Come on down . . . to Coffee Hour this Sunday, the 17th – Sarah Miller from Bridging The Gap will be present to share an update on Bridging the Gap, that is Everyday Basics * Addie’s Attic * Community Warming Center. Sarah will update us with our community organization’s progress: Where we are going and how we need to pull together to get there. We have lots of community support that will help us succeed in reaching out to the vulnerable in the greater Augusta Area. See you in Emmanuel’s Community Room for a great coffee hour and conversation. Sunday, September 17th ~ 10:30 am.
Over the past two years, the combined Congregation of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church + St. Mark’s Episcopal Church have been known as The Church at 209- a name that represented our location at 209 Eastern Avenue. At a special meeting on Sunday, August 6th, the Congregation voted yo change our name to Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church. Emmanuel is described in the Bible as God with us- a good description of the journey our joint congregation continues to walk. A journey where all continue to be welcome among us. As we live into this new name, may God be with you. (contributed by Betty Balderston)
Diaper Donation- Matching Funds from jet.com
Your $35, $50, $100 or $500 donations matched for May 8th
Everyday Basics Essentials gives away Cuties diapers we purchase through Jet.com/jetcares.
Your donation makes a difference in the greater Augusta community. We now serve about 60% refugees and immigrants- many with young families. Free diapers make a big difference in the monthly budget.
Spread the ❤️ Click the purple button to DONATE today. Thank you for making a difference in Central Maine.
Questions email Liz Burgess.
2016 Annual Report for Everyday Basics Essentials Pantry: an outreach ministry of the Church at 209
Everyday Basics Essentials Pantry is beginning its eighth year of operations. In 2009, this ministry served on average 25 people at each opening. In 2016, a total of 5,819 people received the benefits of this ministry. We began 2016 serving just under 200 people with each opening and by this fall we were averaging just over 300, with one peak Saturday reaching 407. This is approximately a 68% increase over 2015.
Sustainability of this ministry has always been a concern for the Vestry and volunteers. St. Mark’s partnership with the Warming Center increased the awareness of this ministry and more guests. As awareness of the program grew, so did our donations of both supplies and money. For the second year in a row, we were the beneficiary of the Maine Legislative and Research Law Library’s holiday giving. We received boxes of essential items and money to support the ministry. In addition, other donors have given generously to ensure sustainability of the ministry. I believe that the more we purposed to give and meet the growing demand, the more people stepped up to support this work. A visible symbol of God at work in a ministry that turns no one away.
As the local community of refugees, Iraqis, Afghanis, and Syrians grows, we see increased families turning up needing assistance as they begin new lives in the Greater Augusta area. The refugee community accounts for approximately 60% of the people we serve in this ministry. Over the past year, members of the refugee community have begun to join in volunteering at the pantry and relationships are being formed. We are learning more about the different cultures as they learn about our culture.
Volunteers are the backbone of this ministry, donating almost 700 hours of time and talent to making everything work – filling supplies, helping people, and being a presence in a world that often seems willing to look through the marginalized rather than face the reality of their circumstances. The creativity of Liz Burgess resulted in a connection with Jet.com that allows us to purchase diapers online and even raise matching funds for these purchases. Donate online toward the purchase of high quality / low cost diapers. Liz also works to create a sustained awareness of the volunteer needs of the organization. Nancy Finnegan works diligently to orchestrate the work of the volunteers and keep things moving forward during our hours of operation. To all the volunteers who engage in this ministry – THANK YOU!!!!
In 2017, we are exploring how to move all our outreach ministries under an umbrella that will hopefully qualify for status as a United Way eligible agency. There will be much more about this throughout the year.
Please hold this ministry and its volunteers in your prayers as they continue to seek the ways that God is calling us to serve in the Greater Augusta area.
This past week saw the removal of the bells from St. Mark’s Church and this week the Ascension window will be removed as well. Even though this was presented to the congregation many months ago and approved by the vestry, the implementation of these plans have felt sudden. Stepping actively into a plan with a physical reality is very different than agreeing to something in theory that will happen some time in the future. The sale of the bells and this one window alone will add $96,000 to our financial reserves and allow us to finalize our coming together as a new, combined congregation in the coming year. That, however, does not lessen the pain of seeing them go.