CAVE CREEK – A new ministry is at work making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
Parishioners at Cave Creek’s Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church meet each month to make 400 sandwiches for delivery to the Phoenix Rescue Mission which then distributes them to the homeless through their Hope Coach program.
“It’s just another way to express God’s love to those in need,” says Patti Worthington who founded the sandwich ministry along with Marcia Amrine, both members of Good Shepherd. “The Phoenix Rescue Mission has partnered with many area churches over the years, and we felt this was a way for our parishioners to participate, hands on, in an established ministry and to know their work will have a direct impact in the community,” she says.
The church prepares 200 bagged lunches monthly, each containing two sandwiches, an apple, cookies and a bottle of water along with napkins and a prayer card. “The prayer card really expresses the idea behind this program,” says Worthington. “Many of the people distributing the sandwiches were once homeless themselves, so they can best relate to those on the street. Showing you care is often the first step in turning a life around.”
Funding for this ministry comes from money dedicated to be used only for Missional outreach. “Feeding the hungry is something Jesus specifically called his followers to do,” says the Rev. Nordon Winger, Rector at Good Shepherd, “so we feel this is an important ministry for our church. And by helping others, we are even more blessed in return.”
Good Shepherd’s sandwich ministry welcomes volunteers from the community. Anyone interested in participating can contact the church at 480-488-3283 for more information and directions, or just show up at the church (9:30 am through the summer) the second Tuesday of each month.
Contact: Caroline Nagle: 480-488-3283