Stewardship Witness for November 19, 2023 by Alice Smith.
The next four months will bring additional opportunities for members of SsAM to provide outreach to the community. The Community Advocacy committee coordinates these efforts, but it is truly the mission of all members at SsAM to minister to others in need.
SsAM’s efforts in outreach are lengthy, as shown in last year’s annual report. However, the main thrust of our efforts can be summarized as (1) reaching out to the homeless, (2) sponsoring the Canon Casson scholarship program, (3) addressing food insecurity, and (4) providing hospitality.
Reaching Out To The Homeless
SsAM works in close association with Friendship House to provide services to those who are homeless and houseless. Every year in November we host UNDEE SUNDAY, in which we provide long underwear and socks. In December members provide OUTREACH AT CHRISTMAS by contributing gift cards for the 24 women who live in five Friendship House transitional housing units; other members purchase gifts for the children of some of the residents. In January we will again initiate the WARM HANDS, WARM HEARTS campaign to collect hats, gloves, and scarfs.
Canon Casson Scholarship Program
The CANON CASSON SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM awarded two scholarships in 2023. A previous recipient, Cameron Easton, wrote a letter acknowledging the importance of this program. He said, “I truly cannot understate how helpful the scholarship has been! Each year it has been such a blessing to know that I had the support for the supplies I needed. I know, without those funds, it would have been much more difficult to achieve all of this.” (Cameron recently earned his PhD in physical therapy.)
Addressing Food Insecurity
Each Sunday, members of SsAM are encouraged to bring in food for the FEED THE HUNGRY program. In 2022 and early 2023, we donated this food to five different food pantries. The value of the donated food was $1,896, which would provide food for 736 families, individuals, the elderly and the unemployed. Click here to learn more. This important ministry continues throughout the year.
An important part of SsAM’s mission is to provide HOSPITALITY to both members and those who come in our doors seeking warmth, food, bathroom facilities, and friendship. The Empowerment Center located in the basement is run by Friendship House and is open five days a week. Friendship House provides coffee and donuts at the entrance of the parish house on Sunday mornings from 7:30-9 a.m. There are Alcoholic Anonymous meetings in the front of the basement Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. We hope that the chapel services will resume in the future.
Dollars, Donations, and Volunteers
The Apostles in Mission Fund (AIM) is the special collection taken on the first and third Sundays of each month at our worship services, along with mail-in contributions. Donations continued through COVID, and we use these funds for scholarships, support of the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, and special needs of our members and our community at large.
Every member of SsAM should be willing and able to participate in outreach. Specifically, you can:
• contribute to the AIM Fund;
• bring in food or other needs for the “Feed the Hungry” baskets located in the Narthex and in the by the elevator;
• participate in Undee Sunday, our Christmas outreach, and Warm Hands, Warm Hearts; and
• join the Advocacy Committee which coordinates all these efforts, as well as the dispensing of AIM Funds. Ideas for new projects are encouraged and welcomed.
In summary, remember that good deeds are not done by walking into church. They are done after you walk out of the church and help others.
Community Advocacy Committee Chair