Greg's Volunteer Story

A cool story I learned this week that I wanted to share about Greg Silva, one of our steady volunteers who typically oversees the water and cleans up every day.  

Greg let it be known by accident (through another conversation) that he gave up his worldly processions to be a community member and is volunteering at Grace as part of his personalized two-year service project towards his Fourth Degree Sword in the Knights of Columbus as a Roman Catholic. He chose to do this particular "difficult and hard" project to be of charity to others and more importantly, to humble himself before God. He showed me his paperwork, asked me to provide some documentation for this part of his journey, which is over in a few months. He goes home to Chandler every other weekend to see his family, and when I asked him what his family thought of this project he came up with, he said that while they are scared of him being on the streets, they are also very proud of him.  I told him I am too.  

I love how Grace draws so many different people to it's ministries, and Greg's story is unique as is every else's here.

--Kim D., Heat Respite coordinator

2017 Heat Respite at Grace Lutheran Church

Weeks 4-5

At Grace, we are In The City For Good and Heat Respite is doing that on a daily basis! For the first two weeks in July, we had 1,657 entries for our program, including almost 650 total volunteer hours. We celebrated the 4th of July with a special holiday lunch prepared by St. Mary’s Basilica. We have had some other great volunteer groups, donating their time, meals, water, and finically supporting our program. We could not do this program without all of your help so thank you very much!

I would like to thank the following persons for volunteering their time and hard work almost every day of the past two weeks:

Marlene Haller

Frank Soto

Sven Lenkewitz

Lori Thompson

Stephanie A.

Tarvies Mayweather

We also several groups either donate food for lunches as well as volunteer their time with us. We are so grateful of their time and talents!

  • First UCC

  • Peace Lutheran Church

  • New Journey Lutheran Church

The program is using up to 3 to 4 cases of water every two hours, and I would like to thank some very large water donors recently. They include:

  • Mountain View Lutheran Church, Phoenix

  • New Covenant Lutheran Church, Scottsdale

  • Life in Christ Lutheran Church, Peoria

  • Love of Christ Lutheran Church, Mesa

Also, thank you to St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Phoenix, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Mesa, for donating snack items several times over the past several weeks.

Week at a glance for Week Five: July 10th – July 14th

If you interesting in volunteering or donating to the Heat Respite Program, please contact Kim Davidson, Outreach Coordinator, at outreach@graceinthecity.com or at 602-651-1182 to discuss opportunities available for you and/or a group! Thank you and God Bless.

2017 Heat Respite at Grace Lutheran Church

Weeks 1-2

We have had a great first two weeks of our Heat Respite Program. We had 1,898 entries for our program, including almost 700 total volunteer hours. We spent most of the first two weeks under an Excessive Heat Warning, with a nearby sign reading 125 degrees on Tuesday the 20th! Obviously, we’ve had our “speedbumps”, but we got through them, never stopping to strive to be In The City 4 Good and always working towards the Heat Respite Program’s mission to provide a space for heat relief while building community through the sharing of community resources, meals, water, and ourselves in a place of being, belonging, and becoming.

Week at a glance for Week Two: June 19th – June 23rd

I would like to thank the following persons for volunteering their time and hard work almost every day of the past two weeks:

Marlene Haller

Frank Soto

Moses Elder

Charles Mack

Lori Thompson

Stephanie A.

Roy Larkin

Tarvies Mayweather

We also several groups either donate food for lunches as well as volunteer their time with us. Thank yous go out to:

  • First UCC

  • Peace Lutheran Church

  • Next Generation Service Corp (NGSC) students through the Public Service Academy in the ASU College of Public Service & Community Solutions along with active duty service men and women from Luke Air Force Base. (For more information on this group, please see the upcoming July Grapevine. There were approximately 75 volunteers on site on Friday, 6/16!)

  • Boys Hope Girls Hope

  • Grace Lutheran’s own Youth Group

The program is using up to 3 to 4 cases of water every two hours, and I would like to thank some very large water donors recently. They include:

  • Mountain View Lutheran Church

  • City of Phoenix Heat Relief Network

  • New Covenant Lutheran Church

Also, thank you to St. Andrews Lutheran Church for donating snack items several times over the past several weeks.

If you interesting in volunteering or donating to the Heat Respite Program, please contact Kim Davidson, Outreach Coordinator, at outreach@graceinthecity.com or at 602-651-1182 to discuss opportunities available for you and/or a group! Thank you and God Bless.

Sermon: June 18, 2017

Sermon: June 18, 2017

Compassion.  Jesus had compassion for the crowds, verse 36 reads.  Out of Matthew’s account of Jesus summoning the disciples and giving them authority to heal and cleanse and sending them to cure the sick and raise the dead, the word compassion jumps out at me.  When we practice compassion, we see the world from the perspective of someone else.  We at least momentarily step into the head and heart space of another person.  If the person is sick, we imagine ourselves in the hospital, poked by nurses and doctors who are working to heal us, releasing control over who comes in and out of our room, enduring a roommate with noisy relatives or constant TV-watching, feeling lousy all the long, long days that we are there.

ASU and Luke AFB Team Up for Heat Respite!

A wonderful group of primarily active duty service men and women from Luke AFB and some students from ASU visited us at Heat Respite today. The Commander of Luke AFB arrived shortly after 9am and stayed 2 1/2 hours, putting himself and his leadership team to work.  What began as a "small" group of about 25, turned into 60-70 volunteers! 

The team cleaned up storerooms, cleaned up the surrounding neighborhood, helped with the Heat Respite program at the registration desk and in the kitchen... It's amazing what the group accomplished all over the property!  

The group from ASU is the Next Generation Service Corp (NGSC) through the Public Service Academy in the College of Public Service & Community Solutions (COPSCS).  "The NGSC is a four-year leadership development program (with a two-year transfer track) where students study their chosen major, engage in practical elements of leadership, learn cross-sector collaboration and take internships each summer working on real issues in the public, private and nonprofit sectors all while pursuing their own chosen social mission.  NGSC students train directly with ROTC cadets and midshipmen in leadership exercises and field training exercises.  This is a recognition that civilian service and military service are really just two sides of the same coin; both make us stronger as a nation." The group from Luke was here for their #LukeServiceBlitz program.  For more information on the combination of the two groups, visit https://psa.asu.edu/next-generation-service-corps

From Left to Right: Brett Hunt, Exec Dir of the Public Service Academy at COPSCS/ASU; Kim Davidson, Heat Respite Coordinator; Brigadier General Brook Leonard, Commander of the 56th Fighter Win/LukeAFB, Anita Le, NGSC/ASU; and Lt. Col Rhett Hierlmeier, Dir of Ops for the 56th Operations Group/Luke AFB. 

From Left to Right: Brett Hunt, Exec Dir of the Public Service Academy at COPSCS/ASU; Kim Davidson, Heat Respite Coordinator; Brigadier General Brook Leonard, Commander of the 56th Fighter Win/LukeAFB, Anita Le, NGSC/ASU; and Lt. Col Rhett Hierlmeier, Dir of Ops for the 56th Operations Group/Luke AFB. 

Sermon: June 11, 2017

Sermon: June 11, 2017

In 381 of the common era, approximately 300 years after Jesus lived, died, was raised, and ascended, church leaders gathered for the Council of Constantinople.  The council was called by Theodosius I, the Holy Roman Emperor, in the city of Constantinople, a city now called Istanbul in the present-day nation of Turkey.  This was the second time the Roman emperor had convened church leaders to debate the core beliefs of Christianity.  The first time had been in 325 in Nicea where they wrote the first version of the Nicene Creed.  In 381 at the Council of Constantinople, the leaders of the church formulated the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the doctrine which states that Christians believe in one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each equally and fully God.  The output of the council was the Nicene Creed in basically its present form.  From the first council in 325 to the second council in 381, the major item up for debate was whether the Holy Spirit was equally God in relation to both God the Creator and Jesus.  

Are you still awake?  Have I bored you completely?  

Sermon: April 23, 2017

Sermon: April 23, 2017

ELCA pastor Heidi Neumark in her brilliant book Breathing Spaces describes her 19 years of ministry at Transfiguration Lutheran Church in the South Bronx. Just as has happened in many cities, the neighborhood around Transfiguration Lutheran had transitioned from one socio economic status to another, from one ethnic and racial composition to another, from dealing with certain social problems to others in the years before and during Pastor Heidi’s time at Transfiguration, namely 1984 through 2003.

Sermon: Good Friday, April 14, 2017

Sermon: Good Friday, April 14, 2017

In the swirling mass of Good Friday images: crown of thorns, blood, nails

In the chaotic movement from Pilate’s headquarters to the Place of the Skull to the new tomb in which no one had ever been laid

In the cacophony of “Crucify him” and “Hail, King of the Jews”

In the barren emptiness of “I am thirsty” and “It is finished”

It is difficult to know how to make sense of this day.

Sermon: April 2, 2017

Sermon: April 2, 2017

Lazarus is the brother of Mary and Martha.  When he becomes ill, his sisters send for Jesus, but Jesus delays his trip to Bethany for the express purpose of revealing God’s glory.  Before Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus dies.  Mary and Martha are angry with Jesus.  “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” they say.  But Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”  Clearly, Jesus plans to raise Lazarus from the dead.  

He waits until there can be no mistake, waits until Lazarus has been dead four days, waits so that no one can erroneously claim Jesus’ actions are merely a healing.  Jesus makes sure that everyone sees Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead by the power of God.

Still, Jesus begins to weep.

Sermon: March 26, 2017

Sermon: March 26, 2017

I’m going to start by telling you something that might be shocking.  I dislike how many Christians do evangelism.  

At its Greek root, the word evangelism simply denotes the practice of sharing the gospel.  While that practice is certainly something we want to do, we want to share the gospel, the details about how we share the gospel are important, at least to me.  

Just as people of other religions do, many Christians believe that we have a corner on the market of truth.  Right?