Message from Outreach Chair Jim Wilkins
My name is Jim Wilkins and I am the chair of Grace Church's Outreach Committee. Earlier this year, we re-visioned the Outreach Committee as The Lantern, to represent Grace Church carrying our light out into the world, much as our stained glass windows are illuminated in the evenings, making our church a lantern.
Outreach at Grace Church takes many forms: On a local level, our parishioners volunteer in community activities; we donate items such as diapers and egg cartons.
We work together to prepare meals for Out of the Cold programs, create Santa Sacs for marginalized citizens in our city, and there are countless other ongoing projects.
We are major supporters of the Churches on-the-Hill Food Bank. And it is not just money that we give. Parishioners volunteer in food drives, and our Grace Church community garden supplies vegetables to the Food Bank as well.
On a national level, our parish has engaged in a project to foster relationships with Aboriginal ministries and First Nations communities, led by parishioner Judith Moses.
And on the global front, Grace Church is engaging in a Syrian refugee resettlement program, led by Bruce Thomas.
I want to emphasize that the Outreach Committee merely coordinates these activities and projects, but it is you our parishioners who are making these things happen, through your volunteer efforts and your enthusiasm.
Every year, the Outreach Committee donates money to support charities and activities in areas that the parish is involved in.
This year, we are disbursing $25,000 to support projects and activities that represent Local, National, and Global causes, in areas such as:
• Emergency Response and Refugees
• International Development
• Prison Ministry
• Food Security & Necessities of Life
Where did the money for these donations come from? Well, a large part of it came from you, our parishioners.
A portion of your offertories is directed to Outreach by the wardens in the parish's annual budget.
The parish also has Trust & Endowment funds that have been left to Grace Church as bequests by parishioners, and are designated for Outreach activities.
And finally, 75% of the proceeds of our annual Attic Sale, organized and run by Diana Watson and her team, were directed to Outreach donations this year.
So, when you support Grace Church, you also support the Outreach work that we do. It is about how we interact with the community around us, and the broader world.