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Faith in Action

The guiding principle of St. Edward’s Faith in Action 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.’


Hempfield Area Food Pantry update – August 2021

Through the generous monetary donations of our parishioners, we were able to send a check in the amount of $1,400 to the HAFP.  Diane Gerlach writes:  “Blessings to you!  Your parishioners are very generous.  Many thanks!”  It is comforting to know that contributors, like each of you, confirm the mission of the pantry – to serve those in our community who are struggling to feed their families.

Requested items:  Canned fruit; Canned mixed vegetables; Canned garbanzo beans; 1 lb. packages of rice; 2 lb. packages of rice; Noodles; Boxed pasta; Pasta sauce; Cereal; Oatmeal (regular or quick NOT instant).

Backpack Drive
It’s Back-to-School time again!  As in the past, we will be helping Hempfield students be prepared for school; but, this year will be a little different.  Instead of collecting crayons, pencils, etc., we will be collecting backpacks!  Specifically, we are looking for backpacks for older students.  Think plain colors and large sized.  If you’re not sure of what to buy, you may donate by writing a check to St. Ed’s with ‘backpack drive’ on the memo line and Faith in Action will buy the backpack.  All backpacks will be donated to Hempfield Student Services.  School social workers will gift the backpacks to the students that they work with and help in other ways.  Any additional funds will go toward replacement ipad charging cords.  We have experienced such generosity, gathering 45 backpacks and over $650 in monetary donations! We will be accepting donations through Sunday, August 22nd, and the backpacks will be blessed by Father Rick on that Sunday.


Books for Prisoners Update

Deacon Stacey Catigano, prison chaplain, stopped by the church recently to take about a dozen titles from the Books for Prisoners case and the check for $325 raised for this project. She was overwhelmed with gratitude to the “generous folks at St. Edward’s.” She can only take about a dozen books at a time, so parishioners will still see the shelves full as she rotates stock, depending on what prisoners prefer. Thanks to everyone who participated in this ministry!

The Faith in Action committee asks for your help collecting some books for prisoners. An Episcopalian prison chaplain, Deacon Stacey Catigano, keeps a library for prisoners, and she could use some Bibles and other devotional or inspirational titles to circulate among prisoners. You can either donate books or money to buy them. Just drop off your donations in the narthex or make out a check to St. Edward’s with “books for prisoners” in the memo line. Don’t worry about buying duplicates of the same book–that’s okay–and if you can find titles in Spanish, those are welcome, too. Paperbacks are preferable, but hardcovers are acceptable, as well. Here’s a list of the kinds of books needed:

  • Bibles: large print, children’s, comic book Bibles
  • Inspirational Christian stories and meditations, such as the following:
  • Healing Neen: One Woman’s Path to Salvation from Trauma and Addiction by Tonier Cain
  • Carried by Faith: From Substance Abuse to a Life Filled with Miracles by Sue L Hamilton
  • Heart of a Champion: True Stories of Character and Faith from Today’s Most Inspiring Athletes by Steve Riach
  • Burden: A Preacher, a Klansman, and the True Story of Redemption in the Modern South by Courtney Hargrave
  • Doing Time with God: Stories of Healing and Hope in Our Prisons by Bill Dyer
  • Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing, and Forgiveness by Jack Canfield
  • Prison Saved My Life by Louis Dooley; Heidi Gruber O’Very
  • The Man I Was Destined to Be: Addiction, Incarceration, and the Road Back to God by Michael Tandoi
  • Knockin’ Doorz Down: A Story of Breaking through the Darkness and Finding Redemption by Carlos Viera
  • Doing HIS Time: Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison by James Vogelzang
  • Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars by Gregory Zuckerman
  • Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles by Rivvy Neshmana

Click here for the downloadable pdf of the book list and details on how to donate.

St. Edward’s Episcopal Church Community Blood Drive

Saturday, June 5th 9 AM – 3 PM

2453 Harrisburg Pike | Lancaster 17601 | Parish Hall

To schedule an appointment call: 1-800-771-0059 OR click the link below to sign up:

Click here to connect to the event on our Facebook page which gives you the link and phone number to register.  You must be pre-registered to donate!  And, please wear a mask.  Thank you!

Do you know that 1 pint of blood can save three lives?  The precious resource of blood is in constant need by area medical facilities, and St. Edward’s is offering an opportunity for our parishioners to donate a pint.

Father Rick+ and our Faith in Action ministry invite you to join us in participating as “Team St. Edward’s” for the 2021 Race Against Racism event.  We are going to “race our way” and will be meeting at 12 Noon on Saturday, May 15th, downtown, to take the 5K Lancaster City walk as a group.  Learn more about this important community event by clicking these links:

St. Edward’s Team flier with registration details

YWCA Race Against Racism Brochure

Join us!!!

Stay tuned for information on our upcoming Blood Drive scheduled for Saturday, June 5th from 9 AM – 3 PM.

Soles 4 Souls: St. Edward’s, with Saint John’s of Lancaster, collected shoes through Palm Sunday, March 28th and we delivered over 200 pairs to St. John’s during Holy Week.  Many, many thanks to all who so faithfully searched their closets and supported this ministry with fantastic donations that exceeded our expectations!

We will be participating in a Jesse Tree Gift Drive for 2020.  Stay tuned for details during the month of November.

UPDATE: A Successful Jesse Tree Project 2019!

Thank You for Providing Christmas Cheer!

COBYS Family Services is blessed by the generosity of St. Edward’s Episcopal Church during this Christmas season. You have helped make Christmas brighter with gifts for more than fifty foster children served by our Permanency Unit. Thank you!

The COBYS Permanency Unit is a specialized program primarily funded by, and working in partnership with, the Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency. The common goals are to ensure the safety of children who have been removed from their homes because of concerns for their well-being, strengthen families and secure permanency for children.

COBYS staff help children, and members of their biological families, to resolve the issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, anger, mental illness, substandard housing, domestic violence and other issues that led to their separation. These problems must be resolved so that children can be safely reunited with their families. In cases where reunification would jeopardize a child’s safety, adoptive homes or other appropriate permanent placements are sought.

To learn more about COBYS Family services, visit, or contact Anne Stokes, Director of Development at

2019 JESSE TREE PROJECT – If you would like to participate in this year’s Jesse Tree project, you will find a registration form here, or you can pick one up in the parish hall, complete it and, put it in the red box by November 20th.  Names and “wish lists” will be distributed during the week of November 24th. 

Please remember to bring your wrapped gifts tagged with your assigned child’s name to church by Sunday, December 10th.  We hope to deliver all packages to COBYS the week following and we are looking for a few volunteers to assist with the driving. Please let Leslie Arnold, Ellen Milligan, or Beth Lynch know if you would like to help.

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

Thank you for your continued support to the Hempfield Area FoodPantry.  In addition to regular food donations, monetary contributions help to purchase food items at the Central Penn Food Bank in Harrisburg at below super market costs (many items at 18 cents a pound). The pantry places an order with the Central Penn Food Bank once a month which is delivered to us. Financial contributions also allow our managers to purchase food items at local grocery stores and markets….such as eggs, fresh produce, meats, dairy products as well as other pantry supplies.

The success of this outreach to the Hempfield area is a total community volunteer effort with many local civic/service/social organizations, neighborhood groups, local businesses, Hempfield school students and staff, retired Hempfield teachers, private individuals, boy/girl scouts, nineteen area churches, postal employees, HARC (employees, playgrounds and day camp), retirement communities, and many volunteers.  Forty-seven volunteers served 626 hours in March. The pantry is a complete volunteer effort, operating with a full non-paid staff.

The Hempfield Pantry has been abundantly blessed with generous donations of food items, financial contributions and volunteers to serve families in our community who are struggling to feed their families. Our clients are very thankful for the food they receive.   God is good!  Bless you for assisting to “feed His sheep!”

The Hempfield Area Food Pantry “wish list” of food items for April 2021 & an update on our contributions: Thank you to St. Edward’s for your continued support to the HAFP. 

April Food List:

Canned green beans; canned corn; canned peas; canned applesauce; cereal; pancake mix; pancake syrup; large grape jelly; bagged noodles. 

This month we have donated $4,500 to the HAFP.  The support from the St. Edward’s community is a wonderful tribute to our Faith in Action.  And, we should note, we have parishioners who also make substantial monetary donations directly to HAFP.  We thank you all, in all the ways you support this important ministry.

St. Edward’s donated 98 pounds of food items to the pantry in March. We served 578 people which included 162 children, 307 adults, and 109 seniors. We registered three new families. The pantry continues to serve clients with a “drive through” distribution.  No clients enter the building…. pre-packed boxes of food are delivered to their cars.  Forty volunteers served 657 hours in March! 

St. Edward’s donated over 2,000 lbs of food to the pantry in 2019!  For the most recent delivery on January 27th, we donated 202 pounds of food.

We were fortunate to have Diane Gerlach, Hempfied Food Pantry Coordinator, join us as our guest speaker on Sunday, January 26th for our Adult Forum.  Diane gave us a wealth of information regarding the food pantry, who they serve and how they serve our community and the difference between the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the pantry.  We also learned about community involvement and what we can do in terms of food donations, monetary donations, donations of time and donations to serve for their once-per-week community meals.  Many opportunities for St. Edward’s to outreach with this very important community program. 

In 2018, St. Edward’s donated 1,629 pounds of food to the food pantry.

“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 future goals:

  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. Bateman 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.

In 2020, the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event was cancelled due to COVID19.  We hope to be able to provide a ministry team in the near future to assist with this very worthy global outreach project.


The 2019 Lancaster County Feed My Starving Children MobilePack that took place March 29-31, was a success! St. Edward’s had a dedicated group that participated, again, this year and we thank them for their continued commitment to this community outreach that combines those in our local community serving those to our wider global community who are most in need in Somalia and Uganda.

Final totals for 2019:

Goal:  $66,718 to cover the cost of meals.  Actual money raised was $70,380.

They met their goal of 1,500 volunteers.

Goal:  To pack 300,000 meals.  Actual meals packed was 311,040.

This will feed 852 children a nutritious meal a day for an entire year!

If you have any questions or are interested in the 2020 event, please see Peg Reiley or contact her at 717-940-2856 or

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

Thank you for your support in the worthy project.  The 2020 event is March 27-29.



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

– Philippians 2:4

It’s that time of year to start thinking about our annual Back-to-School backpacks and school supplies drive.  The supplies will be distributed through the Landisville Food Pantry to families in need. Below is a list of the items we will be collecting:

Backpacks                     #2 Pencils                    Crayons – 24 packs

Notebooks                   Glue Sticks                   3-hole Paper Punch

3-Ring Binders              Colored Pencils            Highlighters – packs

Hand Sanitizer-individual or travel size              Large Block Erasers

Expo Dry Erase Markers       Plastic Pencil Box        3 x 3 Post-it Notes

Pens               Fine Tip Sharpies   Dividers               3 x 5 Index Cards

Ear Buds/Headphones                 Rulers                 Target gift cards

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. DONATION COLLECTION STARTS ON SUNDAY JULY 21st AND THE FINAL COLLECTION DAY IS SUNDAY, AUGUST 4TH. If you have questions, please ask any committee member- the Milligan’s, the Lynch’s, the Ishler’s. We are so grateful for your generosity.

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

The Episcopal Home

Feed My Starving Children


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

Our next Quilts of Valor will be Sunday, November 10, 2019 to honor Richard Lawrence at the 10:15 AM service.

On Sunday, November 11, 2018 we recognized Paul Bender for his military service at the 10:15 AM service.  We thank all of our veterans, every day, for their service to our country.  To learn more about Paul Bender’s service, please view the December 2018 issue of our Scepter.

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 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.


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:

Thank you for your support in the worthy project.


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, Lancaster Chamber Singers, and the ALERT group within our own diocese, St. Edward’s enjoys being there for the community.

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.

2018 JESSE TREE PROJECT – To all Jesse Tree participants, please remember to bring your wrapped gifts tagged with your assigned child’s name to church by Sunday, December 9th.  We hope to deliver all packages to COBYS on December 10th and are looking for a few volunteers to assist with the driving. Please let Leslie Arnold or Beth Lynch know if you would like to help.

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 – In 2020 and the future, Community Aid has moved to accepting donations at their centers, versus a partner bin-centric model for collections.  At St. Edward’s, we can earn .06 cents per pound if we take the time to drop our soft goods (clothing, shoes) off at a donation center (there is one at the corner of Good Drive and Columbia Avenue, just a few miles from here) and give them our partner number (#40036).  This helps us earn passive fundraising dollars to support social outreach.  Please take the time to continue to support us, and the wider community, by bringing your donations to a Community Aid donation center and giving them the St. Edward’s partner number.  We earn money on soft goods, only.

For 2019, St. Edward’s has earned approximately $300 to date. For 2018, St. Edward’s earned approximately $350.  For 2017, St. Edward’s earned over $600 in donation dollars, which we add to our social outreach programs.  Please encourage parishioners, friends, and neighbors to bring their clothing, etc. to our Community Aid bin as it helps us help the wider community.

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

Our largest project has been knitting hats and scarves for the Jesse Tree project that St. Edwards’ does every year at the holiday season.

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 currently has an evening group, who meet on Tuesday’s at 7:00 PM in the lounge area in the Christian Education wing.  ANYONE who knits, crochets, does needlework, quilting and would like to get together with this group to share fellowship, please contact Gail Irons or the parish office.  All are welcome!  ** Due to COVID19 restrictions, this ministry is currently not meeting in the church.  Stay tuned for updates.

Prayer Shawl Ministry: As many of you know, St. Edward’s has a prayer shawl ministry. Although the afternoon knit wits have not been meeting, several of its members and those in the evening continue making those lovely stitches. In the coming weeks, Father David will be blessing these shawls that are ready to be picked up or delivered to those in need of a little comfort or love in times of need or trouble. Please see Michelle in the parish office if you know someone who would enjoy this gift of love. If you would like to help us knit a prayer shawl, please call Michelle or Linda Spire (717-464-2552) for instructions. Thank you for helping with this important ministry!

CARE PACKAGES – The aim of this ministry is to reach out and connect with our young adults.  We have 8 college-aged students that we send care packages to, over the course of their college year.  It is a way that they know that their St. Edward’s family is thinking of them.

CRISPUS ATTUCKS – In the past, when this organization was active in weekly food service to the homeless, St. Edward’s responded to their needs by preparing and serving balanced and healthy meals one Sunday per month.

Our ministry with Crispus Attucks started with our rector (now retired), Father Stephen Casey who had 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. 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 partnered with each other to sponsor a Sunday dinner. At the start, they fed 60 to 70 people at a time; with the deteriorating economy in 2009 and further job losses, that figure had doubled to between 125 to 140 people served on any given Sunday.

Fr. Casey explained, “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 was funded through the church by the congregation and subsidized through an Operation Understanding Grant. The ministry was ecumenical, and St. Edward’s had been one of the largest contributors to this meal-serving program. 

Unfortunately, Crispus Attucks shut down their meal service program several years ago.