Outreach Ministries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since our church’s beginning, outreach has always been the heart of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. The mission statement, which almost every parishioner can recite from memory, embodies this: “Holy Spirit is a welcoming, loving, Christian community committed to serving God, one another, and our neighbors.”

This concern for outreach translates into a congregation that seeks to use our resources — our time, our talents, our energy, our treasure — to ease the burden and improve the lives of others who share this space on earth with us. It’s a commitment woven into the very tapestry of our church.

First Sunday Offering

This monthly practice, a long-standing tradition, affords churchgoers the opportunity to support financially outreach causes of Holy Spirit Church. Recipients of the First Sunday offering are assigned a month of the year. From the first Sunday’s collection, the offering and designated checks are matched out of the church operating budget, up to an amount set by the vestry (usually $350). This total, along with other specified checks received throughout the month, is sent to the organization designated for that month. (Coordinated by the Outreach Committee)

Ingles Gift Card Program

Ingles Grocery Store chain provides a 5% discount to churches and nonprofits placing large gift card orders ($5,000 minimum). Holy Spirit can participate in the program by its parishioners purchasing Ingles gift cards through the church. Gift card orders are placed monthly and participating parishioners order their gift cards at that time. The 5% discount is put into our outreach programs. (Coordinated by the Outreach Committee).

Heritage Festival

This annual event on the Mars Hill University campus celebrates our mountain heritage every year on the first Saturday in October. The festival provides major funding for Holy Spirit’s outreach in three ways: the Unique Boutique, the food kiosk, and sale of raffle tickets to win a quilt designed and handmade by members of the church. All proceeds from the Festival are distributed among selected Madison County nonprofits determined by the Outreach Committee.

Villager Initiative

This ministry was founded years ago to serve at-risk children in our community. It includes several annual programs for foster children:  school backpack project, winter coat project, shoe project, and “angel tree” project at Christmas. The committee considers other requests on an as-needed basis.

Prison Ministry

The Prison Ministry focuses on the needs of men incarcerated at the Minimum Custody Unit at Craggy Correctional Center in Woodfin. Many of these men are eligible for community passes allowing them to leave the prison for up to six hours at a time, accompanied by a male sponsor who has been given an orientation course by the prison. These passes allow inmates to attend church services and substance-abuse meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous). Before our weekly church service, we hold a meeting during which the men have an opportunity to share and interact with their sponsors and others from our parish, both men and women, who choose to be a part of this ministry. Most of these prisoners are due for release within a year or two of coming to Craggy, so the focus is on helping them become ready for successful lives in the community. 

My Sister’s Attic

A group of Holy Spirit parishioners staffs My Sister’s Attic in Marshall every Tuesday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. My Sister’s Attic is the resale store supporting My Sister’s Place, an organization that rescues and advocates for abused families. 

Room in the Inn

This is a Homeward Bound program providing shelter for up to twelve homeless women. Holy Spirit participates with other churches by providing meals and lodging at a church, usually in Weaverville, for one week during the year. The goal is to provide a safe environment and build caring, supportive relationships with women one week at a time.

Thanksgiving Meals for the Community

This is a multi-church project organized by Mars Hill Baptist Church in Madison County. Holy Spirit and other churches participate with money for turkeys and other food, packing and delivering the meals.

Latina Women's Outreach

Mujeres Unidas en Fe (Women United in Faith) is a weekly meeting of women — Anglo and Latina — in which community is built through positive cultural exchange. The meetings often have a time of language study for helping each another learn a second language. There are occasional informal cooking classes for learning how to cook a Mexican dish. The women talk about what is happening in their lives over a potluck meal together, including in this meal anyone who might be present at the church.

Mujeres is truly a time and place where women from different cultural backgrounds support one another. It is hoped that through this love and committment, the Latino ministry of CHS can expand to reach even more families in the community. Anyone is invited to attend these Thursday weekly sessions.

The mission of the Latino ministry is to build and deepen relationships between the Anglo and Latino communities based on a shared faith in Christ.

All Are Wecome!

The Holy Spirit Outreach Team meets four times a year to evaluate and offer support to the various programs within Holy Spirit and to those outside organizations the church helps financially and through its volunteers. To find out more about our programs or to join one of our outreach teams, contact the Outreach Chair through the church office, office@holyspiritwnc.org

 (Banner photo courtesy of Kathleen Phillips)