The diocesan Eucharistic Festival is this weekend, and there is a long tradition of designating half of the offering to benefit a ministry beyond the diocese. Bishop Matt Gunter has determined the recipient for 2022 will be Episcopal Migration Ministries. EMM monitors and oversees the work of 11 affiliate partners in implementing major programs and initiatives. These services include welcoming families when they first arrive, providing initial housing, ESL classes, medical resources, job assistance, youth programs, and more.
This is a critical time for Episcopal Migration Ministries and the life-saving work they do. EMM has welcomed and resettled more than 100,000 refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program since the 1980s. In 2021, EMM welcomed individuals from 24 countries to 12 communities across the U.S. It continues to offer a ministry of welcome that allows continued resettling of vulnerable populations, assisting arriving Afghans, and respond to the crisis in Ukraine.
"In these days of dislocation caused by strife of all kinds, including war, supporting the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries is so important" Bishop Matt Gunter shared. "Serving refugees during their initial days in the U.S. through a process of finding employment and building a future in new communities Is something we can all support. I am reminded of the verse in Hebrews (13:1-2) that showing hospitality to strangers may be showing hospitality to angels without knowing it."
Let’s join together and support a voice of welcome and hope for our refugee neighbors and friends. If you are unable to attend the Festival, you are still welcome to give to support EMM at episcopalmigrationministries.org/donate-now.
The budget of the Diocese of Fond du Lac includes a line for outreach beyond the structures of the diocese. Distribution of these funds is determined by the diocesan Deacon Council. It discerns where funds go after doing homework of where there is need.
Typically $8,000 to $10,000 in a year, the 2021 distribution grew to over $36,000 when the Executive Council determined to tithe on the proceeds of a bequest. Tithing on such a gift has been a standard operating procedure in the past. Tithing has also been practiced when church property has been sold.
"We try to be intentional in giving to those in need when we receive the blessing of such gifts," Bishop Matt noted. "It is is a tangible way to give support beyond our diocese as a sign of our gratefulness."
The Deacon Council met twice to decide recipients. Distribution was delayed until March, after the full bequest had been received. Recipients were the Mandolin Foundation in Green Bay (mandolinfoundationllc.com), Sleep in Heavenly Peace - Oshkosh Chapter (shpbeds.org), The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo (masvingo.anglican.org), Episcopal Relief and Development (episcopalrelief.org) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/). Members of the diocese are encouraged to visit their websites and learn of the work each is doing.
Since 2004, the Diocese has donated nearly $200,000 through its Outreach Fund agencies, programs and opportunities. Gifts have been made locally and around the world, all beyond diocesan structures with the intent to give outside of ourselves to the greater glory of God.
"Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of the most direct and tangible ways that we embrace the invitation to become a Church that looks and acts like Jesus, by reaching out our hands in love to the dispossessed, displaced, exiled, and marginalized. For over four decades, in times of war, genocide, political persecution and upheaval, EMM has enabled the Church at all levels to welcome and care for God’s beloved children, supporting them on their journey as new Americans, our neighbors."
This is where EMM needs your help.
1. Prayer. Refugee resettlement ministry includes professional staff, but also tens of thousands of volunteers, congregations, and community partners and stakeholders, who all come together to welcome and support our new neighbors. Click here for a prayer list.
2. Volunteer support. To address the severe staffing shortages in the face of this crisis, we prayerfully ask for anyone willing and able to embed for a period of 1-3 months in an EMM affiliate office or within EMM’s churchwide headquarters staff. This may occur virtually/remotely, in some circumstances. At present, one of the top identified needs is for individuals with volunteer coordination, project management, and community organizing experience. Interested and skilled individuals should email AfghanAllies@episcopalchurch.org, attaching their CV and briefly explaining their relevant experience.
3. Financial support. In partnership with The Episcopal Church’s Office of Development, EMM has created the Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund, recognizing that considerable funding is needed to support the housing, medical, legal, and other basic needs of the Afghan families we will welcome. We ask that you share this announcement and this bulletin insert with congregations, ministries, and affiliated organizations throughout your dioceses.
Lakeshore CAP’s Door County Food Pantry is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit program that provides on-going and emergency healthy food assistance to low and limited income residents. Mary Koski, representing the Outreach Committee of the Episcopal Church of Christ the King Holy Nativity, Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport, Wisconsin gave a $1,000 check to Sandi Soik, representing Lakeshore CAP’s Door County Food Pantry. The Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport church congregations have pledged one thousand dollars each quarter to support local non-profit organizations.
I was on Facebook one day and saw a picture and explanation of a "Blessing Box." It was similar to the little libraries we see all over, but the focus of the Blessing Box was to put items (food, personal items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.) in there that people could just take as needed. Donations could be put in the Blessing Box as well. I just loved this idea and thought it might be something St. Peter's could do.
Next I went to Fr. Marcus Cunningham with the idea, and he took it to the Vestry to discuss. The Vestry approved it! I am a member of Thrivent Financial, and as a member we are allowed and encouraged to do two Action Teams a year. An Action Team is planning some type of event that helps others in your community. Thrivent encourages each member to think of the ideas for events to help others in the community. The Action Team, if approved, is given a $250.00 Visa card to use for the planned event plus Live Generously t-shirts and other items to advertise the Action Team. The initial Action Team I applied for was to purchase the materials to make the Blessing Box and purchase food items if there was any leftover money. And my Action Team was approved!
Intercession Episcopal Church, Stevens Point, a part of the Beloved Community with Redeemer Lutheran Church, will hold their annual Steak Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, September 28th from 4-8p.m. Tickets are $20 per person costs and gets a ribeye steak, grilled as you like it, baked potato with toppings, salad, roll and dessert. Soda/coffee is available for small offering. There will be hot dogs and chips available free of charge. There are also raffle baskets and several great silent auction items. This is Intercession's only fundraiser and proceeds will go to support the various traditional and non-traditional Outreach and Mission Action Team programs. . You may go home with some great gifts as well!
RSVP: In order to get a correct number of rib eye steaks, we need an exact count by Sept. 18. Call the office if you will be attending (715) 341-3233.
Beloved Community is located at 900 Brilowski Road, on the eastside of Stevens Point behind Fleet Farm.
When the Monk Gardens in Wausau was vandalized this past summer, some younger parishioners of St. John the Baptist, Wausau took action. Together with friends, they organized an art and bake sale in the parish courtyard and raised over $1,000 for Monk Gardens. St. John's courtyard is near downtown, and hosts many events so is well known in the community.
This outreach event sparked an idea for Fr. Copeland Johnston, Rector of St. John's He has announced a plan to continue to support goodwill efforts with a “Noisy Bucket." On the first Sunday of each month, loose change will be collected in buckets by the children of the church. Reminders will ask folks to bring change from dressers, car cup holders, pockets, and sofa cushions on that Sunday. After a reasonable amount has been collected, the children will direct where the money will go in the community.
Perhaps your congregation might want to start your own "Noisy Bucket"?
The Outreach Committee of the Episcopal Church of Christ the King and Holy Nativity, Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport, selected “Cradle to Career” as the recipient of its second-quarter 2019 outreach grant. The church has pledged one thousand dollars per quarter to local community service programs, in addition to its continuous support of the Lakeshore CAP food pantry.
Door County Cradle to Career is a program of the Lakeshore CAP (Community Action Program). It serves Door County residents who are pregnant or are parenting at least one child under the age of five years. Case manager Kris Miller connects families with resources that help meet basic needs and supports parents as they work toward educational, career and financial goals.
The borders of Zimbabwe are more than 100 miles from the Indian Ocean, but that didn’t stop the damaging effects of Cyclone Idai on the people and places of the Diocese of Masvingo. Masvingo is in a companion relationship with the Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin. Eastern parts of the Masvingo diocese, along with areas of their sister Diocese of Manicaland, were impacted.
Many have asked how they support the recovery efforts related to the damage. The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe includes Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe, whose chair is Bishop Godfrey of the Diocese of Masvingo. Funds received by this agency will be used to assist victims of Cyclone Idai and support affected households.
International donations are hard to make and each one includes wire transfer fees. For this reason, the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac will collect funds for the Cyclone Idai Recovery Fund. Individuals may give online at diofdl.org or send a check to the Diocesan Office with Idai in the memo line. Congregations are encouraged to hold a special collection for Cyclone Idai Recovery and send collected funds to the Diocesan Office. The total collected with be announced when our guests from the Diocese of Masvingo are visiting the end of May.
The history of the Good Friday Offering starts in 1922 when, in the aftermath of World War I, The Episcopal Church sought to create new relationships with and among the Christians of the Middle East. From these initial efforts which focused on a combination of relief work and the improvement of ecumenical and Anglican relations, the Good Friday Offering was created.
"The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac has supported this effort for many decades," Bishop Matt Gunter shared. "I call on every congregation to participate to support or brothers and sisters in Christ."
Information about the Good Friday Offering, including resources (bulletins and poster), stories and where to send collections may be found at episcopalchurch.org/good-friday-offering. The bishops, priests, and people of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East thank you very much for your support as we come together in the One Body of Christ, strengthening our faith by living the Good News.
St. Luke Episcopal Church, Sister Bay is collecting food and other items in February to donate to the Door of Life Church’s 24/7 Free Pantry. Each week items collected are delivered and the shelves stocked. The pantry is open to everyone and while many may not see it, northern Door County has a significant number of people and families struggling to make ends meet. The pantry helps to stretch food aid and allows the dignity of remaining anonymous to those who use it. There is also a need for paper goods and personal care items along with a freezer for frozen items and meats.
As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for support shown by members of the diocese in two areas of outreach. The United Thank Offering will receive $378.33 collected in the blue UTO boxes on delegates' tables at our Diocesan Convention. These funds will be distributed through the UTO granting process. Learn more about UTO here.
The Diocese of Masvingo, our companion diocese, has received $2,669.06 collected from across the diocese. $1,144.75 was collected at the Diocesan Convention Eucharist and $1,524.31 was received from congregations' Companion Diocese Sunday this past May. Those congregations are Trinity, Oshkosh; St. Augustine, Rhinelander; St. Peter, Ripon; Grace, Sheboygan; St. Peter, Sheboygan Falls; St. John, Wausau. Thank you to all who support outreach across the diocese. Learn more here.
Ron Alexander, a member of St. John Episcopal Church in Wausau, noted growth from participation in a recent summit addressing the opiod crisis. "As a person of faith, the recent Recovery Summit-Road to Recovery was impactful" Ron noted, "because it allowed me to live out my Baptismal Covenant, especially: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself; and to focus on the Cursillo goal of involvement in Apostolic action."
Over 100 people attended the summit in Wausau November 8, 2017. Learning objectives included the impact of addiction and the hope of recovery for individuals, families and communities, reflected in a documentary titled, Straight Forward:The truth about Addiction. Best practices around the state were presented by those leading efforts to build communities supportive of recovery. These efforts include recovery coaching (which Ron is involved in), sober living, transitional employment, social supports, sense of purpose and more.
Speakers included a clinical substance abuse counselor, vocational learning coordinator, a public health educator and a local attorney who serves as a guardian ad litem for youth. Funding for the summit came partially from the Outreach Fund of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Other partners included the Northwoods Coalition (of over 50 entities from 34 counties) and the Greenheck Foundation.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin, recently donated almost $15,000 to four agencies that address the opioid epidemic, refugee crisis, and natural disasters domestically and internationally. Recipients are recommended by the Deacon Council and approved by the Executive Council who release funds from its Outreach Reserve.
Episcopal Relief and Development received support to respond to recent U.S. disasters and to meet global needs (episcopalrelief.org). World Relief was selected to assist their efforts in addressing the refugee crisis (worldrelief.org). A local gift to Marathon County (Wisconsin) AOD Partnership Council provides support for a November summit to address the Opioid Crisis (aodpartnership.org). Another local gift has been made to Koinonia Residential Treatment Center in Rhinelander (koinoniaocs.net) that will assist them in providing substance abuse treatment.
Since 2004, the Diocese has donated $120,000 to a number of agencies, programs and opportunities, locally and around the world, that are beyond diocesan structures with the intent to give outside of ourselves to the greater glory of God. Past recipients have included disaster relief in the United States and around the world, medical needs in underdeveloped countries, program support for struggling ministries, just to name a few.