Susan Odom, Executive Director of Exodus World Service, was at the 10 o’clock service on Sunday, March 17, to give St. Mary’s the “Open Arms” Award for our partnership with refugees in the Chicago area. This award is given annually to an institution or church for extraordinary service to the mission and ministry of Exodus.
Recently we gathered together to organize ourselves around several opportunities to show welcome and love to refugees.
If you were not able to be at the meeting, but want to get involved, don't worry!
Here are descriptions of the service opportunities, and contact information for the organizers of each effort.
The ongoing relationship of St. Mary’s and CCA Academy is alive and well. This year, instead of collecting school supplies for the students, (as we have done in the past) we were asked about the possibility of supplying classroom sets of novels for English classes. Through the combined effort of the staff at CCA, Paula Risk, and parishioner, Greg Pierce, 30 copies of 5 different novels were purchased by St. Mary’s for the students at CCA. A 6th book is not available until spring of next year, and we will revisit that in the spring. Greg Pierce owns ACTA Publishing and got the books for us at a 40% discount, did not charge shipping fees, and had them delivered to St. Mary’s. Thank you Greg!!
Community Christian Alternative (CCA) Academy is a high school on Chicago's west side. The school is located in the Lawndale neighborhood, one of the Chicago's most poverty and crime ridden communities, often topping the list for murders, prostitution and drug dealing. CCA Academy provides high school drop outs a last chance opportunity to get their diploma and placement into a college or technical training program. Against tremendous odds the CCA Academy has survived for over 25 years providing a stable environment and a road map for disadvantaged youth. To learn more click here .
Barb Bowers at Urban Garden CCA
A long standing Outreach Partner of St. Mary's is Bishop Anderson House, a member of Episcopal Charities.
The Mission of Bishop Anderson House is to advance healing by ministering to the sick and those who care for them.
Click here to learn more.
How do we put our faith into action? How do we go from frustration about the difference between how things should be and the way things are to effective action to put things right? A major part of our answer is our work in Community Organizing through United Power for Action and Justice. UPAJ is a broad-based organization made up of dues-paying members, city and suburban, including 300 churches synagogues, mosques, unions, hospitals, businesses, community health care clinics and local community organizations.
Our companion parish, San Juan Bautista, is a small but vibrant parish in the Diocese of Southeast Mexico. San Juan Bautista is in a remote Mexican village called San Filipé Cihualtepec. Driving the dirt roads to the town, you take in the sights of homes made of bundles of scrap wood. As you worship in the concrete block church, the songs of pigs and chickens mingle with human voices raised in praise. Since the inaugural trip made in May, 2005, St. Mary's members of all ages have been journeying south about twice a year to cultivate this budding ministry.