Shining Light in a Dark World
Looking back on 2020, we can all say it was more than just a rough year. Vocabulary such as “pandemic” and “quarantine” became commonplace. We missed out on birthday celebrations, graduations, weddings, and funerals. Thanksgiving and Christmas looked very different with smaller family and friends’ gatherings. Face masks became part of our wardrobe, and hand sanitizer at every door is now the norm. Our lives have been turned upside down. And for many, it has become a very dark place. People have lost their jobs, homes, and lives. What has our world turned into?
Being a part of the Home Missions Team during this unusual time has actually made things more bearable. Meeting with a group of like-minded St. Philippians once a month to determine how we can help our mission partners in Charleston has given us an opportunity to help struggling people all over the Lowcountry. In June, we were able to host a blood drive for the Red Cross at St. Philip’s, helping many people who were in desperate need of blood. We also hosted a canned food drive to help feed hungry families in the area, and we gathered book bags and school supplies to equip children in need through Tricounty Family Ministries. In December, generous parishioners also provided gift cards to all of our Home Mission partners for them to use during Christmas. Even though this period has seemed dark to some, helping others in desperate times and spreading the love of Christ has helped brighten up our COVID world!
Another task the Team has is to determine how to distribute the funding that the St. Philip’s vestry allocates to Home Missions. This funding, a percentage of what our parishioners have tithed throughout the year, goes directly to people in Charleston who are in need––your dollars help people all over the Lowcountry! Some of you have even gone above and beyond to give more during our school supply drives, can food drives, and Angel Tree gift card donations. People’s lives have been changed because of your help!
Each of our mission partners received $1,000 in the spring to help with the difficulty COVID caused to their programs. In December, we were able to give the following additional funds:
Tricounty Family Ministries: $10,000
(to help increase days they are open and staff hours)
Lowcountry Pregnancy Center: $4,000
(physical needs such as diapers, wipes and formula, and gift cards)
Star Gospel Mission: $3,000
(warm weather bedding, towels, etc.)
St. John’s Chapel: $1,500
(partnering with St John’s Chapel to help give Christmas gifts to St. John’s High School senior boys who do not have father figures in their lives)
On behalf of the Home Missions Team, thank you to each and every one of you for your support, generosity, and prayers for our Home Mission partners during 2020. We look forward to offering more opportunities for you to get involved in 2021!
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