To better understand the many wonderful programs that donations support at St. Philip's - a parishioner will present an outline of a specific ministry each Sunday before the 10 AM service. These presentations started October 16 and will continue for several Sundays. This is part of our 2016 Stewardship campaign.
This weeks presentation focused on Outreach.
My name is Mary Lymburner. For several years I have been one of the co-chairs of the Outreach Committee.
I was only dimly aware of Outreach at St. Philip’s until I became warden in 2004. I learned that the wardens had to divide up the committees between them, and Outreach became one of mine. I was so impressed by the enthusiastic group of people that comprised this committee, and the diversity of worthwhile projects they supported, that I stayed on when my tour of duty as warden ended.
This talk is part of this year’s stewardship campaign. We can think of Outreach as our stewardship of time, talent and treasure, directed outward from our community to those in need who may be very different from ourselves. Caring for those outside our usual circle is a response to Jesus’ teaching as in the parable of the Good Samaritan
St. Philip’s is involved in some hands on Outreach projects. I want to mention two.
Along with the parishes of St. Helen’s and St. Anselm’s, St. Philip’s is part of the Anglicans of West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministry. Every Saturday volunteers go out with packets of food, socks and other supplies, and visit those who live on the streets. Over time, this ministry has been able to advocate for some of our street friends and help them get into supportive housing in the area. Support continues to those who have moved into housing especially at 17th and Dunbar.
Every year our parish prepares about two dozen Christmas hampers of food and gifts for needy families identified through two inner city schools. We will be starting this year’s hamper collection in a few weeks.
As you know, we have been raising money to sponsor a refugee family. There has been a delay. We hope to have more information in a few weeks.
The Outreach Committee receives donations from parishioners and passes the money on to many different registered charities, local, national and international. We really like to focus on smaller groups. A couple of examples: The Aboriginal Patient Navigator Program is a program of Vancouver Coastal Health which does what its name suggests – helps First Nations patients and families, especially those from remote areas, navigate the health care system. When such a patient comes down in an emergency, family members often jump in the plane without money or a plan. The head nurse and social worker approached us because they wanted to set up an emergency fund to give gift cards for groceries to these family members.. They spoke at one of our meetings, and we have been supporting this group every since.
One of our parishioners brought an international project to our attention. She knew a young man who had started a small NGO in the Bokeo province of Laos building compostable toilets, greatly improving sanitation and safety. This is the Bokeo Development Fund, and we have donated to that a couple of times.
I want to remind you that unlike all the other committees and groups in the parish, Outreach does not have a line in the budget. Parishioners donate to Outreach directly and may pledge to Outreach directly. Sometimes people specify that the donation should go to the Neighbourhood Ministry, PWRDF, Refugee Fund, hampers or other special appeal. General donations to Outreach are directed to other charities as the committee decides. In recent years Outreach has received and spent about $30,000 a year in general donations.
The Outreach Committee is grateful to the parish for its support over the years. We hope you will continue your support, and our committee is always open to new members.