Service work has been a cornerstone of the Brethren faith since its inception amidst the economically broken, war-weary European landscape of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Grossnickle Church of the Brethren strives to continue this important tradition through a wide range of mission and outreach services to help feed the hungry and shoulder the burden of those struck by disaster, poverty, war and sorrow.
Here are a few examples of different ways in which we try to serve and in which you can get involved:
We participate in Frederick County's Adopt-a-Road program and have adopted a 5-mile stretch of Harp Hill Road and Meeting House Road for litter clean-up.
Each month (Fall through Spring), we organize volunteers to travel to the Brethren Service Center in nearby New Windsor to support SERRV’s retail operation. SERRV’s mission is to “eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.” On what has come to be known as "New Windsor Work Days," our volunteers assist in packaging of clothing, food and other handmade articles from these farmers and artisans in support of fair trade.
We donate, prepare and serve food to the homeless and those in need each quarter through the Centennial United Methodist Church in Frederick.
Twice a year we collect clothes for donation to the Hagerstown Rescue Mission.
In partnership with other local churches, we participate in the community CROP Walk sponsored by Church World Service to raise funds to to help eradicate hunger locally and globally. In 2015, the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, the Middletown Food Bank, and the Salem UMC Food Bank shared equally 25% of the collected funds to support their missions in Frederick County. The remaining 75% was used by Church World Service for disaster relief, health care, food production projects, water resource development, vocational training and school kits in more than 80 countries around the world.
When disaster strikes, Brethren Disaster Ministries provide volunteers to clean up debris or mud and to repair or rebuild homes for disaster survivors in need. The presence of these volunteer work teams helps to ease the trauma and promote recovery. Grossnickle Church of the Brethren continues to participate in Disaster Response activities around the country.
GCOB hosts electronic recycling days as a great way to get rid of your unwanted electronics and dispose of them in an environmentally safe way.
We participate in a number of volunteer opportunities and fundraising activities in support of the Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village for the senior community in Boonsboro, MD, including hosting the annual birthday celebration for the residents in January.
We participate with a number of other local churches to donate land, time and money to the Foods Resource Bank which is working directly with communities overseas to end hunger. Join us each spring at the Field of Hope on Wolfsville Road as we celebrate the Blessing of the Seed and for our Harvest Festival Celebration in the fall.
Through Middletown Valley's People Helping People, each year at Christmas we provide clothing and gifts to a family in need.
The James Gang is a care-giving group in our Church that sends cards, makes calls and visits those in need in the Church and in the local community.
Children in Grades 1 through 5 are eligible to attend and participate in this ministry led by Lois Glessner. Kids Klub is held on Wednesday's during the months of October through April at 6:30 - 8:00pm in the Parish Hall. In addition to hearing Bible stories from Mrs. Glessner, children enjoy a variety of activities, games, music and crafts that teach children about God and the life of Jesus.
Members of the congregation gather once a month to prepare and deliver a hot meal to seniors within the community that have contacted the church.
Each year, members of GCOB hand-stitch a quilt which is then donated to the Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Brethren to be auctioned in May to raise money for Brethren Disaster Relief Services. Funds raised from the quilt auction help pay for materials to rebuild homes in storm-damaged areas of the country. Quilts have sold for as much as $3,000 for this faith-filled cause.
All quilters are invited to join us in the church library on weekdays or in the evenings when the church is open to work on the Disaster Auction Quilt.
We participate in this annual program designed to fight hunger and poverty in local communities. Through the Souper Bowl of Caring program, we collect money to help fund the homeless program managed through the Centennial United Methodist Church.
Vacation Bible School is held during the last week of June and includes crafts, singing, bible study, outdoor activities and fun! VBS is open to school-age children within the community.
Each year, our junior and senior high youth participate in week-long Work Camps around the country. These work camps are short-term mission trips that connect service with Christian faith. On these trips, we strive to make a difference through service projects, sharing, prayer and living simply within a community.
The Young Believers, our group for students in Grades 9 and 10 meets twice a month in the High School Class Room on Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8:00pm during the months of October through April. Young Believers will explore the Bible and engage in service projects for the surrounding community.
Y4J welcomes youth in Grades 6, 7 and 8 to explore the Bible and engage in lively discussions about what they have read. Y4J enjoy fun, games, group activities and fellowship. Y4J meets each Wednesday from October - April from 6:30 - 8:00pm.