Opportunities for Epiphany’s Outreach Engagement
The Outreach Commission at Church of the Epiphany has identified projects and organizations as opportunities for the church’s engagement as listed below. The Commission will prioritize participation in the church’s Missional Assessment Process (MAP) and support projects, services, and ministries identified by that process. These are just some of the organizations that we consider as opportunities for 2016 and leading into 2017.
1. Dinner at Your Door – collaborating with area churches to deliver prepared food to the home bound. For 2016, Epiphany will provide financial support of $300.00 to support the delivery of prepared food to the home bound, individuals may continue to volunteer when possible.
2. NEAR – is a local food shelf and emergency help program for people in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. This program is sponsored by a consortium of churches in the area. Epiphany will provide the following support and voluntary services:
- Collect school supplies or monetary donations for school supplies during the summer months
- Collect monetary donations that would be matched to some extent in the month of March
- Donations from other Epiphany’s sponsored projects such as:
- Proceeds from the Community Garden
- Donations for Share the Harvest
- Thanksgiving Distribution
- Christmas Gifts for needy children
3. Loaves and Fishes – is a collaboration of churches in the area that prepare and serve “nutritional meal in the atmosphere of hospitality to the hungry of the twin cities metro area at site locations where the need is greatest.” Epiphany is currently committed to volunteering every 5th Wednesday of each month at Brunswick United Methodist Church on 42nd Avenue in Crystal to prepare, serve meal, and clean up. We will contribute $200 towards the cost of the food each time we volunteer.
4. Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) – is “an international relief and development agency and a compassionate response to human suffering on behalf of The Episcopal Church.” ERD partners with local churches and organizations to send money and other resources to people who suffer disasters, and empowers people to create lasting solution to fight poverty, hunger and disease throughout the world. ERD provides animals and education for raising them to help poor families out of poverty. This is in lieu of HEIFER Project as we have learned ERD has lower costs for the same service. Epiphany’s Outreach will primary be for assistance with the purchase of animals for families. We will respond to disasters through ERD as needed throughout the year.
5. Open Sings – For up to four (4) Wednesday night in July, in conjunction with Epiphany’s Music Director, John Hoffacker, we welcome musicians from all over the metro area to perform great works of music and raise money for a variety of charities suggested by members of the parish and Open singers. For 2016, the following charitable organizations have been selected to receive the donations: Can Do Canines; CARE®; Home Free; and City House.
6. United Thanks Offering (UTO) – the mission of the UTO offering “is to expand the circle of thankful people.” UTO offering was developed as a means of a discipline of giving thanks to God for our individual blessings. Proceeds from UTO offerings are donated as grants for changing lives. Once a year, especially during Thanksgiving, we will encourage financial supports for UTO.
7. Giving Tree - Every Advent we put up a Christmas tree that provides opportunities for parishioners to purchase gas and gift cards to be distributed to the needed by the Rector at her discretion; Walmart cards of $30 each are also purchased for Women’s Wisdom to help them have a happy Christmas. Women’s Wisdom serves Native American women with terminal illness. We also collect unwrapped gifts under the tree for NEAR.
8. Ready for Success – provides professional clothing suitable for job interviews and the workplace to low-income women and men in the Twin Cities. The goal is to help folks find gainful employment and financial stability. We solicit donation for new or gently used clothing for Ready for Success. We will also contribute financial donation as we are able to purchase needed accessories; an amount of $250 will be provided for such purpose in 2016.
9. Episcobuilders - is Episcopalians partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or rehab homes. We partner with West Metro Episcopal churches and organizations to build homes with and for homeless people of all races, faiths, and backgrounds. Volunteer work may include construction work or preparing lunch for the workers.
10. Bake Sale/Vendor Fair – The Bake sale is based on church members’ donations; home baked goods are sold by the pound. Determination as to how proceeds from the sale are made by the craft group. For example, proceeds were used to purchase the defibriator for the church. Lately, we have use the first $1,000 from the sale to purchase toys for the White Earth children. The rest of the proceeds have been donated to various worthy causes; such as making up for short falls in Women’s Wisdom Circle, Mother Lisa’s funds for people who need assistance. The craft portion of the sale is in transition; this year we will have outside vendors pay fees to facilitate the sale of their own goods.
11. Liberian Episcopal Community in the USA (LECUSA)/Episcopal Church in Liberia (ECL) – Epiphany has contributed to LECUSA projects to fight Ebola in Liberia and the Episcopal Church in Liberia to support orphans from the Ebola crisis. Epiphany will support projects or needs as identified if funds are available.
12. First Nations Kitchen – is an opportunity to serve a meal to Native American folks in the Cedar and Lake Street area. It is hosted by the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and the mission parish of All Saints. Every Sunday different Episcopal Churches primarily from the West Metro area volunteer to serve, and clean up from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The Rev. Harlan Strong, Deacon at Epiphany coordinates Epiphany’s schedule of service.
13. White Earth Mission – Youth and adult members of Epiphany, St. David’s and Trinity Episcopal churches pay their own way to a mission work during the summer. Frequent projects include home repairs, painting for the elderly and needy, a vacation church school, and contributions of clothing and Christmas gifts for the Native Americans in the Cass Lake and nearby area.
Outreach Commission Chair: