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Community Dinner Program Receives $10,000 Joshua Grant

Wheat Ridge Ministries, in collaboration with the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Chicagoland Regional Office, recently awarded five grants from the Joshua Grant Program totaling $50,000. The Joshua Grant Program provides start-up funding and resources to LWR_Logo_Final_4cutheran-affiliated congregations beginning new, bold and courageous ministries in their community.  One of these generous grants was awarded to St. Luke’s Community Dinners.

“Wheat Ridge is pleased to support these local congregations as they respond to health and human care needs in their neighborhoods with bold and courageous new programs,” said Brian Becker, Vice President for Ministry Programs. “We are also very grateful to Thrivent Financial for their partnership with us in the Joshua Grant Program.”

The five projects receiving grants are:

Community Dinner
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago, IL
Grant Amount – $10,000

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square is responding to the recent closing of a soup kitchen in their neighborhood by starting a weekly Community Dinner. The dinner will provide guests from all walks of life with a nutritious meal, access to a parish nurse, and the spiritual and social support intrinsically tied to breaking bread together.

Healthy Eating/Healthy Living
St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL
Grant Amount – $10,000

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church’s Family Center is expanding its Healthy Eating/Healthy Living Program with a holistic approach to improving health. They will offer new cooking and nutritional awareness programs, a “Generation Garden,” job training and social and life skills development classes. In addition, they are intensifying their youth violence prevention program to help fill the increasing need for safe spaces for youth on the south side of Chicago.

Soul Kitchen – 4th Tuesday Community Suppers
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Saint Charles, IL
Grant Amount – $10,000

4th Tuesday Community Suppers provide a cost effective, sustainable free monthly supper to members of the Fox Valley community. The program is designed to address the growing need for nutritional support in Kane County, the needs of individuals at risk of social isolation due to age or financial circumstances, and to develop and promote volunteer servant leaders within the membership of St. Mark’s.

St. Paul Community Center
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Skokie, IL
Grant Amount – $10,000

St. Paul Lutheran Church is transforming its existing school building into a community outreach facility to serve families in need in the surrounding school districts. Skokie has a significant number of immigrant families, those considered “homeless” but living with extended families, and many who are unemployed or under-employed. St. Paul will offer programs to meet the basic needs for food and clothing for these neighbors.

“Thou Shalt Not Kill” Anti-Violence Program
Bethel-Imani Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL
Grant Amount – $10,000

Bethel-Imani’s “Thou Shalt Not Kill” program is a six-week, anti-violence program that reaches, teaches and trains up to 80 people in the art of non-violence. In the Englewood community, located on the southwest side of Chicago, young men and women account for over 75 percent of all violent crimes committed there. This program will reach out to young people ranging in age from 10 to 40 years old.

Wheat Ridge Ministries provides start-up funding and resources to inspired leaders in congregations and nonprofit organizations beginning new and innovative Christ-centered human care initiatives. We focus on improving personal wellness of body, mind and spirit. Currently, more than 70 Lutheran-affiliated ministries around the world are receiving assistance through Wheat Ridge. To learn more, please visit

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