Bridge of Peace

Vacation Bible School 2020

In early July this summer, 52 VBS students ages 4-18, joined Pastor Giselle on Facebook Live each day, they learned to Remember God’s Promises, Listen to God, Trust God in Tough Times, Ask God in Prayer, and Tell Others about God. Most important, they were reminded of how special they are to us and how much God loves all of us. Thanks to mission partner donations over the years, each child received a bag filled with Bible stories, crayons, activities, play dough, bubbles, and food (milk, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, fruit, applesauce, ramen noodles, plus the themed snack for each day). A special thank you to Wegmans for their donation of reusable grocery bags made distribution easier.

The Peace Center Food Pantry

Since closing in March for COVID-19, worship services are held each Sunday from Pastor Giselle Coutinho’s home on Facebook Live @10am, with her assistant minister, spouse and devoted member of SMLC, Brian Slaugh. Pastor also holds Wednesday evening bible study weekly via Zoom. Bridge of Peace continues its ministry to the people of Camden and surrounding areas. Demand continues to be great at The Peace Center (BoP food pantry). It remains open each Monday evening and has been very busy. Over 100 people are served each week. Much thanks to the $450 donation in June from SMLC Social Ministry to replenish their pantry shelves. Modifications have been made to keep everyone safe. Bags are packed for guests (instead of guests shopping for what they need) and picked up outside.

Pantry staff are wearing masks and washing hands frequently. We are continually working to restock the pantry, along with help from mission partners. God has been good in providing funds for this ministry through Mission Partners, the NJ Synod, an ELCA Daily Bread Matching Grant, and Lutheran Disaster Response. We are not collecting food for BoP pantry, however, funds are very much needed. For monetary donations, payable to St. Matthew, with “Camden Food Pantry” in memo.

BoP Youth Group

Bridge of Peace is currently figuring out the best way to continue our vital youth ministry in the midst of COVID. SMLC was able to donate 25 Walmart gift cards @$25 each, for back-to-school supplies. Beginning in October, youth will pick up a bag dinner and materials for the month on the first Tuesday of each month. In lieu of weekly in person meetings, youth will receive a Bible story, activities, and a themed snack for each week in the month. Just as the VBS, the youth group will be held virtually on Facebook Live each week. SMLC will be providing one bag dinner from SUBWAY for about 20 youths the first Tuesday in October. Please donate SUBWAY gift cards or a check payable to St. Matthew with “BoP Youth Group” in the memo. Each mission partner will choose one month to donate a bag dinner for 20 youths.

—Lisa Merrill. BOP Communicator