Our theology — what we understand God is doing when we minister with others — matters.
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? The Book of Common Prayer.
We believe our mission and outreach ministries must reflect the fruit of our inner work, that is, our worship and our faith formation. Everything we do outside of our church's building expresses the truth that God dwells inside of us, as well as in the people with whom we partner to repair the world. Any opportunity when we can both share and receive the good news of Jesus Christ reflects our trust that through partnership and mutuality God transforms us.
Our mission and outreach ministry is overseen by the Mission and Outreach Committee who work with the vestry (the governing board of the parish) to equip our members for service in the world. We do this ministry in four areas:
Social Advocacy & Witness
Sustainability and Creation Care
Ways You Can Help During the Pandemic
1) St. Luke's in Chelsea is desperate for additional funds. This is where a group of Epiphany folks stock shelves weekly on Fridays at the Food Pantry. Checks can be sent to St. Luke's- San Lucas Episcopal Church (write "food programs" in the memo), 201 Washington Ave, Chelsea, MA 02150.
2) St Stephen’s Youth Programs has created a Pandemic Relief Fund to support our families who face job loss and food/ housing insecurity. Donations can be made at http://www.ssypboston.org/donate-now, designate "Pandemic Fund". Contact Betsy Walsh for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) The International Institute for New England works with immigrants and refugees and also needs financial donations. Please donate to help our neighbors in need: join the IINE community
4) We should not forget that UU Bedford is still supporting their guest in Sanctuary even though the volunteer shifts have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. Financial donations will help defray their costs - they are into their third year of providing sanctuary. Send checks to: First Parish, 75 Great Rd., Bedford, MA. 01730, "Sanctuary Fund" in memo line.
5) In May 2020, Parish of the Epiphany, St. Luke’s, and Bella Isla Restaurant entered into a very successful “Meals for Chelsea” partnership. Funds are raised through a GoFundMe account (managed by Betsy Walsh) and each week funds are disbursed to the restaurant. Bella Isla creates 150 certificates for free meals which are distributed on Saturday to those waiting in line for groceries. This program provides a hot meal for those who need it AND helps keep a small (minority woman owned) business open. Please consider donating by clicking this link.
We are engaged locally, in Winchester and around the Boston metropolitan area, and also globally, especially in Haiti, the Holy Land, and Honduras. Whenever it's possible we give ourselves, our souls and bodies, because through our hands-on engagement relationships flourish, which is why mission trips are a key component to this part of our parish's life.
We give away money, too, about $60,000 each year so that other communities have resources to educate, heal, empower, and feed. Some of our programs are within the Episcopal Church (our denomination) and some are with communities who have little or no religious connection. We go where we're called and where we believe we can be changed.
Giving away our time and our money is really important. Equally valuable to our charitable actions is our work to eradicate the systems and policies which keep people poor and oppressed, which is why our social witness and advocacy is a critical expression of our Christian practice with mission and outreach.
Mission and Outreach Steering Committee
The Steering Committee helps to manage and monitor the outreach programs supported by Epiphany leader/volunteers. A major function is to allocate and manage the funds voted for outreach by the Vestry in the annual budget. The committee is responsible for communicating with the parish about our programs and volunteer opportunities, always striving to engage more parishioners in mission
All parishioners are invited to attend our meetings. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:30 in the Suter Room to initiate special programs, invite new members, monitor our budget, review and approve grant applications and plan regular communication to the parish. If you enjoy making a difference in the world and would like to be involved, please contact the chairs of Mission & Outreach, Janet Boswell and Lisa Core.
Caring for your resources
The Mission & Outreach Steering Committee has allocated 90% of this amount to be given to the programs that we support, and 10% to be available for grant requests. In the interest of fairness, programs that are supported by the most parishioners receive the most money.
Our grants are distributed on an “as needed” basis for emergency or one time needs only. The request must be submitted on the below form, following the guidelines. The committee will review and vote on the request in a timely manner.