C O M M U N I T Y & W O R L D O U T R E A C H
St. Stephen’s is an active, giving parish. We open our church to a number of groups to meet here, and our members provide financial and volunteer support to a wide variety of organizations that serve the needy.
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As part of our Mission to Gather, Grow and Serve, in 2011 St. Stephen’s plus several other churches in our Diocese joined together in a Lenten project, “Organizing for Mission” (OFM). Thanks to the dedicated leadership of a group of our parishioners, a large number of our members contributed over $17000 toward (1) local programs addressing hunger in our community; and (2) an overseas project selected by the Diocese where collectively we could make a difference. The children of St. Stephen’s also got involved, learning about hunger and what that meant. They contributed the proceeds from their Lenen Pretzel sale.
These parishioner contributions were above and beyond the funding of our regular operations, programs and community outreach.
El Hogar and its children was that overseas project. Here is their story in pictures.
The mission of El Hogar Projects is to provide a loving home and education in a Christian environment for abandoned, orphaned and hopelessly poor children, enabling them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive human beings in Honduras.
For more information, see their website: www.elhogar.org
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GROUPS THAT MEET AT ST. STEPHEN’S
St. Stephen’s hosts meetings for several groups, including the following:
Brownie and Girl Scout Troops
Southside Newcomers’ Assn.
Kinderchor (children’s chorus) – see below
ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTED BY ST. STEPHEN’S, ITS MEMBERS & ITS GLASTONBURY SOCIETY
Both financial and volunteer support is given to many different outreach agencies, including the following:
Second Harvest Food Bank – We keep a collection box in the Narthex for ongoing collections, and also have special food drives at selected times, including the January nationwide Souper Bowl.
Shalom Ministries – A downtown ministry of Central United Methodist Church, which serves and feeds the inner-city poor.
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery – An organization that cares for infants and children at risk of abuse, and that helps those parents who are in crisis and at risk for abusing.
CROP Walk – An annual walk that raises money for the hungry.
Crosswalk – An agency that gives support and aid to homeless teens in downtown Spokane.
Interfaith Hospitality Network – An ecumenical network of churches that provide temporary accommodations within the churches to families who need shelter.
Ogden Hall Shelter – providing a free shelter and recovery program for women and their children.
Camp Cross Scholarships for children – The camp, with a mile of shoreline on the West shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, is a place for rest, retreat, recreation and lifelong learning.
Holy Trinity Dinner Table Ministry – Each month members of St. Stephen’s and other churches help prepare and serve a free family-style dinner to residents of Spokane’s West Central area.
Alzheimer’s Assn. of Spokane – providing education and support for caregivers and families dealing with this disease.
Hospice of Spokane – addressing the medical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the terminally ill and their loved ones.
Our Basketball Camp – created in 2001, it provides Spokane children ages 5-12 a week-long program where they learn not only basketball skills but also lifelong values such as sportsmanship, teamwork and a healthy lifestyle.
Episcopal Relief & Development Organization (ERD) – the worldwide relief agency of the Episcopal Church, providing money and resources in times of emergency or disaster.
Miryam’s House - offering a nuturing environment and promoting self sufficiency and financial stability for women recovering from crises related to homelessness, abuse, addiction and displacement.
Sally’s House – the only emergency foster care program in Spokane, providing children clothing, food, tutoring, counseling and supervised visitation with their families during their stay.
Angel Tree Ministry – See information below
T H E A N G E L T R E E
During the magical Christmas season our families are reaching out, making a difference and brightening Christmas for many area families in need. The Angel Tree is adorned with over one hundred paper tags (“ornaments”) with requested items on the back. Our families take these, purchase items and place them under the tree. Importantly, our children are involved and thus experiencing the spirit of giving.
The recipients this past year were Interfaith Hospitality, whose mission is providing shelter, support and the means to sustain their independence for homeless families, and the Union Gospel Mission Crisis Shelter for Women and Children.
Here is the tree and some of our children preparing the gifts for delivery.
Kinderchor - see more information below!
K I N D E R C H O R
It’s Kinderchor now, but it was the South Hill Children’s Chorus when it was formed in 2003 as a community outreach dream of parishioner Bernie Loposer and Fr. John Shepard. After consulting with the artistic staff of the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus, it was created to provide a high quality choral experience accessible to all children ages 8-11.
Lynn Brinkmeyer, then head of Choral Activities at EWU, was the first Artistic Director, serving until her move to Texas in 2006, after which Sharon Rodkey Smith took over, having moved to Spokane from Nebraska.
Kinderchor’s initial funding came from St. Stephen’s, and, although Kinderchor has since become an independent 501)(c)3 nonprofit organization, it continues to receive generous financial support from individual parishioners and groups within the church.
A number of our members serve on its Board of Directors, and the children rehearse regularly at the church. Scholarships are provided, enabling needy students to participate. Over 50 children now participate in Kinderchor’s 2 choral groups.
Performances are enjoyed, not only by us at St. Stephen’s, but by many groups throughout the community. Watch our website home page for scheduled performances here.
Here’s a link to their website: http://kinderchorspokane.org/