Can you imagine what your community or church would be like without Anglican outreach? Imagine no parish food bank or mission trip to Africa. No 30-hour famine organized by the parish youth group. No Christmas food hamper for a needy family. No toy drive, blood donor clinic or car-pool to the cancer treatment centre. No parish bazaar in support of an emergency relief effort. No volunteering at the AIDS hospice or marching with others on Good Friday on behalf of the homeless.
Outreach is an integral part of our Anglican community; it is our faith in action. When we reach out our hands to support others, we share Christ’s love with people who need it most. As parish communities, we help to improve the lives of people who live in our neighbourhoods. As a diocesan community, we bring hope where there is despair and compassion where there is a broken spirit.
FaithWorks is our shared ministry of feeding, sheltering, befriending and nurturing the most vulnerable people in the diocese. Because of the faith-filled support of individuals, parishes, foundations and corporations, we are able to touch the lives of 10,000 people every year. According to Archbishop Colin Johnson, “FaithWorks is a ministry of encounter and compassion in which we walk with people who are marginalized and vulnerable.” For 20 years, we have been actively committed to and engaged with this ministry. Together, we have raised more than $25 million.
In 2016, FaithWorks raised nearly $1.5 million. Thank you to everyone who donated to the campaign! Although we almost reached our target, it was the first time in its history that FaithWorks received more money from sources other than parish campaigns. Parish participation is critically important to the ability of FaithWorks to support our Ministry Partners who are Christ’s hands and feet in the diocese.
It was an extraordinary year. We know that it took hard work and tremendous sacrifice for parishes to balance their commitments to FaithWorks with the call to support the settlement of Syrian refugees. Your continued support of FaithWorks is both humbling and inspiring. For parishes who decided to focus on the Syrian refugee crisis, remember that FaithWorks needs you!
So as we begin the 2017 FaithWorks campaign, imagine what outreach could look like in your community and your parish this year. Imagine homework clubs for at-risk youth, safe housing for women fleeing abuse, supporting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and helping newcomers and refugees call Canada home. Through FaithWorks, all of this and more is possible.
This Lent, you can be love in the world by making a donation to FaithWorks. We have included in this issue of The Anglican an envelope that contains a brochure sharing FaithWorks outreach work and an invitation for you to make a donation. You can respond by mail or online at www.faithworks.ca. Please give! Imagine the impact that being love can make!
Across our diocese – in parishes, community ministries, homes and workplaces of faithful men, women and young people – Christ’s work goes on in support of our mission and moves us forward in building communities of hope and compassion. What we do in reaching out to those in need has a bigger impact on Canada than you imagine.