The Outreach Ministry encompasses shared concerns and activities that reach beyond the Parish membership. The Ministry identifies needs in our local community, the nation, and the world, and brings information about these needs to the congregation for reflection, prayer, and action. The Outreach Ministry calls us to be the Gospel in action in the world by providing opportunities for individual and collective participation in a wealth of projects and programs that address these needs.
This year, as a result of recommendations from parishioners, the Outreach Ministry selected several local and international organizations to be the recipients of Outreach funds. These include: Youth Engagement, Advocacy and Housing (YEAH), which provides support and services to homeless youth in Berkeley; Swords to Plowshares, which provides training and emergency housing to homeless vets; Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, which helps homeless people in San Francisco obtain housing, jobs, shelter and other essential services; PINCC, an organization working to prevent cervical cancer in Africa and South America by providing vaccines to women and girls; Midwives on Missions of Service (MOMS), which provides delivery training to women in poor areas of the world to improve the maternity outcomes; and the What If? Foundation, which supports a community-run food program in Haiti that serves more than 1,000 impoverished children a day with a nutritious and delicious meal.
In addition to these programs, All Souls supports two parish-based Ministries with volunteers and funding: The Open Door Dinner Ministry provides a delicious meal and hospitality to the hungry in our community on the second Sunday of every month. The Kyakameena Ministry sends a delegation of parishioners monthly to this Berkeley nursing home to offer residents comfort and spiritual support, as well as necessities such as warm socks.
Opportunities for involvement in outreach activities come from several sources including Episcopal Charities, Episcopal Relief and Development, and interfaith organizations throughout the country. However, most of the ideas for involving All Souls in directly supporting the needs of our communities come to the Outreach Ministry from our own parishioners whose knowledge in these areas is vast and whose dedication to service is unmatched. The activities of the Environmental Team and Peace and Justice Committee also fall under the Outreach Ministry’s umbrella.