Still Reaching Out, Still Serving the World

The Reverend Robin O. Sands, Deacon

St. Peter’s has a rich history of working hand-in-hand with local agencies to provide meaningful outreach opportunities that make a difference in our community. During this time, we are far less able to engage actively with our community partners, but St. Peter’s is still living into our mission of love for our neighbors.

Through these weeks of the pandemic, it has become evident that many people are in need of help from our outreach partners. Many of us may have wondered how we can still have an impact in our community even though we cannot gather to volunteer or otherwise serve.

Many of our community partners are working harder than ever to provide services to the most vulnerable in our area—several of them are highlighted below. Take a look at the important work that is being done as we find ways to continue to be Church in the world. St. Peter’s has played critical roles in the beginnings of many agencies here in Charlotte and blessed to continue to support and partner with all of them.

If you are wondering how you can best help during these challenging times take a look at these organizations to see how they are responding and see some of the hope and help going out to those in need.

Crisis Assistance Ministry continues to provide “help, hope, and understanding” for people of Charlotte who are struggling with limited financial resources. While their free store and furniture store remain closed to the public and to volunteering, they are still providing rent and utility assistance through their online presence.

Read more about what is happening with Crisis Assistance Ministry and how you can help.

Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte (A mission of the Episcopal Diocese of N.C.) has responded to the crisis by expanding their services through drive-up and take-out offerings to the community. Many of the previous programming continues through a distance, such as opening call center help lines, being a mobile distribution site for Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, and expanding Galilee Ministries Community Kitchen from 120 meals to over 1,200 meals per week. Galilee continues to live into their mission of “working together to feed body, mind, and spirit.”

Read more about what is happening with Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte and how you can help.

Loaves & Fishes has remained steadfast in their mission to feed hungry neighbors in need even as the COVID crisis continues. Loaves & Fishes has partnered with other organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Friendship Trays, and CMS Nutrition Services to meet the needs of those affected by the crisis. Even though in-person volunteering is not possible right now, donations are still being accepted at their location on Griffith Road. Read more about the good being done and hope being delivered in Charlotte through the link below.

Read more about what is happening with Loaves & Fishes and how you can help.

Roof Above is the new name for two of St. Peter’s cherished community partners: Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. These groups joined forces a year ago to have a greater impact on their mission to end homelessness in Charlotte. Their meaningful histories and impact are being lived into in critical ways in recent months. Urban Ministries and Men’s Shelter are continuing their great work and are open and operating but with limited capacity. They continue to update a “wish list” on their websites for donations and limited volunteer opportunities.

Read what is happening with Roof Above (Urban Ministry Center) and how you can help.

Read what is happening with Roof Above (Men’s Shelter of Charlotte) and how you can help.

Samaritan House is another community partner with its roots from the parish of St. Peter’s. It has been a place of recuperative care for people who are homeless and in need of short-term care following a hospital or emergency room stay for over 15 years. Samaritan’s House is continuing to serve the community by providing care and access to other resources during the pandemic. While no one can volunteer currently, they have a direct need for prepared meals, snacks, and cleaning supplies. Visit their website to sign up to bring a meal.

Read more about what is happening with Samaritan’s House and how you can help.

Supportive Housing Communities has been hard at work providing much needed services during these past few weeks as well. Their mission is to provide affordable housing to alleviate homelessness and human suffering in Charlotte. As we know from our previous forum offerings from speakers familiar with area housing, we recognize there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Charlotte. SHC has several ways to support them during this time of need. Their website has direct links to donate directly or to an Amazon wish list for other needed items such as cleaning supplies as well as food items.

Read more about what is happening with Supportive Housing Communities and how you can help.

St. Peter’s continues to be a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte through our relationships with our community partners. These are only a few of the many organizations with which we have relationships. As the anticipated need continues to rise in our community as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic, we will continue to highlight organizations which we support. During this time of the unknown, it is a great thing to see the outpouring of love and support from our St. Peter’s family for each other and the community.

While we must wait until we can engage more deeply in the part of our mission to actively serve in our outreach and social justice ministries, we can continue to equip ourselves through online worship, prayer, and continued study to be the hands and feet of Christ. This time offers us, as God’s people, another opportunity to provide for those who are counting on us the most.

If you have questions or are looking for ways to support the community, please reach out – I would welcome the opportunity to talk!

I look forward to the day when we can serve together once again.

God’s peace,

The Reverend Robin O. Sands, Deacon