Episcopal Church grants provided to assist Ferguson, MO
Bishop Stacy F. Sauls, Chief Operating Officer, announced that The Episcopal Church is providing $40,000 in support of the Diocese of Missouri for immediate domestic poverty, pastoral and community work in Ferguson, MO.
The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, through the Office of Justice and Advocacy Ministries, is offering $30,000 with the remainder provided by Episcopal Relief & Development.
“The proposal addresses both immediate need and long term issues related to the cycle of poverty,” noted Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer. “This joint effort helps restock food pantry shelves to feed the hungry today, but it also provides nutritional counseling and food preparation education for a more healthy future; it helps local businesses get back on their feet, but it also partners with public and private groups to encourage entrepreneurship and sustainability; it provides a mechanism to deliver food and other assistance to shut-ins, but it does so by offering skills training to young adults and older youth that will help improve their lives for years to come.”
The grant emerged as a result of on-the-ground collaboration and conversation between staff of The Missionary Society and the bishop and staff of the Diocese of Missouri in the wake of the events of August in Ferguson. Bishop Wayne Smith of Missouri said, "These funds bring resources into a place experiencing such brokenness. This moment shows the power of belonging to something larger than the merely local. Indeed, we are one Body, and it is always good to remember that truth."
According to Katie Mears, Episcopal Relief & Development's Director for US Preparedness and Response, the organization is partnering with the Episcopal
Diocese of Missouri to offer emergency assistance to replenish and increase food and personal care products in three food pantries operated by St. Stephen’s, All Saints’ and Ascension Episcopal churches. The food pantries have been affected by recent unrest in Ferguson and the surrounding area.
Funding will be distributed in September.
Three Episcopal parishes - St. Stephen’s (Ferguson), Ascension (Northwoods), and All Saints’ (St. Louis City) - serve St Louis and North St. Louis County and have been significantly impacted by the upheaval in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the community’s response to it.
These churches have been at the forefront of mobilizing resources for the community, ministering to the needs of protestors and police alike and simply “being the church” for all whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.
Objectives of the proposal include:
- To implement nutrition education, counseling and food preparation programs at All Saints’ and Ascension Episcopal Churches, as well as replenish and expand the food and personal care products provided through the pantries operated by St. Stephen’s, All Saints’ and Ascension.
- To develop and implement a community collaborative to assist in funding the economic recovery and revitalization of Ferguson-area businesses.
- To develop and implement a public/private sector partnership to extend the reach of the St. Stephen’s, All Saints’ and Ascension food pantries to the homebound in North St. Louis County and City through a mobile service staffed by trained, mentored and compensated young residents of the community.
For more information contact the Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson, Episcopal Church Domestic Poverty Missioner.
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org