Strongly rooted in Milwaukee’s near northside, Cross Lutheran Church was established in 1870. Its urban ministry purposefully values and creates diversity within the congregation. Cross has played a significant role in its community through 150 years of ministry and has birthed numerous multicultural ministries, including the Bread of Healing Ministry (BOHEM),
Primary Focus: Meal Program, Food pantry, Older Adult Center, Men’s Wellness, Women’s Faith Group, Cooking classes, Youth Mentoring
Lutheran Affiliation: ELCA
Note: the following video was created by Outreach for Hope to support ministries of congregations located in low-income central city areas of the Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA.
Operating Budget: $646,360
Programs: :The Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry (BOHEM) was created to meet the needs of the community including hunger, poverty and disconnection from community, church and God. Recently BOHEM created an “Adopt-a-Plot” Program, where guests/volunteers maintained a garden plot. Its food pantry became “choice-style” empowering guests to choose healthy foods with volunteer co-shopper support. Other programs serve an additional 70-80 people weekly through the Older Adult Center, Men’s Wellness Program, Food Advocacy, and youth mentoring.
Feedback from guests indicates that a high percentage “give back” to Cross and their community through volunteering, sharing the food they receive in the food pantry, and congregating with others through the BOHEM. Participants have requested and received education on healthy foods, gardening, community resources, health promotion, and wellness. Many have gained independence, developed positive behaviors, and improved their sense of self and purpose in life.
Who is Served: The confirmed membership of Cross is 65% people of color (including mixed race, Hispanic and Asian) and 35% White. The BOHEM serves three of the poorest zip codes in the city. Many residents are chronically unemployed, have limited access to resources, and experience alcohol and/or drug addiction. The BOHEM Wednesday meal program serves an average of 220-250 people weekly.
Location: 1821 N. 16th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205