July 18, 2019






Join us Sunday:

Worship Service 9:30-11:15* AM

Youth Sunday School after service*

Adult Bible Study after service*

*Approximately 11:15 AM


Upcoming Events


Heavenly Harp Concert

Friday, June 28 ~ 7 p.m.

Beautiful harp music, plus inspiring stories! Learn more >>


Vacation Bible School

July 8-12, 5:30-8:15 pm
"Why Water is Worth It:
Celebrating Ecology and Baptism"
Dinner is included. Learn more >>


News & More

Scholarships Available!

Apply now for the Ellwanger and
Luedke/Hoffman Scholarships!
Get more info >>


Support our Boiler GoFundMe

Keep the church warm all year!

Help us reach our $50,000 goal. >>


Weekly Fellowship Hour

Immediately after Sunday service!

Sign up to host here >>




Read our Latest Newsletters!  >>


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The Food Justice MinistryFood Justice 3 Garden Photo

Though it's one of our newest ministries,
there's so much to say about our
Food Justice Ministry! 

On This Page...

Choice Style Food Pantry >>

Community Garden >>

Composting >>

Cooking Classes >>

Garden Projects >>

Outreach >>

Water Conservation >>

Get Involved! >>

History (How it Began) >>

Contact >>


Food Justice Initiatives


Choice Style Food Pantry

Food Justice 2 Pantry Choice

In June 2018, Cross’ Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry (BOHEM) began a new style of operation in the food pantry. Guests who come to the pantry now walk along a food aisle and select the foods they would like. This experience empowers guests to select their own food and offers the dignity of choice. The pantry is open most Wednesdays and is supported by a vast community that includes Cross, our partner churches, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Just One More Ministry, and others. Thank you all for helping this ministry!


Community GardenFood Justice 3 Garden Photo

The Cross Lutheran Community Garden is a brand new addition to the church’s property, starting up in the fall of 2016. It is home to 12 raised bed garden plots that are meant to be cared for by different members of the wide-reaching Cross community, including church members, BOHEM participants, neighborhood residents, and church groups like Men’s Wellness and the Sunday School kids. The garden is an inclusive space for all who wish to enjoy it and is guided by this mission statement:


The Cross Lutheran Community Garden strives to provide a natural community gathering space where neighbors can learn about growing food. Our garden is a place where urban agricultural skills can be fostered and shared between peoples as we empower each other to spread sustainable healthy eating and living practices in the Milwaukee community.


Focus Points:

Empowering Education, Environmental Responsibility, Community Diversity, Food Justice


Apart from the actual garden beds, there are all sorts of projects happening in the garden space. Three cherry trees line the eastern edge of the garden and a pear tree stands alone in the northwest corner. A compost system is found next to the garden shed and watering can filling area. In between the cherry trees sit 4 tires which happen to be the perfect size for potato plants, so check out the Tire Taters as they grow throughout the summer months! And lastly, while resting at the picnic table in the shade of the maple tree, you will find grape vines growing along the southern fence of the garden. We hope to someday use that harvest for Communion wine.




The creation of this beautiful green space would not be possible without the generous donations of time, effort, and funding from our church members and our partners, so a big thanks goes to Unity Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Fox Point Lutheran Church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, Outreach for Hope, and Cross Lutheran Church. You all helped make the garden what it is today!


CompostingFood Justice 5 Composting

Cross will soon be utilizing the services of Compost Crusaders, a Milwaukee-wide organization that not only helps divert organic matter from landfills, but also provides the means necessary for Milwaukeeans to return nutrients to the soil in their gardens, plant beds, and other areas. Composting cycles nutrients rather than shipping them off to a landfill and this service will come in handy with food scraps produced at the Wednesday BOHEM hot meal that is served almost every week. This effort is just one of Cross’ various steps towards our sustainable future (check out the solar panels on the church roof too).

Composting also happens right here on the church’s property in the Cross Lutheran Community Garden. The 3-bin compost system in the garden (pictured above) allows our church to make use of our leafy yard waste while also providing gardeners with a place to toss their pesky weeds. The best part is that this compost gets mixed into the garden beds to ensure good soil quality for healthy plants and a great harvest!


Cooking ClassesFood Justice 6 CookingClasses

Because learning and gaining skills about what to cook and how to cook it are just as necessary as having access to healthy foods, nutrition education (in the form of cooking classes) is an important piece of the Food Justice Ministry at Cross.


2018 Cooking Classes: Men’s Wellness Cooking with Chef Marvin Jones (5 classes – pictured above), Eating 4 Healing with Dr. Barb Horner-Ibler (2 classes)


Upcoming Cooking Classes: Collaboration with UW-Extension FoodWIse???


Garden ProjectsFood Justice 7 Gardening

While the garden beds are full of growing plants, there is also plenty of growth to be had for the garden itself! Some upcoming projects include the addition of a birdhouse to the tall Ash stump that sits west of the grape vines, the installation of gutters on the garden shed that will direct rain water into our two rain barrels (another effort towards environmental sustainability!), construction of a trellis to hold up the grape vines as they grow, a beautification of the garden border and reworking of the entrance to the garden, and more. Many of our projects require the help of volunteers, so if you are interested or have any other ideas on how to make our garden more a part of this community, please share!


OutreachFood Justice 8 Outreach

Outside the church walls, the Food Justice Ministry is staying connected to the broader Milwaukee scene. We are Friends of the Milwaukee Food Council, a group that meets every other month to discuss current food topics and help make change on a systemic level. Cross is also involved in the America Cancer Society-sponsored HEALE project. That project is responsible for the formation of the 53205 F.O.C.U.S. group, the “Wellness Awareness in 53205” newsletter, and other healthy food, food access, and exercise-related initiatives. Our friends in the zip code next door convene a monthly Near West Side Grocery Store Work Group (to hopefully help bring a grocer back into the Near West Side neighborhood) and we participate there as well. However, the Food Justice Ministry is always looking for new connections and ways to advocate for Food Justice in our city, so please be in touch with any groups or events that work towards this movement!

Along with these city-wide efforts, there is also outreach in our faith community. Through BOHEM and other non-food related programs, Cross interacts with our various suburban partner congregations, deepening existing relationships and developing new ones. It is these connections that help unite us on the commonality of faith so that together we might build bridges between the city and the suburbs across race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, age, sexual orientation, and beyond.


Water ConservationFood Justice 9 Water Conservation

A 5 person team from Cross is participating in “Water School” in partnership with the Milwaukee Water Commons during the summer of 2018. This program involves teaching the team about water and water conservation while also providing some funds and the creative space needed to produce a water-related project at the church. Our team will be traveling to some of our partner congregations to discuss water as it relates to environmental stewardship, spirituality, and advocacy. Stay tuned to learn more about this project…

ImageSource: https://m.facebook.com/MKEwatercommons/photos/pcb.1804275746360984/1804274019694490/?type=3&source=48



Ways to Get Involved in the Food Justice Ministry

If you’re looking to support the Food Justice Ministry here at Cross or would just like to volunteer, we have several opportunities that serve Cross and the surrounding community:

  • Co-Shop in the BOHEM Food Pantry (3 month minimum commitment)
  • Make a Meal for the Tutoring Program (during the school year)
  • Attend Food Justice Committee Meetings (held monthly at Cross)
  • Apply to Adopt-a-Plot in the Cross Lutheran Community Garden (2019 season)
  • Participate in the Spring Grounds Clean Up (in May with Fox Point Lutheran)
  • Assist with Fall Garden Stewardship Day (in October)
  • Help Plan/Volunteer for our Garden Projects (Spring and Fall - times vary)
  • Donate needed items (currently, we are looking for tomato cages, trellises, a flat garden rake, and a kitchen knife sharpener)



Although this portion is brief in words, the discussions about and vision for the creation of the Food Justice Ministry occurred for a long time before the actual start of the program.

Food Justice 1 Old House

Picture captured via Google Maps pre-Fall 2016


In the Fall of 2016, Cross Lutheran’s Food Justice Ministry officially began with the help of Lutheran Volunteer Corps member Emily Dufford as the first Food Justice Intern. She served this roll until early 2017. Since then, there have been two other people employed by the church to grow the ministry further: Olivia Love, who was the Garden Coordinator for the Spring and Summer of 2017, and Wyatt Meyer, who also came to Cross through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in the Fall of 2017. He is currently the Food Justice Intern at the church.


One of the main preparations for the establishment of the program was the tearing down of the church-owned house located just north of the parking lot at the corner of 16th St. and Vine St. (see above photo). Office Administrator Linda Carr-Carlson was instrumental in organizing this operation and raising the support and funds necessary for the building to be taken down, which made it possible for a community garden to be constructed in its place, and thus began the Food Justice Ministry.


Contact Information

Food Justice Intern: Wyatt Meyer

Email: foodjustice.crosslutheranmke@gmail.com">foodjustice.crosslutheranmke@gmail.com

Phone #: 414-316-4969

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