all of the gifts of God among us. Our welcome knows no boundaries, whether of age, racial or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, economic or marital status, or physical or mental ability. We welcome all to share in the ministry, fellowship, and blessings of full participation as members of Christ’s body.
And every Sunday Grace Cafe* operates in the basement of the Church from 5:30PM to 7:30PM featuring local musicians, a simple meal and shared stories. All of the congregation’s neighbors, especially center city’s most vulnerable citizens, those currently experiencing homelessness, are welcome to attend, volunteer and share their talent.
A few weeks back I visited Grace’s Cafe when my friend Andrew Heckenberger came to prepare his monthly meal for the homeless and hungry a volunteer job that he had taken on a year earlier. Each week Grace’s Cafe has church groups, students from area colleges, and other volunteers come in and make dinner for the 100 – 140 guests that come for Dinner.
Rev. Reinhard Kruse and his wife Sue review material with Annie Heckenberger, Andrews sister. Rev Kruse told me that Grace’s Cafe used to be a homeless shelter, but years ago the City limited it’s use because of certain rules and regulations, then finally because of funding. He and others decided to hold holiday meals for some of societies outcasts, and then it grew into every Sunday. He said the men and women who come for dinner aren’t looking for anything fancy and are just grateful to have a home cooked meal and some sense of normalcy. Andrew made their favorite meatloaf, scalloped potatoes and then cookies for dessert.

It takes a village to feed 100 to 150 homeless and hungry people every Sunday. On this particular Sunday we had Annie Heckenberger and Andrew Heckenberger; every Sunday you will find Rev. Reinhard Kruse his wife Sue Seated:Ken Dorsey in the middle and Raymond Wilson on the right. Next week it can be you helping out. Send them an email and volunteer, it will be rewarding.

There are several volunteer opportunities that will support the Grace Cafe ministry:
1. Volunteers arrive at 5:00PM to set up the room; prep and set out the food.
2. Volunteers provide a hot meal for about 100 guests. Coffee, tea and other beverages are provided by ASUMC.
3. Volunteers provide musical or other entertainment for at least a 1/2 hour.
4. Volunteers collect and deliver blankets and toiletries for distribution.
5. Volunteers meet, greet and share with Grace Cafe guests during the Sunday Evening program.
6. Volunteers assist with distributing flyers announcing the program on Sunday Evenings from 5PM to 6PM.
7. Volunteers with graphic arts skills are needed to develop posters, flyers and other materials that promote the program.
Parking is available on Broad Street during Sunday Evenings and by arrangement at other times through the church office (215) 568 6250. Volunteering at Grace Cafe is a great way to gain first-hand knowledge of homelessness – its root causes and sustainable solutions.
Contact the church office at secretary@archstreetumc.org to schedule your volunteer adventure!