Happy Fall! I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful and sunny fall days we have been having (punctuated by rainy and windy ones.) In case you missed seeing our October Outreach News and Updates, I have copied the content below.
Christ Our Hope Outreach News and Updates
October 21, 2016 Happy Autumn Greetings!
Outreach and Advocacy Ministry is in full-swing here at COH and as such, there is much to share.
September and Early October in Review
- In September and October, we successfully co-hosted 5 educational/formational gatherings to prepare us for the upcoming election. We were blessed with wonderful speakers at each gathering and we covered many topics including life issues, care for creation/environmental issues, housing advocacy and the homelessness crisis, immigration reform, and the foundational presentation on the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship document. It was a great series and we look forward to future collaboration with St. James Cathedral and St. Joseph.
- 40 parishioners participated in our Faithful Response to Homelessness Gathering. Facilitated by Seattle University, parishioners engaged in small group dialogues, as well as large group presentations, prayer and witness speakers. We are collecting notes from the small groups in order to produce a draft plan for our parish’s response. Stay tuned for next steps!
- Our parish was able to host tables at two of our partner agencies’ fundraisers. Parishioners gathered in support of Recovery Café, as well as Operation Nightwatch. We are so grateful for the presence of these two organizations in our community. They do amazing work! We have parishioners volunteering regularly at both of these organizations, as well as other partner agencies – if you want to learn more about volunteering, please contact me. I love to share about all of our amazing partner agencies!
Missionary Discipleship Initiative and other Urban Immersion Groups
We have already hosted our biggest group of the year: 91 eighth graders from Eastside Catholic. It was a wonderful day of learning, service, encounter and reflection. We had guest speakers from the Real Change Speakers Bureau and the youth were able to serve at Recovery Café, Angeline’s, Noel House, Dorothy Day House, Heritage House, the Women’s Wellness Center and the Josephinum. For more details on this day, please refer to Fr. Paul’s recap in the bulletin this week. Up next: We have three more schools coming in November – Holy Rosary West Seattle, St. Matthew and St. John. If you enjoy youthful energy, we can always use more volunteers especially for helping with lunch.
An Evening of Gratitude
Please join the Outreach Committee as we gather with representatives of our partner agencies to honor them for the great work that they do in our community! Plan to join us on November 10 for dinner and an opportunity to meet some of the people who head up the many non-profits and social services agencies in our neighborhood. This is an opportunity to honor them and the work that they do, as well as to talk with them about their agencies and opportunities to volunteer or otherwise support them in their work. Please plan to attend or volunteer– more details will be forthcoming.
Good News People
Good News People is a program of JustFaith Ministries. Small groups of parishioners gather weekly in neighborhood-based groups to reflect on scripture and virtue with a focus on justice. Groups have started meeting in North Seattle, Downtown, and West Seattle and a group in Magnolia is being considered– it is not too late to join.
CRS Parish Ambassadors
Parishioners Cate Lichten, Cynthia Brown, and Anne Borst attended the training co-sponsored by our Missions Office and Catholic Relief Services to become CRS Parish Ambassadors. Ambassadors serve to raise awareness and educate the parish community on issues of global solidarity. Ambassadors are also asked to coordinate three global solidarity initiatives within the parish each year. This year, our ambassadors will be hosting a Fair Trade sale during Advent, coordinating Rice Bowl soup and education evenings, and exploring sister parish relationship possibilities.
Because of Your Generosity
Breakfast Returns to the Josephinum
Weekly breakfast at the Josephinum was discontinued as a result of building staffing changes that occurred in June. COH has offered to fund and provide staff support to restart a monthly breakfast for residents. Residents assist by setting up, cooking and serving the meal. This breakfast is more than just a delicious home-cooked meal; it is a community builder! We restarted the breakfast in September and just had our October breakfast this week and the numbers have already increased. We are looking for more parishioner volunteers who might be interested in supporting this breakfast by assisting with set-up, serving and clean-up. If we had enough volunteers, we could do this more often.
St. Vincent de Paul Conference
Our St. Vincent de Paul Conference continues to serve our neighbors in Belltown in need of rent and utility assistance. In light of Seattle’s homelessness crisis, there has never been a greater need for providing a safety net for low-income people to maintain their housing. Our Vincentians go out on 1-2 home visits a week, but the needs far exceed that. Simply put, we need more volunteers who are willing to do home visits. Our conference meets on the second Sundays of the month following 9:30 AM Mass. Meetings are open to anyone interested in exploring this ministry – please join us and learn more.
Outreach funds are used to assist residents of the Josephinum and other low-income or homeless people who are actively engaged with case management or counseling. Over the last few months we have assisted with purchasing beds, paying co-pays for medication, helping with laundry expenses, cab and bus fares to go to medical appointments, vet expenses for service and emotional support animals, and travel expenses to reunite with ill or aging family members. We work closely with building staff and CReW, as well as case managers at the Market, DESC and others to ensure that our assistance is part of an overall wellness or recovery plan for the residents and others in needs.
This year, plans are underway for COH to host a Thanksgiving meal the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. If you are interested in volunteering, donating pies, rolls, or funds to support this event, please contact me as soon as possible. Look for more information in the November outreach news, online and in the bulletin.
Socks and Hand Sanitizer Collection
Our immersion groups have started preparing comfort bags for the men at the St. Martin de Porres Shelter, but we need your help. Please bring donations of new men’s socks (not dress socks) and/or small size (travel size) hand sanitizers to Mass on Sunday October 30 and Sunday November 6. We will have a basket outside the entrance to the sanctuary marked as Sock Donations. We need to fill 210 bags. Thank you!
Women’s Wellness Center Sundays
Beginning in November, all second Sundays of the month will be Women’s Wellness Center Sundays. Please plan to bring needed donated items to church with you (list of needed items can be found online on the outreach page). We have a special relationship with the WWC by providing weekly fresh fruit delivery and having our immersion groups bring donations. There will be a large basket marked for the WWC outside the doors to the sanctuary before and after all Masses on the second weekend of the month.
Each month we will be highlighting one of our own parishioner volunteers (or teams of volunteers), as well as an opportunity to volunteer with one of our partner agencies. This month, we are thanking Cate Lichten and Ola Kassis, who along with other nurse friends of Cate’s are providing twice weekly wellness health checks at the WWC. They do blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks/diabetes care, foot care, nutrition counseling, and more. They also bring snacks for the ladies and spend time being present to them and listening to their health concerns and questions. A huge “thank you” to Cate and Ola for spearheading this wonderful ministry with the ladies of the WWC.
As always, if you have any questions, or would like more information on getting involved in any of these ministries, please contact Frances Farrell at [email protected]