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Community Outreach

The guiding principle of St. Edward’s community outreach activities is found in Matthew 25:37-40. ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’


SOCIAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

– Philippians 2:4

St. Edward’s newly re-formed social outreach committee has joyfully begun our first project! We are collecting school supplies that will go to the children we also help through our ongoing contributions to the Hempfield Food Pantry. Below is a list of the items we will be collecting:

Backpacks

#2 pencils

crayons

Notebooks

glue sticks

safety scissors

inexpensive calculators

three ring notebook paper

three ring binders

colored pencils

highlighters- packs

hand sanitizer-individual or travel size

pocket packs of tissues

Please look for our collection box in the narthex beginning this Sunday, July 23. We will also have a box to collect any donations you might wish to make so that additional supplies, especially backpacks, can be purchased. Our goal is to collect enough for fifty packets of supplies. Our final day for donations will be Sunday, August 13, so that the children may receive their supplies well in advance of the August 24th first day of school. If you have questions, please ask any committee member- the Kiefer’s, the Milligan’s, the Lynch’s, the Ishler’s, and Deacon Hank. We are so grateful for your generosity! One final reminder- you may find the food bank needs in your weekly email and this ongoing ministry greatly benefits many of our neighbors.


MILITARY CARDS – At the holiday season, our pastoral care ministry sends Christmas cards to those serving in the military from parishioners.

2016 Ministry News:

As we hope you saw in the Scepter, it is time to think about signing Christmas cards for the military personnel we pray for each week, whether serving in the U.S. or abroad.   Because we need to mail these packets of cards by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, we hope to collect the current addresses of everyone on our list by the end of services on November 20.  If you are a friend or related to anyone on the military prayer list, you will find a clipboard on the stand at the back of the church.  The names we have will be on those sheets with space for you to enter their current addresses.  Please see the Scepter article (on page 8) so you will know why this current information is so important. If you would like to add someone to the list, we’re happy to have you do so.

We will have a table in the Narthex filled with Christmas cards to be signed on  November 20 and 27.  We will assemble six or seven cards into a packet for each person.  The cards will be mailed on November 28.

Thanks from your Pastoral Care Ministry.


JESSE TREE PROJECT – Annually, St. Edward’s provides approximately 60-80 children with gifts at Christmas for community programs in need.  Click here if you need the form or would like more information.


FOOD DRIVES – During the year specific food items are collected providing for local food banks.  Please contact the parish office or Beth Lynch if you would like to learn more about the Hempfield Food Pantry donations.  We thank all volunteers and donors to this successful community outreach!

The Hempfield Food Pantry current needs and donations for the SUMMER of 2017 are as follows:

Cereal
Breakfast Bars
Pancake Mix
Syrup
Pop Tarts
Oatmeal
Cream of Wheat
Jelly

“Feeding Families Fourth Sunday” – On every fourth Sunday the food bank donations will be blessed and then delivered to the pantry.

Hempfield Food Pantry serves over 400 families.  In December 2016 alone it served 159 families (213 children, 367 adults and 78 seniors.)  St. Edward’s is one of 17 churches that regularly contribute to the pantry.  Hempfield Food Pantry is a complete volunteer service (no paid employees.)  A total of 7,994 hours have been donated by these volunteers in 2016.

St. Edward’s has collected 1883 pounds of food for the pantry in 2016.  A weekly message is placed in the bulletin listing the needs of the pantry.  The food is delivered the Monday after the 4th Sunday.  There is a “card making” basket in the parish hall for people to make a greeting card/encouragement card for the families of the pantry.  They are delivered with the food.

Suggestions for 2017

  1. Set a goal of 2,500 pounds of food.
  2. Use a graphic symbol to show the progress our church is making towards that goal. (i.e., scale or thermometer.)
  3. Provide Fr. Casey with information prior to the blessing that will continue to inform the congregation what is going on. For example, what is being collected for currently for the month, how many pounds we donated the previous month and/or yearly total.
  4. Continue the card writing center.

 


Community Aid bin logo

COMMUNITY AID PA – Have you noticed, in the far end, left side of the parking lot there is a donation bin for “Community Aid”?  This organization, established in 2009 is a faith-based 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization, whose primary focus is to raise funds for distribution to local schools, churches, synagogues, and nonprofit charitable organizations.   Why does St. Edward’s have a bin in their lot?  For all clothing and shoes donations that we collect in the bin, we will receive 4 cents/pound.  In addition to that, by partnering with Community Aid, we are able to help the wider community through our collections in two ways:  By supplying their centers with goods to sell and our partnership enables us to receive “Care Cards” that allow the church to help those in need, with clothing and shoes needs, at the Community Aid stores.  In addition to these features, after one year of partnership, St. Edward’s will be allowed to apply for a grant, up to $5,000 for a service project within our community of faith, the wider community, or for a need we may have. The Community Aid partnership seems to have successfully found a way to involve the entire community in a full circle approach to making a difference in our community with the bin for donations, collection by their support team of donated goods that go to the centers (there is one on Good Drive/Columbia Avenue), to the re-dispersing profits back into the community and the non-profit organizations that partner with them all in the spirit of community support.  Please consider, when you come to church on Sunday’s, to bring your donation of clothing and shoes to the bin in the St. Edward’s lot!  It will enable us to help the community and it is an excellent way to add to our fundraising each year and it will enable us to consider a grant opportunity for St. Edward’s.

If you have other items that are not accepted into the bin (household items, etc.) please consider bringing them to the Community Aid  store on Good Drive.  If you bring your donations there, and mention you are with St. Edward’s, they will weigh them and ADD the donation to our account, thereby giving us monthly credit towards our collections, that will benefit the St. Edward’s fundraising goals, and further increase our ability to give back to the community.

For 2016, St. Edward’s earned over $500 in donation dollars which we circled back into the community by helping with the food needs of the Amos Herr Dream Park Build Team for their October build event.


KNIT WITS – The Knit Wits ministry continues to provide hand knitted prayer shawls, prayer stoles, scarves, children’s caps, chemo caps, and children’s blankets to persons in need.

The Knit Wits is a group of 6-8 women who meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.  We knit goods for different projects in the community.

Our largest project is knitting hats and scarves for the Jesse Tree project that St. Edwards’ does every year at the holiday season.  We give a hat and a scarf to every child in the project.

This past year we again knitted for the barber shop in Columbia.  Another popular project that we haven been doing for many years is Kim Kline’s elementary class.  We knit sets that include hat, mittens and scarves. Kim has stated that the knitted sets have become an eagerly anticipated event for each new group of students.

Irene Achey knitted prayer pockets, 30 for the Diocese, 30 for Amy Swiernik for ECW and 50 more for a member of our knitting group.

The Knit Wits is open to everyone who is interested in knitting for these programs.  Please contact Sandy Patrone for more information.


CARE PACKAGES – The aim of this ministry is to reach out and connect with our young adults.  We have over 12 college-aged students that we send care packages to, twice per year.  It is a way that they know that their St. Edward’s family is thinking of them.


CRISPUS ATTUCKS – St. Edward’s actively responds to the needs in our community. Parishioners prepare and serve balanced and healthy meals to the less fortunate at Crispus Attucks.

At St. Edward’s, Lancaster, Father Stephen Casey has been involved in the Crispus Attucks homeless shelter since his arrival at St. Edward’s. Getting to know the manager of the shelter, he would respond to any financial requests through his discretionary fund. Nine years ago, Doug Hopwood, a member of St. Edward’s who was working with the Lancaster County Council of Churches was informed that Crispus Attucks was seeking churches to provide weekend meals on a regular basis. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity for St. Edward’s to reach out in a very meaningful way, so the parish signed up to provide a meal one Sunday a month throughout the year.

Under Fr. Stephen’s and Doug Hopwood’s leadership, all ministry groups within the parish agreed to take their turn to prepare and serve the meals; Vestry, Men’s Group, Youth Group, The Knit Wits and individual parishioners who partner with each other to sponsor a Sunday dinner. At the start, they fed 60 to 70 people at a time; with the deteriorating economy and further job losses, that figure has since doubled and now between 125 to 140 people are served on any given Sunday.

Fr. Casey explains, “Located as we are in the affluent suburbs of Lancaster, it is easy for the parish to be unaware of the needs of those who live at the margins of society. Through the Crispus Attucks meal program, the people of St. Edward’s are able to reach out to those in need and put the gospel into action.” The program is funded through the church by the congregation and subsidized through an Operation Understanding Grant. The ministry is ecumenical, and St. Edward’s has been one of the largest contributors to this meal-serving program