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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.’


St. Edward’s receives THANK YOU NOTES from organizations in the local and global community that we have gathered donations for.  Click on the links below to read how our community outreach has positively impacted the lives of others.

Episcopal Relief & Development

Hempfield Area Food Pantry


QUILTS OF VALOR FOUNDATION

How St. Edward’s works with this foundation to honor those serving in the military who are members of St. Edward’s:

On Sunday, November 12, 2017 we recognized 3 parish members for their military service at the 10:15 AM service with the Quilts of Valor Foundation.  They were Buddy Yeager, Jim Stauffer, and Vance Spicer. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017, we were pleased to be able to acknowledge and award Kate Peterson for her military service during World War II with the quilt approved by the Quilts of Valor Foundation and provided by the local Quilts of Valor group. Father Casey has created the opportunity for additional award presentations each November on the Sunday closest to Veterans Day. All are invited to make a recommendation for a Quilts of Valor for any military in our congregation who has been touched by war, by visiting the Quilts of Valor website at www.qovf.org For any questions about this process you can contact any of the following: Dina Cerase, Sharon Hubbard, or Donna Holwager, listed in the St. Edward’s directory.  These quilts are not a charity and they are awarded to the military member in a proper setting as will be the presentation at St. Edward’s.


FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN PROJECT – 2018

 

18 folks from St. Edward’s participated in the Feed My Starving Children mobile pack event in early April. We spent 2 hours packing meals called Manna packs – rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins/ nutrients – for hungry children throughout the world. Approximately 150-200 people pack during a shift. During our 2 hour shift, 143 boxes were packed, This equals 30,886 meals – this will feed 84 children one meal daily for one year! The total for the 3 day event packed 311,040 meals – this will feed 852 children one meal daily for one year. Over the past 5 years, this mobile pack event has packed more than 1,000,000 meals!! We always enjoy this event and will be looking forward to next year. Thanks to all who helped.

For more information about Feed My Starving Children please click on the links below:

https://youtu.be/ech5XOryipM

https://youtu.be/DphtI9QoEH0

Thank you for your support in the worthy project.


ST. EDWARD’S OPENS ITS DOORS TO THE WIDER COMMUNITY 

St. Edward’s also opens its doors throughout the year to various groups to hold meetings and events, extending our commitment to helping the wider community.  From Anonymous Addiction group meetings, to groups such as The Pilot Club, Scouts organizations, and the ALERT group within our own diocese, St. Edward’s enjoys being there for the community.


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!

168 pounds delivered for the month of May 2018.

Requested items for June/July 2018 are:
18 oz strawberry jelly
16 oz crunchy peanut butter
15 oz canned pears
15 oz canned peaches
Canned pineapple
Cereal

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

The pantry serves 483 families in our area.  During 2017 667 children, 1059 adults and 225 seniors received assistance for a total of 1951 individuals over the last year.  The pantry uses 129 volunteers, who put in 8304 hours in 2017.  St. Edward’s Church donated 1872 lbs. of food, and with some monetary donations we reached over 2000 lbs. of food.  Every 4th Sunday the food is blessed at the Children’s Sermon and then delivered to the pantry Monday morning. 

In the fall, backpacks and school supplies were donated to the Hempfield Food Pantry.  St. Edward’s donated enough supplies and backpacks to assist 50+ school children.

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.

SOCIAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE

We had a great response to the school supplies drive!  

Church members donated:
25 backpacks
21 3-ring binders
$410 in monetary donations
and a total of 259 (!) pencils, crayons, highlighters, notebooks, folders, scissors, glue sticks, erasers, etc.

These items were distributed to Hempfield students through the Landisville Food Pantry. 

Thank you for helping our local students get off to a great start this school year!

“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. We will also have a box to collect any donations you might wish to make so that additional supplies, especially backpacks, can be purchased. If you would like to donate money, please make check payable to:  St. Edward’s Episcopal Church and note in memo line “School Supplies.” 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.

2017 Ministry News:

This year, on the first Sunday of Advent, the ministry had a table set up in the narthex for parishioners to write Christmas card greetings to be delivered to veterans at the Lebanon VA hospital.  The local community outreach to veterans reconfirmed St. Edward’s commitment to remember those in need of comfort during the Christmas season.  These cards will be placed on the patients dinner trays.  The cards were delivered by Meredith Westgate on behalf of the parish.

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.


2017 JESSE TREE PROJECT – We will bless the gifts on Sunday, December 10th at the 10:15 service and are so grateful to the parishioners who contributed their time, talent and treasure to this yearly ministry that allows St. Edward’s the opportunity to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves.  Our parish had overwhelming requests from the organizations we work with, Cobys and Bridge, this year, which we worked very diligently to meet.  We are so grateful and appreciative to all who participated and to the Knit Wits for knitting hats, scarves, and gloves to distribute.  

JESSE TREE PROJECT – Annually, St. Edward’s provides approximately 80-100 children with gifts at Christmas for community programs in need.  Click here if you need the form or would like more information.


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 2017, St. Edward’s earned over $600 in donation dollars, which we add to our social outreach programs.


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 hats and scarves to the children in the project.

In past years we 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. 

The Knit Wits is open to everyone who is interested in knitting for these programs.  Please contact the Parish Office for more information.


CARE PACKAGES – The aim of this ministry is to reach out and connect with our young adults.  We have over 11 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