Outreach and Stewardship

. . . We as Christians are asked, if able, to volunteer our time, talents, energies, and resources to help others. In other words: Outreach.

Within our St. Ann’s family, we do give our time, talent, energies, and resources in our Outreach ministries. They are the Apple Tree Project; Food Pantry Garden; Angel Tree; Thanksgiving Pies; Woodstock Food Pantry; Stephen Ministry; Lobster Fest; and co-sponsoring the Northern Illinois Food Truck with St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s. This year we have a new Advent Outreach project: Moses Baskets for new babies.

All of this volunteering, donating, and fundraising helps us to fulfill our Outreach goals. Since St. Ann’s is a member of WACM, the outreach opportunities to help the homeless and low income families are very important and ongoing. These opportunities are: Share the Warmth Coat Drive; Walk for Hunger; Festival of Music; Support of the Woodstock Wednesday night PADS (homeless) site through Thursday meals; and Compassion for Campers barbecue meals in the summer. Now WACM is in the process of publishing a Cookbook.

All of this is accomplished by people volunteering, donating, and fundraising.

And then there’s the Direct Assistance Program (DAP). Twice a month DAP volunteers assist persons in emergency financial crisis by providing aid in the form of vouchers. The vouchers are for food, clothing, gasoline, utilities, medical supplies, and transportation. The voucher amounts are very small, but yet they somehow help. Last year, over $42,000 was issued in assistance. In October 2015 alone, $2,800 was issued in vouchers to 155 people, averaging about $20 per voucher. All of these funds were acquired from fundraisers, private donations, and member churches like St. Ann’s.

The need is great and unending. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed for all WACM activities. Thank you for your past and continuing support.

So, the next time I hear the words: volunteer, fundraiser and donate, I’ll try not to cringe. Instead, I’ll think of all the people who are helped through our outreach efforts.

Please, continue to offer your time, talent, energies and resources to St. Ann’s and to the Outreach ministries in our community. Thank you for all you do, have done, and will do.

From Romans 11:9-13 — The Marks of a True Christian

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack in zeal; be ardent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope. Be patient in suffering; persevere in prayer; contribute to the needs of the saints; and extend hospitality to strangers.