- Empty Tomb Delivery
- St. Jude Catholic Worker House
- Sack Lunch Program
- Rides to church
- United Thank Offering
- Meals on Wheels
- Youth Group Outreach
all very familiar with the phrase It is more blessed to give than
to receive. In fact, we first became acquainted with that concept
early on, perhaps in Childrens Chapel as I did under the care
of Mrs. Adamstone or in Sunday School. Likewise, we all know the wonderfully
warm feeling of giving a gift to someone we love
one that we selected with care especially for them. We know what it
is like to love someone so much that we want to give them things. We
give, not because we feel obligated, but because we wish to.
paraphrase from an article written by Mark Allen Powell. He says that
giving to the church as an act of worship is similar to giving a special
gift to someone we love very much. We do have an obligation, a duty
to support our churchs life and mission, but giving as a reflection
of our love for God takes us beyond duty to delight.
6:21 Jesus says Where your treasure is, there your heart will
be also. It is not a commandment; it is a promise which holds
the key to joy, hope, and enthusiasm. Where you put your treasure is
where your heart will follow. According to Mr. Powell, there is a close
connection between generous giving and spiritual devotion; spiritually
mature Christians give generously of their money. We often put our money
where our heart is. How much money do we spend annually on sporting
events, clothes, and eating out? But Jesus says that it can work the
other way around as well. In fact, what we do with our money affects
us on a deep, spiritual level. As Mr. Powell points out the point
is not how we spend our money as a determinant of what sort of people
we are. The point is that how we spend our money determines the sort
of people we become. The good news is that we can become the people
we would like to be
we can decide who we want to be by committing
our time, money, and talents to those things that we wish to care about
such as our parish and its ministries.
us give of your treasure and your heart will follow. If you are not
the person you want to be you consider yourself to be a work
in progress -- then give as the person you would like to be and let
your heart catch up. Powell reminds us that it is often easier
to act oneself into a new way of thinking than to think oneself into
a new way of acting. Our behavior determines who we become, and this
is especially true when it comes to hearts and treasure. Stewardship
is the surest path to spirituality.
Beckwith wrote in one of his commentaries in the diocesan newsletter
that Stewardship is the way by which Christians move God from
the periphery of their lives to the center of them. True stewardship
the personal need of each one of us to return to God
an appropriate and truly grateful portion of our resources in thanksgiving
for all that God has given us.
honesty I do not feel that last years stewardship campaign was
an accurate reflection of the people that we are and the values that
we hold. Nor do I believe that it was an adequate first offering of
our resources in thanksgiving to God. Last year, many in this parish
were caught up in the unsettled political climate surrounding the diocese
and the national church.
of pledging and giving back to God using our hearts, we allowed our
heads to rule over our offering. Conditions and limitations were placed
on gifts. Let us ask ourselves: Do we really want to offer a gift to
God with strings attached when He gives to us so freely and abundantly?
Being good stewards of Gods gifts to us simply means returning
to God a portion of what we have been given without strings. Stewardship
brings all of our resources self, life, energy, talent, skill,
time and lays them at the feet of God.
to make one final remark regarding our campaign and the need for the
funds on which this parish operates. Our offerings of worship, ministry,
and outreach are dictated by budgetary parameters. Additionally, as
a result of the long-term planning that our Vestry has been working
so hard on for the past year, we are at a point in time where we are
turning over a new leaf in our parish life and starting over with renewed
commitment and energy. Now is the opportunity for you to underwrite
what youve asked for at the strategic planning retreat last fall.
All of these things that we want have cost associated with them. It
is up to us to give the Vestry enough funding from this years
campaign to proceed with the execution and initialization of our wishes.
continued to function as the Christian Social Concerns Committee throughout
2007. A subcommittee met in early January 2008 to consider all requests
for funds and to allocate the outreach monies in the budget.
feel free to browse among the outreach opportunites below. To become
involved in any of these on-going ministries, please contact
the Parish Office at 352-9827.
past year, each month, one of the organizations that Emmanuel supports
through its outreach budget has been featured in our parish newsletter,
Messenger. This is a repeat of one of those columns listing the on-going
volunteer opportunities through EMEC. A large thank you goes to the
parishioners who are already involved in these important ministries.
This work would not be possible without a continuing stream of volunteers
and there is always room for more help!
Tomb Delivery: Once a week (usually on a Friday or Saturday), Emmanuel
receives a referral from the empty tomb of a local family in need of
food. The volunteer who delivers the food first gathers the non-perishable
food from the church's food pantry and supplements it with fresh food
purchased at a local grocery store. The volunteer receives the name
and address of the family as well as any special food needs. The Parish
Office provides the money to the volunteer deliverer to purchase the
additional food. In 2007, there were 160 adults and children fed through
food deliveries coordinated by Emmanuel Parish. Time involved: about
one to two hours every two or three months. Other ways to be involved
are to donate canned goods or dry food for the church pantry or to donate
money for the fresh food supplements. Items in short supply are listed
weekly in the Sunday bulletin announcements. (See more detailed report
from Lois Rath, chair, following Featured Outreach Opportunity).
Jude's Catholic Worker House: Each day a volunteer from Emmanuel
delivers two gallons of milk for the families residing at the house
at 317 S. Randolph in Champaign. In 2007, almost two dozen parish families/individuals
brought milk to the house. The sign-up sheet for this ministry is on
the counter in the Great Hall. Time involved: 30 minutes per delivery.
Lunch Program: Each weekday two dozen lunches are given out from
the EMEC office door to those who would otherwise not have any food.
These lunches are sacked by volunteers from food purchased from the
Eastern Illinois Foodbank and Sam's Club. Our sack lunch program is
the only one of its kind in town so the Food Bank generously notifies
us when they have received a food item particularly suitable for the
lunches. The efforts of everyone involved in this program are greatly
appreciated, not only by the recipients of the lunches, but by the staff.
In 2007, there were 5,092 sack lunches distributed from the EMEC office
doors. Time involved: Two hours twice a month. Volunteers may do this
once a year or more often, as desired.
Rides to church: There are parishioners who
need rides to church
services and events. Time involved: Varies depending on need.
Thank Offering: The United Thank Offering supports many projects
at the diocesan, National and world-wide church levels. There are UTO
Ingatherings twice a year. A coordinator is needed for these Ingatherings.
Time Involved: About two to three hours twice a year for organizational
on Wheels: EMEC is responsible for two MOW routes the first two
weeks of August each year. Four people are needed each day for the deliveries.
Time involved: 1 ½ hours a day. You may sign up for one day or
Group Outreach: The Youth Group does several outreach projects each
year. Over the past two years these have included assisting the Crisis
Nursery, the TIMES Center, the Catholic Worker House and the Swann Special
Care Center. Chaperones are needed for these outreach projects. Time
involved: Two hours each project.
Food Pantry/Delivery Program
delivery that our parish makes each week to people in need is one of
the most important and gratifying ministries in which to be involved.
Empty Tomb identifies people who truly are in need of a week's worth
of groceries due to extreme hardship or misfortune. Canned and dry goods,
along with fresh meats, produce, and dairy products and household supplies
were provided this past year to single persons and families of up to
eight individuals. These recipients were truly grateful for this outreach
program and the opportunity to receive short-term assistance until they
were able to provide independently for themselves once again.
to the many parishioners who supply food for the food pantry in our
church kitchen. In addition to the food and household items, cash from
the Outreach funds from our annual budget pays for the perishable items.