A Part Of The Community

There is a linked pair of profound equations described in the Bible:

  • We love God by loving people.
  • If we love in Jesus’ name, we live.

Where is this explained? Not just in a few isolated verses, but in whole sections of Scripture we can read that loving God is inseparable from loving people, and conversely, loving people equals (mysteriously) loving God. And to live that way means to taste the adventure that God has invited us into.

In Matthew 25, Jesus says if we love the “least of these” (those needing clothing, housing, food, etc.), we are actually loving Jesus himself. Likewise, he adds, to not love those means we are not loving him.

Isaiah 58, one of the most vivid and poetic passages in the Bible, starts with God’s distaste with empty religious ceremony, but then promises IF we care for those in need (of clothing, housing, food, etc.), THEN our “own healing will quickly appear…our own darkness will be like the noon day…we will be like a well-watered garden.” Jesus summarized Isaiah 58 with one phrase: “If you lose your life for my sake, you gain it.” If we love, we live.

“Preach the gospel constantly. When absolutely necessary, use words.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

Community Activities

Boston Terrace Dinner: Quarterly, we serve a really nice dinner & dessert at Boston Terrace (affordable housing complex for elderly and/or disabled in Guilford) for 15-25 residents. Occasionally, we include live acoustic music, but there’s always a lot of laughter.

Homeless Shelter Meal: Monthly during the cold weather months (October to May), we serve a home-made meal to 90+ men at the overflow homeless shelter affiliated with Columbus House in New Haven. This is spearheaded by Dave & Amy Mueller, but the teams of food preparers and servers varies each month. At the end of the meal, we offer personal prayer for some of the residents – and that’s always a moving experience (for the men and for us).

Foot Care Clinic: Starting the spring of 2015, Dave & Amy Mueller have launched a collaboration with Amistad House in New Haven to offer a home-cooked meal, plus a foot-care clinic. This is a practical way to serve the homeless men and women who are on their feet most of their waking hours.

Other things we have done over the years:

Storage sheds for local low-income housing: We helped purchase and build four wooden storage sheds in Guilford for homes rented to low-income families through a local foundation (the Guilford Interfaith Housing Corp.). We have enlisted the funds and participation of three other local congregations, including St. George’s Catholic Church.

Farmer’s Market: We supplemented the Guilford Food Bank with fresh fruit and vegetables with our own adjoining “Farmer’s Market” two Saturdays of each month from May through September. We often had live music to accompany our two-person team of church members who set up a beautiful table with wicker baskets overflowing with seasonal fruit, fresh vegetables and sometimes quality breads.

Free Oil Changes: We offered free oil changes and car “detailing” through a partnership with our local Monro Muffler franchise. The last Saturday of each month through November we served single moms, elderly and a variety of others who received on of our coupons. It’s one practical way to show the love of God in a community where public transportation is so meager that one’s car has to be well maintained.