Jesus, they're working together!
Seeds of Peace (SOP) Madison was an ecumenical collaboration of eight Eastside Madison and Monona churches that worked together to alleviate suffering, injustice, and poverty in our Eastside neighborhoods. Participating churches included Monona United Methodist, St. Stephens Lutheran, Plymouth Congregational UCC, St. Luke's Episcopal, Lake Edge Lutheran, Lake Edge UCC, and Lakeview Moravian Church and Zion Lutheran Faith Community, which federated together in 2021 to become the Common Grace congregation.
Because many area families experience significant food insecurities, one strategic ministry of SOP congregations was to partner with area elementary schools to provide weekend take-home meals for students who receive free lunches during the school year. Currently, Monona UMC and St. Stephens Lutheran continue that partnership with Nuestro Mundo Elementary School. Other programs that SOP churches supported included contributions to the Atwood Personal Essentials Pantry (PEPA), Habitat for Humanity builds, Red Cross blood drives, school passport fairs, and donations to the St. Stephens food pantry. In addition to the weekend snack pack collaboration between MUMC and St. Stephens with Nuestro Mundo, as well as a similar collaboration of Common Grace with Schenk Elementary and White Horse Middle Schools, continuing focused ministries supported by these churches today include PEPA which is housed at Plymouth and coordinated by Common Grace members, the Food Pantry at St. Stephens, and quarterly Red Cross blood drives which rotate among various locations at the original Seeds of Peace churches.