When members of Chester Church learned that the magisterial district in which they were located had the highest concentration of poverty in Chesterfield County, they saw an opportunity to be God’s stewards.

“We recognized we had a lot of folks that loved the kitchen, liked to cook, and we knew of older adults that often were eating alone,” shared Pastor Gordon Mapes, “Out of that we created Grace Café.”

The café launched in October 2015, with church members and community members joining in fellowship and food on Tuesday evenings. Six teams of cooks rotating weeks of service have prepared 29,000 meals. The café’s patrons are about 70 percent non-church members.

In March, the café team pivoted to a drive-through delivery due to COVID-19. They serve an average 90 meals per week.

This project is dependent solely on donations, which fund the food and kitchen equipment.

“We look forward to continuing [our to-go meal] service,” concluded Mapes, “but also to returning indoors where we might again enjoy [meals] in community.”



What joy would you like to share about your stewardship?

If you have a special story or witness you would like to share with others about what stewardship has meant to you, please email it to the POJ Associate for Stewardship at deborah@presbyteryofthejames.org.