“Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
At saint benedict’s table we’ve made a commitment to taking 10% of our offerings and putting it to work outside of our own congregational life. Each year we give grants to various ministries, programs, and agencies we think are doing good and interesting work. What follows here is a report of this year’s allocations:
The Mission Fund Committee met on November 27, 2015 to review suggestions for allocating funds from the 2015 $17,300 Mission Fund budget to various ministries.
The Mission Fund Committee reviewed the allocation criteria that would include both ongoing intentional partnerships as well as singular bold affirmations of ministries outside the congregation, and space for smaller grants to support the simple acts of faith and imagination by members of saint benedict’s table.
The Mission Fund budget for 2015 is $17,300. $400 has already been allocated as small grants, leaving $16,900 still to be allocated.
After doing some due diligence checking, the Mission Fund Committee recommended to the Kitchen Table that the remaining funds be allocated as follows:
ONGOING INTENTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
It is recommended to continue offering support to four specific ministry partnerships that have a connection to saint benedict’s table, three of which are operating in the West Broadway area.
House Blend Ministries – $2,500
House Blend Ministries is providing safe, affordable housing in the West Broadway community, seeking to build broader community in the area, and providing education to empower people to be part of the solution to ending homelessness in the city. Rachel Twigg-Boyce, a member of saint benedict’s table, is providing leadership to this ministry. Others members are also involved with the ministry.
Agape Table – $2,000
A community feeding and nutrition program operating out of the All Saints Church hall assisting low-income residents of Winnipeg, particularly those living in the inner city. Every weekday morning it provides a breakfast for over 250 people. This has been a long-standing partnership that is held up in prayer as part of the communion service of saint benedict’s table. Congregants also donate food and other items.
Bell Tower Community Cafe – $1,000
The Bell Tower Community Cafe is a West Broadway ministry operating out of Westminster United that is inspired to be a place of radical hospitality where everyone has something to bring to the table, a place that is much more than a food bank, a place that seeks to build community, a place where people gather around a table to share food. Meaghan Pauls, a member of saint benedict’s table, serves as the coordinator for this ministry. Other people involved with saint benedict’s table also support the ministry, including musicians. The Cafe also partners with House Blend Ministries.
Hand in Hand with Haiti – $3,000
This is a long-standing partnership with El Shaddai Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, supporting their efforts to reach out to their community with health, education and other programming. This partnership is actively supported by Dr. Pierre Plourde and Krista Waring, members of saint benedict’s table, who have international and medical experience.
Kakinow Ntomakanik – $1,000
Barbara Shoomski, an Anglican priest and minister with All Saints’ Church, operates this inner city healing ministry with Aboriginal people living in poverty. All Saints’ is struggling to sustain this ministry and a grant would help. There is also an opportunity to explore ways in which saint benedict’s table might connect with this neighbourhood ministry.
Two suggestions were made to the committee that seemed to fall under the category of ‘bold affirmations’:
Geekdom House Ministry – $1,000
This ministry is targeted to those engaged in nerd and geek culture, both Christians and those not part of a faith community. It publishes a magazine and holds monthly gatherings. The ministry seeks to help Christians involved in nerd and geek culture to connect their passions with their faith, and to help build bridges between this culture and the church. Many feel alienated from the church. This ministry was recommended by three members of saint benedict’s table. It was founded and is led by Kyle Rudge.
Sunshine House – $1,000
Sunshine House is a community drop in and resource centre focusing on harm reduction, population health promotion, and social inclusion. It is a gap-filling organization that works with under-serviced populations in the city, seeks to build community, and uses a harm reduction approach that means people come as they are, and are not expected to be ‘clean’ or sober. Many of their participants are street-involved, homeless or insecurely housed. Many of its participants are addicts and drawn from the sniffing community. This program is recommended by Trina Arnold, a member of saint benedict’s table, who is on the nursing faculty of the University of Manitoba specializing in community and population health. She says that they are “one of the only organizations in Winnipeg fully and truly doing harm reduction and therefore they are accessed by some of the most marginalized populations in this city. They are really doing fantastic work and they are really low on funds.” Dr. Pierre Plourde also says they are reaching “the most structurally disadvantaged group in the city”, the type of people Jesus would hang out with, and are worthy of support.
REFUGEES & CONFLICT
Refugee Sponsorship – $4,000
One of the small groups at saint benedict’s table has decided to provide leadership in sponsoring a Syrian refugee family to the city. This initiative has received the backing of the Kitchen Table. Opportunities will be provided for members of the congregation and others to get behind this project, and it is thought that much of the funding needed can be raised. To help with some of the initial costs, the Mission Fund is recommending that $4,000 be set aside from this year’s funds to ‘kick start’ this initiative.
Middle East Reconciliation – $1,000
Underlying the refugee situation in the Middle East is the challenge of communal conflict, much of which gets framed in terms of various sects and faiths. The Christian population is under particular pressure in many parts of the region, and facing persecution in areas. There is desperate need for support for these communities, and dialogue and reconciliation between groups. It has been suggested that we should offer some form of support.
We have chosen to support the work of the Peace & Reconciliation Department of The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (Anglican), a diocese that covers the whole region including the Holy Land. The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has a covenant partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem, and has in place a Joint Ministry Agreement for the formal transfer and reporting of all funds sent to various ministries.
SMALL GRANTS – $400
In the ministry suggestions presented to the Mission Fund Committee, some fit more into the category of small grants to support specific ministry initiatives of a member of saint benedict’s table. We are recommending that $400 to reserved to support these requests.