Missions & Outreach
Part of our identity as followers of Jesus, is to get outside our comfort zone and our regular context. We are all called to take the Gospel with us beyond the places where we and the Church live. Mission is about sending people, as Jesus sent his disciples, into the places of the world where the church isn't already present in some way. This is the work that we do when we go on mission trips; in doing ministry in the public arena; through youth ministry out in the community; by offering public worship outside of our buildings. Mission is different than outreach, which is reaching out within the communities and contexts we find ourselves in. Supporting local organizations with money is a good form of outreach; mission involves relationship. When we form a relationship with someone outside our comfort zone and the day to day parts of our lives, we're probably engaged in mission.
For more on mission: http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/79425_130201_ENG_HTM.htm
Christ Church is engaged in a great deal of outreach, working and supporting local organizations in the community that serve the common good. We regularly participate in Manna House, serving meals to the homeless and those in poverty in Brunswick. We provide local school children who struggle with food insecurity with food to get through the weekend until their school meals begin again on Monday. We have helped get an emergency temporary shelter program started. We provide financial assistance for utilities and rent on an emergency basis as we are able. We support many non-profits in the County that help the poor and the outcast. We raise funds through the Episcopal Church Women and we give way a portion of our operating budget because outreach is a ministry of mercy to our neighbors is a central part of our faith. Contact us to find out how you can get involved and serve alongside us.
Backpack Buddies is a program provides elementary school students who are on free and reduced meal assistance, with nutritious food for the weekends. This is two weekends worth of food for children in need at St. Simons Elementary, Oglethorpe Elementary, and Burroughs-Molette Elementary.
Each bag includes wholesome nutritious food items to help a child through the school year weekends. Each bag has contained 2 milks, 2 juices, 2 proteins, 2 fruits/veggies, 2 breakfast items and 4 snacks.
In total, this adds up to 2,940 food items weighing 1100 -1200 pounds that we packed. No need for the gym! Susan Shipman coordinates this effort including shopping for and gathering all the food, and delivering the packed bags to the schools. She has become an expert in where to get the best deal on each food item and is serving as an excellent steward of resources.
You can help by contacting Susan to join a packing team or by donating money to the program. All donations of any amount are welcome and $100 would feed a child on the 38 weekends throughout the school year.
Make your checks payable to: Christ Church, Frederica and mark them: Backpack Buddies.
This is Christ Church in action as we reach out to the community and we meet the needs of children. To God be the glory!
Glynn Episcopal Ministries
The Episcopal Churches of Glynn County are working together under the umbrella of Glynn Episcopal Ministries (GEM). GEM's goal is to create lasting positive change in one the most challenging neighborhoods in Brunswick, GA. Focusing on the area around St. Athanasius and St. Mark's, which are only blocks apart, GEM has a special interest in children. As a part of that focus on young people GEM has formed a partnership with local elementary school, Burroughs-Molette, the most challenged elementary school in the county.
Virtually all of the students at Burroughs-Molette qualify for free or reduced lunches, and poverty is one of the greatest challenges the school faces in offering the kids the education they need. GEM has provided a Teacher Appreciation Lunch and celebrations for faculty and staff at the school. The lack of an active PTA means such things as simple as Teacher Appreciation are not a regular reality for the school's staff. Each staff member, more than 70 in total, has received lunch, a handwritten thank you note, a gift card, and monthly snacks from a celebration cart.
GEM has also helped celebrate "graduating" 5th graders with a party during the last week of school, offering food, entertainment, and actives for the afternoon. In addition, GEM has organized school assemblies and sponsored a back to school curriculum night. The group has also helped the school start an after school tutoring program in the fall. Twenty volunteers are already signed up to help once school starts, and GEM anticipates even more response by the time school starts.
GEM is also working in cooperation with the St. Athanasius Feed My Sheep Food Pantry to offer a summer. The food pantry does distributions on Fridays, including special food bags for kids. The Backpack Buddies program sends food home on Fridays through the schools during the school year, and GEM is working with Backpack Buddies to continue that through the summer as well. A simple meal is served to all who show up on the day of the distribution. In addition, there is story time and free children's books for all the kids.
GEM is always looking for new opportunities to raise up and support children in the neighborhood. Donations can be made through Christ Church, with a memo for GEM. Read more about how you get involved here.
Formed in fall 2013, the Emergency Assistance Ministry consists of four teams of dedicated interviewers who sit down with the folks who call Christ Church seeking financial assistance. The interviews are conducted on Monday mornings, and once they complete the interview process, the interviewers make a recommendation to clergy as to whether or not Christ Church should provide assistance to the interviewee. From that recommendation, clergy provide up to $250 every six months from their discretionary funds to help those in need.