• The Brown Bag Program began at Grace with the purpose of filling the gap of serving meals to the
needy and hungry persons of the Gaithersburg community when the Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen
closed for the summer months.
• The program would begin each year in mid-June and run until mid-September.
• Literally supported over these years by hundreds of Grace volunteers (including youth) and
• Volunteers help with the program by serving as kitchen workers, shopping volunteers, collecting
community donations, calling volunteers with reminders of their scheduled support.
• The program averaged about 30 clients per day and for the 3 months of operation an estimated
2,000+ lunches are served
• Through this program, people receive not only a lunch, but the hospitality of Grace.
In operation since 1984, The Lord’s Table is supported entirely by generous food and monetary donations from individuals as well as churches of all denominations, government, and commercial organizations. The Lord’s Table – formally housed at St. Martin’s for many years but is now re-located to Epworth United Methodist Church!
The Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen provides an inviting dining room service to anyone in need of a free, warm, nutritious meal. Open weekdays September through June from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, multi-course meals are prepared and served to guests by a host of local volunteers using Epworth’s kitchen and fellowship hall. The Lord’s Table also co-sponsors Epworth’s food distribution program that provides biweekly food packages to approximately 150 local families.
Grace UMC teams over many years prepared the meal of soup, buttered bread, a main course with vegetables, and dessert.
• Gaithersburg HELP evolved from a vision that started in 1968. The faith community of Gaithersburg recognized that emergencies can happen on a moment’s notice, yet government assistance often takes time. To meet the immediate needs of families affected by financial challenges, local churches and synagogues joined together to form Gaithersburg HELP in an effort to provide short-term assistance in a coordinated fashion.
• Today, the HELP network comprises more than 22 member congregations and over 200 volunteers working together to help those in need within the greater Gaithersburg area. We also receive substantial support from local businesses and civic organizations. A team of committed translators help us serve our diverse community, especially Spanish-speaking clients.
• Gaithersburg HELP is governed by the leadership of a Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of an Executive Committee and delegates from each of our member congregations; bi-monthly meetings are open to the public.
• Services currently include food assistance, diapers and formula, emergency funding assistance for prescriptions and other short-term specific needs, transportation services and referral information to other government and service agencies.
• A Grace member, Kathy Fitzgerald, serves as our delegate to the HELP Board of Directors.
• 2021 Grace UMC supports the mission of HELP with the first Sunday of the month non-perishable food collection, committing of funds through the church budget ($6,000) and individual contributions by the congregation ($3,300 thru June)
• Knowing how to speak English is essential to living in our community.
• Grace UMC first offered ten weeks of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in January, 2009.
• Volunteers teach small groups of students according to the needs of each student.
• All classes are taught in English, so speakers of any other language are welcomed as students.
• 2022-Present | Grace UMC offers 10 week courses providing facilities, volunteer instructors and free child care. Paul Moore coordinates this Grace UMC Ministry.
• Since 1998, the members of Grace UMC have participated in Gaithersburg City’s Holiday Giving program (formerly Share Your Love) at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
• Congregational donations to this ministry go to a dedicated fund for assistance to families in our community.
• Through these donations, the city purchases food and/or gift cards for eligible families in need.
• Gift cards can provide the option to purchase the kinds of foods they prefer.
• Many Grace members volunteer to assist in the distribution of food to the community.
• Mission – Repairing Homes, Revitalizing Communities, Rebuilding Lives
• Members and friends of Grace UMC join together each year on a Saturday in April to support the
Montgomery County Rebuilding Together program. Formerly known as Christmas in April.
• It is a volunteer organization that works in partnership with the community to address the needs of low income homeowners, primarily the elderly, disabled, and families with children.
• It is committed to helping Montgomery County residents who have worked hard to own their own homes but whose failing health or fixed income does not allow them to cover the extraordinary costs of home repair.
• Volunteers perform home repairs, such as painting and minor associated repairs, and home modifications,
such as the installation of wheelchair ramps and grab bars to improve safety and accessibility.
• Interfaith Works is a nonprofit organization that helps people living in Montgomery County, Maryland who are homeless
or living in poverty. A coalition of more than 165 affiliated congregations of diverse faiths working together to meet the needs of the poor and homeless in Montgomery County, Maryland.
• The Shelter serves up to 70 women. These individuals are in residence between the hours of 5:00 pm and 7:00 am and attend professional or treatment programs during the remaining daytime hours.
• We provide provisions and food for 35 residents during a week each October
• The residents are expected to work diligently on the issues related to their homelessness with a goal of moving to a long-term transitional shelter or supported house within a few months. The shelter serves over
300 residents per year.
• New shelter opened on Taft Court in 2017, replacing the obsolete Nebel Street Facility.
Engage Ministries and the KidsClub at Grace UMC partners with Linkages to Learning through the year to support under served school age children and their families in the Gaithersburg community.
Linkages to Learning is a school-based collaboration among the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Montgomery County Public Schools and non-profit, community based service providers. The program provides accessible services to at-risk children and their families to improve adjustment to and performance in school, home, and community. Prevention and early intervention services include health, mental health, social services and educational support. The following is a list of ways Grace UMC is supporting the Linkages to Learning program that services those in need in the Montgomery County School System:
• SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE | The Grace UMC congregation collect necessary school supplies and backpacks for the upcoming school year to support children and families in the Gaithersburg community.
• STUFF A BACKPACK | The Grace UMC KidsClub gathers yearly to stuff backpacks with school supplies donated by the congregation. Stuffed backpacks are then donated to the Linkages to Learning program for distribution in local schools.
• COAT DRIVE | During the early fall/winter months the Grace UMC congregation collect new and gently used warm weather wear for children and families in the Gaithersburg community.
• SPIRIT OF GIVING | The Grace UMC congregation donates gifts to elementary, middle and high school age children and their families for distribution through the Linkages to Learning program during the Christmas holiday.
• CHRISTMAS SHOPPING & WRAPPING | The Grace UMC Kids Club gathers to shopp for gifts that have not yet been donated from the Spirit of Giving campaign. The next week the KidsClub gathers to wrap gifts donated by the congregation to be delivered to children and families within the Gaithersburg community.
Grace United Methodist Church is a member of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. You can visit the Baltimore Washington Conference website at bwcumc.org. You may also visit the United Methodist Church website at umc.org.