A Message From Pastor Fritz

Dear People of Grace: 

Our Church Council met yesterday following the 10:30 service to discuss what actions were necessary to keep Grace Church safe during this outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19.  The following are our Council's decisions: 

1. The March 22nd and 29th worship services are cancelled, as well as other church activities in March.  “Other” activities include meetings, small class studies, and choir.   

2. Grace Childcare will be making decisions on a day-to-day basis. 

3. AA will continue to use our building during this time, and they will be wiping down their area with disinfectant. 

4. We will continue to serve at Daybreak and the Food Pantry because the people who receive these services desperately need them. 

5. Church Council, Staff Parish Relations Committee, and Trustees will meet via email to continue to care for the needs of Grace. 

6. Spring Fling, which was scheduled for April 4th, will be rescheduled for a later date. 

7. We will begin to have a Sunday Service on Facebook Live.  Prior to Sunday morning, if you go to our Facebook page (type in Grace UMC in search bar at the top of the page then select the option that shows a picture of our church and says “Joliet, IL”),  then "Like" and “Follow” it (click on “Like” and “Follow”), we should be able to watch and worship together. The service will begin at 10:30 am Sunday, and I understand that it will be available afterwards as well.  Simply go on Facebook at 10:30am Sunday and type in Grace UMC in your search bar to follow it live.  If you choose to watch it later, go to Grace UMC and scroll down on the news feed to see the recording, and click on it to watch it.

8. At the end of March, we will re-evaluate the above decisions and determine whether it is safe to worship together again at Grace or whether we will need to continue to keep the church closed and worship via Facebook. 

9. Please remember that even though we are not using our beautiful Grace building during the next two weeks, Grace will continue to have expenses. Please continue to be generous so that everything will be ready when we are able to return to worship together.

The point of my sermon yesterday was that God is in our midst, even in these very unusual times! Take time to pray and read scripture daily, and keep your eyes open for the things that God will be doing each and every day. 

Keep safe, keep well, and know that you are a loved part of Grace UMC!


Pastor Fritz

Rev. Fritz Bartels, Pastor
Grace United Methodist Church

1718 Avalon Avenue

Joliet, Illinois 60435




Food Pantries in the area:

New Life Church-815-462-0202

Salvation Army- 815-726-4834

Spanish Community Center- 815-727-3683

Big Brothers Big Sisters will also put a food basket together for your family if you email me or text me at 708-715-5063, and let me know the amount of people in your family as well as a time and date you will be able to pick it up. Our office is closed, so baskets will only be handed out between 8am and 12pm, so please let me know the date and time if you would like to receive one. 

417 Taylor Street Joliet Il 60435

Places that offer meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Call for days and times.

Blessing Table (Second Baptist Church)-156 S Joliet Street 815-726-3731

East Side Cafe (Morning Star Mission)-350 E Washington Street 815-722-5780

Shepherd's Table (Catholic Charities)- 611 E Cass Street 815-774-4663

Food Service
Joliet Township High School will have daily breakfast and lunch pickups at both Joliet Central and Joliet West for any child 18 years old and younger during the school closure.  Students can pick up the current day’s lunch as well as the next day’s breakfast.  The meals will be cold, grab & go options that meet the USDA guidelines.  At Joliet Central, distribution will be outside the main entrance from 11am-12:30pm.  At Joliet West, distribution will be outside Door #6 (near the cafeteria) from 11am-12:30pm.  Breakfast and Lunch service will not be available during Spring Break, March 23 – 27.  Families should check the JTHS website at: http://www.jths.org/covid-19 for changes and updates.  

-Catholic Charities
Will still be operating their Mobile Food Pantry (“drive thru” method)
More info can be found on their website or Facebook page or call 815-723-3405
Please bring a bag, basket, or box to transport your food.

-Shepherd’s Table
Soup kitchen at Daybreak Center will now be bagged lunched available outside.
611 E Cass St, Joliet, IL 60432

-St. John Lutheran Church Food Pantry Hours
2650 Plainfield Road, Joliet, IL 60435
Tuesdays 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Thursdays 9:00am - 11:00am
Saturdays 9:00am - 11:00am
You do not need to bring an ID, paperwork, or a referral, you do not need to make an appointment, you do not need to live in a certain zip code, school district, or county, the only thing you need is to show up.
For more information call 815.439.2320

-Northern Illinois Food Bank
Many different food bank locations, a list of food banks in your area can be found at https://solvehungertoday.org/get-help/where-to-get-food/

-The Salvation Army Joliet Corps Community Center
300 3rd Ave, Joliet, IL 60433
Food Pantry: Mondays, from 12-3:00 p.m. Food distribution provides shelf-stable pantry items, milk, diapers, paper products, hygiene products and other household necessities.

-Spanish Community Center Food Pantry
309 N Eastern Ave, Joliet, IL 60432
(815) 727-3683

-River Walk Food Pantry
350 N Broadway St, Joliet or call 815-770-5724
Thursday’s 4pm-6pm
Friday’s 10am-12pm