Saturday collection 4/25/09

Here is our weekly collection plate, offering some of the good things that Episcopalians and their congregations have done that made the news this past week. And other news fit to print.

Labyrinth for healing of VA Tech:

Parishioners at Christ Church, Blacksburg have installed and blessed a labyrinth as a gift to the community in response to the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The purchase of the labyrinth was made possible by a grant from Episcopal Relief and Development.


St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Lawrence, KS provides space for Career Connections, providing emotional support and job-hunting tips for those who have lost their jobs.

They started Career Connections, knowing that people without jobs needed resources, both personal and professional. The group meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at St. Margaret’s. John Wade is a psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services at Kansas University, and Susan Wade is director of career development at Baker University. “It’s got to be very discouraging” to be laid off, Susan Wade said. “But knowing it’s discouraging, there are things we can do to cope with this.” She said a major emphasis is networking, though a whole range of topics comes up, including using job search Web sites, dealing psychologically with a layoff and honing résumés and application letters. For some people, applying for jobs is part of the grief process of being laid off. For others, they have to deal with the emotional and psychological issues before they can look for a new position.


Mitzvah Day:

This Sunday (April 26), members of Calvary Episcopal Church and Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh together will serve their community on what they call “Mitzvah Day.” The Hebrew word “mitzvah” means “good deed or being obedient to the law.” The volunteers will weed and plant perennials in a city park, do some painting at two local Episcopal parishes, St. Stephen’s and Holy Cross; and pack medical supplies to ship to developing nations. Other projects include reading to and making crafts with young children and nursing home residents and playing bingo and sharing ice cream at Family Houses, which serve those undergoing treatments at area hospitals. “It makes us better Jews, better Episcopalians and better citizens,” Rabbi Aaron Bisno, senior rabbi at Rodef Shalom said of the yearly event, which began in 2005.


Sometimes it pays to be lucky. A free day’s technology training seemed like a good idea. When the church admin brought a $15,000 prize back to Christ Church Episcopal in Winchester, VA it seemed to have been a very good idea.

The Rev. Webster Gibson said the upgrade will help the church to “jump ahead” with the latest technology, since its computers are outdated: “They’re pretty old.”

On his wish list is technology that allows the broadcasting of services to different parts of the church and software for music and Web page design.

“They said dream big — we have no problem with that,” he said.



Garden enthusiasts at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Hamilton, NY decided to dream away the winter blahs by planning a vegetable garden. The goal was to help supply fresh produce for the growing list of families that rely on the Hamilton Food Cupboard and to share with parishioners and friends.

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