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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.’

It Feels Good to be a HERO! Join us on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 2 PM – 7 PM in our parish hall as we host a community blood drive with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Blood Donor Center. Your support ensures that there is a safe and adequate blood supply for the patients of Lancaster General Hospital, Women and Babies Hospital, and the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute.

Click here for general information flyer which includes address and registration details.

Click here for registration flyer.

Soles 4 Souls 2023: St. Edward’s, with Saint John’s of Lancaster, will be collecting shoes from Ash Wednesday through Palm Sunday. We encourage folks to faithfully search their closets and support this ministry with your donations that always exceed our expectations!  In 2023 we collected 452 pairs of shoes! That surpassed our 2022 total by about 100 pair! What amazing ministry!! Thank you to all.


In 2023, the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event took place, for St. Edward’s participation, on Sunday, March 26th from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM. It was an amazing event! Our station packed 22 boxes with 36 meals per box. Each box provides 7 months of food for a child. The entire session packed 188 boxes.


The Lancaster County Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event is a 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.  St. Edward’s has participated in this global outreach project for several years with a dedicated team of volunteers.

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

Thank you for supporting this important outreach project.  


Join our team! 

To learn more about this important event, please visit their website.  We have provided introductory information below to get you started!  


A 5K race cannot end racism but naming the need to create change and working together can make a difference. All proceeds from the Race Against Racism will support the Center for Racial and Gender Equity (CRGE) and our community programs of education, training, advocacy and change.  We will keep running until injustice is rooted out; institutions are transformed, and the world sees women, girls and people of color the way we do:  Equal, Powerful, Unstoppable.

Father Rick+ and our Faith in Action ministry invite you to join us in participating as “Team St. Edward’s” for the 2023 Race Against Racism event.  We are going to join our wider community at Musser Park at 9 AM. TO JOIN OUR TEAM, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 02/14/2023

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that the hats, scarves and gloves that so many kind and caring people donated were delivered to St. John’s this morning and were given out the very same afternoon.   Talk about turnaround!  How wonderful that these warming hats and gloves could get to those who need them so quickly.  Thank you all so very much.







I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. – Matthew 25:36

How can you provide blessings of warmth:

  • Knit hats are this year’s most urgent need in our local homeless shelters for the homeless. Knot hats offer severla advanatges: They are stretchy to any size head; they are affordable; they are unisex.
  • Winter Scarves are also needed.
  • Socks are always welcome, but are the lowest need.

Where to bring your donations?

St. John’s – Lancaster, West Chestnut & Mulberry Streets to the attention of Deacon Stacey Catigano.

If you cannot drop off your donations, contact Cynthia Mascioli at 717-917-3479 or [email protected]

Prayers and notes of inspiration will be attached to the garments and all donations will be blessed by clergy before being delivered to local shelters or distributed during t. John’s community breakfasts and food pantry.


For many, Thanksgiving and Christmas represents a ‘season of giving’.  Giving to the foster children of COBYs during the holidays has been a long-time favorite of this parish.

For this year’s seasonal giving project, we offer two options for parishioners to support our efforts to provide gift to the neediest foster children served through COBY’s Permanency Unit of Lancaster. (Please click on the link to learn more about COBYs.) The total number of children who we will serve will depend on the number of parishioners who participate in this year’s project. Click here for more information and for the sign-up form. Printed forms are also in the narthex.

The Jesse Tree is a unique Advent custom and the tradition traces back as far as the Middle Ages. The earliest Jesse Trees were made of tapestries, carvings, and stained glass. These visual displays allowed uneducated people who could not read or write to learn about the Scriptures from the time of Creation until the birth of Jesus.

What Is a Jesse Tree? The word advent means “arrival.” Because Advent is a time to anticipate and prepare for the arrival of Christ at Christmas. The Jesse Tree represents the family tree, or genealogy, of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God’s salvation plan, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah.  The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah 11:1. “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (NASB) The verse refers to King David’s father, Jesse, who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. The “shoot” that grew from the “stem of Jesse,” that is, the royal line of David, is Jesus Christ. Within your own family, you can make and add ornaments to a tree that represent the story of Jesus.

The St. Edward’s Jesse Tree The St. Edward’s Jesse Tree provides a peaceful spot under its branch for gifts that will be given to children in foster care to make Christmas a little brighter.  Through COBYS Family Services we obtain a list of children in foster care, their ages, and their Christmas wishes. We don’t take the place of Santa. Rather, we act as Santa’s helpers by adding another gift or two for a child to open on Christmas morning.


Our “Books for Prisoners” drive is complete! Please stay tuned for our next drive details. Going forward, we will be collecting books at a designated time, once per year. Thank you to all who have participated in this very important ministry.

Hempfield Area Food Pantry Update:

Thank you for your continued support to the Hempfield Area Food Pantry!   It is contributors like you who confirm the mission of the pantry… serve those in our community who are struggling to feed their families.  Monetary contributions help to purchase food items at the Central Penn Food Bank in Harrisburg at below super market costs (many items at 35 cents a pound).  Financial contributions also allow our managers to purchase food items on sale at local grocery stores and markets….such as eggs, fresh produce, meats, dairy products as well as other pantry supplies. 

Clients may visit the pantry either Monday OR Wednesday each week.

Due to Covid, we continue to serve our clients with a pre-packed box of food items (staples, fresh produce, meat, eggs, cheese and bread/pastry items) placed directly in their car trunk.  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, retirement communities, and many individual volunteers.  In June, forty-three volunteers contributed 617 hours to the pantry.  The pantry operates with a full non-paid staff. 

Diane L. Gerlach,

Vice President/Pantry Coordinator


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 24 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 organizationsneighborhood groupslocal 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.  

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!”

In April, the pantry served 1,797 people which included:

522 children; 905 adults; and 370 seniors.

12 new families were registered in April!

Requested food items for May are:


spaghetti sauce

peanut butter

canned carrots

canned vegetable soup

canned cream of chicken soup

canned cream of broccoli soup

Mac and cheese

This collaborative event was a wonderful day of peace, prayer, and public witness!  We thank all, in our faith community and our wider community, who helped make this day a success! 

Join The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania’s Diocesan Ministry to End Gun Violence at St. Edward’s on Saturday, September 17th from 9 AM – Noon for a day of community outreach with:

  • Swords to Plowshares Northeast ( Retired Bishop Jim Curry brings his forge for an active demonstration converting guns into garden tools.
  • Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence ( Memorial to the Lost – an installation of remembrance for Lancaster County victims of gun homicide.
  • East Hempfield Township Police Department visit with Sgt. Matt Miller, firearms instructor, to learn about gun safety.
  • Samaritan Counseling Center ( will be available to provide mental health resources.
  • Children’s Arts & Crafts – Join us at our “Peace Can Grow” area to paint your own flowerpot and planting, participate in a painted rock craft, or lend your artistry to our “Peace Wall.”
  • Ecumenical & Interfaith Gathering of Area Congregations – Coming together, as communities of faith, with pastors and chaplains available for 1-on-1 conversation and support.
  • Communal Prayer Service – We complete the morning with a gathering in the St. Edward’s sanctuary.

Refreshments and light snacks will be available throughout the morning.

The St. Edward’s Refugee Welcome Team – in partnership with

On Thursday, December 2, 2021 our family of six arrived in Lancaster to begin their new life in the United States. The Rahim family is from Afghanistan. We are so grateful to be able to welcome and shepherd this family!  We would like to introduce them to everyone by name: Najibullah (husband), Malalay (wife), Tayabullah (son – 12 years old), Sohaibullah (son – 7 years old), Anfal (daughter – 2 years old), and Khateebullah Rahim (male – 10 years old) 

We are happy to relay that the family has moved into a home on December 15th and our Welcome Team has been working closely with CWS and the family to make certain that they have what they need to make their house a home and to acclimate them to living in the United States and our community.  This is true Faith in Action! We are so appreciative of our Welcome Team, who are committed to this family discovering the means to transform their lives.  Meet our Welcome Team:  Leslie Arnold, Meredith Aul Westgate, Father Rick Bauer, Candee Buckbee, Catherine Donohue, Deborah Fast, Dina Ishler, Joyce Kamm, Beth Lynch, Bruce Lynch, Linda Mamorium, Mac Miller, Ellen Milligan, Herb Johnston, Marcia Shirk, and David Rutledge.

Areas that our Welcome Team are involved in include: Setting up new home; transportation; set-up health appointments; cultural adjustments to the community; schooling; jobs and finance tutoring; social activities.  New transitions can be filled with isolation and loneliness, so it is vital to be in close connection with our family to encourage trips to the park, making crafts, eating meals together, listening to favorite music together, celebrating a special holiday, and lending a gentle spirit and listening ear. 

We offer up this prayer for refugees:

God our Creator: We ask for your loving presence and for your peace to be with refugees in our local communities and around the world. Be with all who are in fear. Be with those whose lives and livelihoods are under threat, and whose religious freedoms are being compromised. Be with us as we strive to enact your will in our welcome and support of refugees. Be with those in positions of leadership, that their decisions may bend toward peace and not division, and that they might realize the power they hold to do justice. Give us all strength and courage. Equip and empower us to be witnesses to your love – as advocates and as servants, as ministers of welcome and bearers of hope, especially for those seeking refuge. In your Holy name we pray. Amen.

[Prayer from Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem]

All of us at St. Edward’s, as well as “friends of St. Edward’s” can support our family in meaningful ways.  

Let us continue to prayerfully consider supporting our loved ones, the Rahim family, in donating to our established Legal Defense Fund. We would like to thank all who have contributed, to date to the Rahim Family Legal Defense Fund.  Your generosity of spirit and prompt response to Father Rick’s “call” to Faith in Action, has allowed us to raise $18,195!  Donations can be written to St. Edward’s Episcopal Church with the memo line notation of: Rahim Legal Fund. 

We invite you to continue to make a monetary donation of any amount! Donations should be made payable to St. Edward’s Episcopal Church with a memo line notation “Rahim Family.”

Should you have any questions, please contact Joyce Kamm (listed in our parish directory) or the parish office.  We encourage people to connect with our Welcome Team members to learn more about this exciting ministry and what drew them to be involved.  Let us share our stories to stay connected to the ministry, mission, and vision of St. Edward’s as we strive to support those in need. 

We had a wonderful dinner on Wednesday, June 8th with the Rahim family.  Malalay’s incredible cooking talents created a meal of exceptional Afghan cuisine that was enjoyed by all! With over 80 folks joining us that evening, as well as the amazing volunteers who helped make everything flow just right, this was a beautiful opportunity to be in fellowship!!!

Back-to-School Drive 2023

We received $1,300 in checks and gift cards ($825 cash donations + $475 worth of gift cards) plus approximately 40 backpacks.  What an incredible gift to the children and families of Hempfield School District.  The people of St. Edward’s have truly lightened the load that students in need carry.


As many of you know, St. Edward’s has had a wonderful knitting ministry for decades – the Knit Wits. Due to COVID19, the Knit Wits were unable to gather, as a group, in-person. BUT, that is not to say that there have not been fruitful labors from these dedicated women in knitting so many items with love: from prayer shawls to prayer pocket squares, hats, and many items in between!

And, the “Knit Wits” is truly more than knitting – it is welcoming to ALL who engage in needle arts:  from crochet to cross-stitch; quilting to knitting; needlepoint to hemming or repairing a clothing item. . . Welcome to all, and please join us!  In speaking with Gail Irons, she conveyed the meaning if this ministry group perfectly by sharing that it is a time to be together in fellowship and to learn from one another.

The Knit Wits meet in-person on Tuesdays, at 1 PM in the lounge area, please join each other for fellowship while you pursue your craft.

We are so very appreciative of this loving ministry that provides such wonderful fellowship, while providing our parish, and the wider community, with these symbols of faith, hope, and love. This ministry is touching to so many who have loved ones – friends, family, friends of friends – in need of a wrap of comfort in their time of need, illness, or recovery.  We have so many touching stories that speak to the solace one receives when presented with a prayer shawl knitted by the Knit Wits, tagged with a loving prayer and blessed by our rector. And, it is wonderful to be able to present to the parents, when they bring their child to be baptized at St. Edward’s, a baby blanket knit by our ministry group.

If you are in need of a prayer shawl, or other knitted item(s), please contact the parish office.  We are happy to share with you our blessed items for you to choose to gift to those you love and care for. Thank you to the Knit Wits ministry, for all you have done and continue to do. Your ministry is beautiful and vital to our mission.

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:

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.


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.

Community Aid bin logo

COMMUNITY AID PA – In 2022, 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 #40036.  We earn money on soft goods, only.

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.