Our Pledge Campaign this year at Grace is all about our outreach programs, how they impact the people we serve, how they change the lives of those who volunteer, and how those volunteers help make Grace Episcopal Church a vibrant community that is alive with God’s love.
We thank Julia MacLachlan for sharing her experience helping to found our Afghan Migrant Ministry Project, and seeing it come to fruition.We thank Erin House for sharing her experiences leading one of our partner teams that help us put on Community Meals every week.
Impact of the Community Meal Ministry by Erin House
I started volunteering at the Sunday Community Meals at Grace Episcopal Church in 2013 through Bay Pointe Church. At that time, Bay Pointe led 1 Sunday meal per month. In 2014, I became the leader of Bay Pointe’s Sunday Meals at Grace. In 2015, I began leading 2 meals per month at Grace. In 2016, following the merger of Bay Pointe Church with Kensington Church, Kensington chose to not continue to sponsor the Sunday Street Outreach Meals at Grace. Grace agreed to add me to their liability insurance so that I could continue to lead my Sunday meals twice a month without any church affiliation.
For the last 8 years, I have continued to lead Sunday meals twice a month with the support of a robust and generous group of community volunteers. We pride ourselves on offering hearty meals that we would serve to friends and family in our own homes. Most importantly, we pride ourselves in offering a place of community, acceptance, respect, and kindness to every guest that attends our meals.
In addition to serving a mid-day meal, our group distributes gently used clothing, new socks and underwear, and a variety of toiletry and personal care items at our Sunday meals.
Over the last 10 years, I have learned so much from those in our community who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. I am honored to have earned the trust of so many from this community and to have had the opportunity to serve them. I believe that this experience enriches my life as much as it helps or enriches the lives of the guests at our meals. I am reminded every Sunday that I serve the truth that there is more that ties us together as equal children of God than makes us different. And I am continually humbled and inspired by recognizing the incredible value that comes from welcoming our guests to our meals with genuine love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
I could never do what I do without the support of dozens of dedicated volunteers and the support of Grace Church.