Outreach & Social Concerns ministries at St. Matthew’s

Members of our Outreach and Social Concerns committees plan and implement a variety of outreach and volunteer opportunities.

The Creation Relations Committee provides education and opportunities for the parish to seek justice and right relationship with the whole earth community. This group is in charge of parish recycling.

Our Kenya Kids at Rongo — our “adopted” group of orphans living in the village of Rongo, Kenya — are OUR kids; they are not an outside outreach program. St. Matthew’s has been the major source of outside support and has taken responsibility for their well-being for over 10 years. Read news about this project.

Outreach Grants are reviewed and awarded by this committee.

Below you will find a list of most of our ongoing outreach and social concerns ministries. For more information on any of these activities, use our Contact Form.

Clothes Closet
In our Coat Room there are marked collection containers for accepting clothing and other items to several of our outreach ministries.
St. Matthew’s parishioners donate gently used clothing to St. George’s Community Center.
We collect bed linens and individual sized toiletries (hotel/travel size) for Healing Place.
And we accept linens, household furnishings and furniture for Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

Cornerstone is a part of the Home of The Innocents Teen Parenting group. Volunteers from several local churches prepare dinner and provide child care. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church provides meals and child care on the first Tuesday of each month. Parishioners involved in Cornerstone gather the Monday before the first Tuesday of the month to prepare the meal.

Court Appointed Special Advocates
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are volunteers trained by the Jefferson County Courts to act as independent advocates for abused, dependent, or neglected children. During the holidays, there are also opportunities to adopt a family and provide gifts for the children and adults in that family through our Advent Tree (see below under Seasonal Ministries).

Monthly Food Collections
We distribute food monthly to St. George’s and Calvary Episcopal churches’ food pantries. Parishioners bring non-perishable food items and place them in the St. Matthew’s “food basket” in the coat room. Though you can bring items at any time, we place the basket in a more prominent place on the first Sunday of the month as a gentle reminder to take part in this ministry.

Habitat for Humanity
We work with a Habitat for Humanity crew the first Saturday of every month. More about our Habitat for Humanity involvement.

Food Pantry
Our Dare to Care Food Pantry is the 3rd Saturday of the month.

Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Kentucky Refugee Ministries and St. Matthew’s have partnered to sponsor several refugee families who have moved to Louisville.

Seamen’s Ministry
The Seamen’s Church Institute, which has ministered to merchant seamen since 1834, began a new ministry on the Ohio River in 1998 serving inland mariners, with The Rev. Jim Wilkinson, an Episcopal priest, serving as chaplain. Mariners work on the river six hours on, six hours off, continually, for 28 days at a stretch; crewmembers may go weeks at a time without touching shore. The Seamen’s Ministry at St. Matthew’s collects hand-knit scarves, books, CDs and DVDs as well as Easter and Christmas candy for the mariners.

St. George’s Community Center
St. George’s Community Center, at 26th and Oak Sts., provides tutoring and computer resource stations for students, as well as a variety of sports programs. There are also programs for seniors and a Dare to Care Food Pantry. St. Matthew’s parishioners collect food for St. George’s Food Pantry the first Sunday of every month. Parishioners also volunteer with the Center’s programs.

Red Cross Blood Drives
St. Matthew’s participates in the St. Matthew’s Area Ministry Bloodmobile. Periodically the Bloodmobile comes to St. Matthew’s and parishioners sign up to donate blood.

Wayside Christian Mission
Wayside Christian Mission provides temporary housing, food, clothing, nurturing, and spiritual enrichment – as well as support, services and skills training.

St. Matthew’s parishioners serve in the Wayside Christian Soup Ministry the second Sunday of the month. To participate in this ministry, sign up on the bulletin board at church (across from the stairs).

Seasonal ministries

Alternative Gift Fair
The first Sunday in December, we hold an Alternative Gift Fair. Parishioners may purchase items that go to support our many outreach ministries: Goats, chickens, cows for Hearts 4 Kenya /Kenya Kids @ Rongo; fair trade coffee, gifts that support Episcopal Relief & Development and many other items.

Advent Tree
Each year, St. Matthew’s parishioners find an Advent Tree in the narthex (Episcopalian for “lobby”) decorated with paper ornaments. Each ornament describes a child and a need — “boy, shirt, XL”. Parishioners take the ornaments, purchase the gifts, wrap them, and put them under the tree, with the ornament attached. The gifts are taken to children by volunteers with our Refugee and Court Appointed Special Advocates ministries.

Hunger Walk
St. Matthew’s parishioners participate each autumn in the Dare to Care Hunger Walk to benefit the Dare to Care Food Bank and the World Food Program. The Hunger Walk is organized by Dare to Care and Interfaith Paths to Peace.

Thanksgiving Ingathering
Each year, a few weeks before Thanksgiving, St. Matthew’s parishioners provide food for complete Thanksgiving meals for those in need at St. George’s and Calvary Episcopal food pantries, either by bringing the food or contributing money to pay for a meal. In recent years we have provided for more than 100 families.

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