Angel Tree for Santa Fe

Our December Community Outreach Ministry is the Angel Tree benefiting the children of Santa Fe Episcopal Mission Church.  The 85 Angels are now on the tree, each with information on one child from the Santa Fe congregation.  All gifts must be wrapped and labeled as per information on your chosen Angel and returned to the church no later than December 15, 2015. This is an awesome opportunity to be a blessing in someone else’s life.

If you have questions, please call Judy Thompson, 887-2916.

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Outreach at St. Thomas

The Outreach Ministry uses available resources to serve San Antonio and the South Texas community through donations and participation to assist our neighbors.  This site will highlight current and coming activities, and publish opportunities for you, members of the St. Thomas congregation to participate as you can and want to serve.  The Outreach Committee participates with other churches in building Habitat for Humanity houses, serving meals at Haven for Hope, providing food and household items for needy families, supporting the Santa Fe mission, and providing transportation and other services to those who need it.  The committee has recently begun a relationship with Ronald McDonald House to assist the families of critically ill children during their stressful time.  These are only a few of the activities available, and we constantly look for new ways to serve our community.  This site will be a resource for learning where your opportunity may lie.

Rally Day

St. Thomas Rally Day, Aug. 30, brought the congregation together to socialize and to learn about the many church ministries and other volunteer opportunities.  With fun for the kids and fellowship for adults, this annual event provides fellowship and a chance to get involved in a wide variety of  activities.

 

 

 

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Jubilee Free Sale

The fifth annual Jubilee Free Sale took place Oct. 17, 2015, providing holiday shopping opportunities for about 500 of our less fortunate neighbors.

Donated items including gently used clothing, toys, household items, small and large appliances and furniture were available to holiday shoppers who lined up early at Churchill Baptist Church at 12400 Vista View, off Blanco Rd.  Scobey Moving and Storage again donated a semi-trailer for donation collection.

St. Thomas volunteers joined members of 7 other interdenominational churches to conduct the Free Sale.  Those churches make up the North Central Convening of Churches, begun in 2010 by SAMMinistries in an effort to prevent homelessness in our neighborhoods.  This is a major outreach initiative each year.

(click on thumbnails to see detailed photos)

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Backpacks for School Kids

The Community Outreach project for August is collecting back packs for school age children, elementary through high school, as well as the school supplies that all kids can use. The big purple bins will be in Gosnell Hall beginning July 26th through August 9th for your donations. If you don’t have time to shop, we would be delighted to take your money and do the shopping for you. Make your check payable to St. Thomas and put “Back Packs” in the Memo line. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Thompson, 887-2916.

Santa Fe Reading Program

Santa Fe mission has started a lunch reading program at the church and St. Thomas is invited to send some folks down on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a couple of hours to read stories to the kids.
This would be ideal for teens, kids or grands, or anyone with time to spare over the summer months.
If you would like to spend a few hours reading to kids, please call Pam Courier, 859-0398 for more information.

Grocery Guys Ride Again

The Grocery Guys have been riding more or less biweekly for the past two years, come rain or shine, to support the important Food Pantry ministry at Santa Fe Mission.  The following photos are from the May 22 excursion that delivered about 2,500 pounds of foodstuffs from the San Antonio Regional Food Bank to Santa Fe church.  Church members then divide the goods into bags for about 130 families.  Below is a history of the Grocery Guys, taken from the February Clarion newsletter.

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The St. Thomas Grocery Guys

A little more than 2 years ago Father Don Wilkinson got a request from
Bishop Lillibridge to help stabilize things at Santa Fe Episcopal Mission
Church by sharing pastoral responsibilities with Father Will Wauters.
One of their important ministries was their Food Pantry. Father Don asked
David Brack and John Keith to help with transporting the Santa Fe grocery allocation from the Regional Food Bank near Port of San Antonio to their church.

2015-05-22 08.40.27  David and John  stepped in twice a month and if one of them couldn’t make it, Don’s wife, Kathy, or John’s wife, Carol, filled in. The work was hard at times but it became fun. We met at St. Thomas and rode down to the Food Bank in a truck, conversing about most anything. Frequently the conversation centered on what Don or David were reading at the time. Kathy and Carol wanted to hear the “Book Reports” from David and then the fun would begin at the Food Bank.

We moved potatoes and tomatoes, cakes and corn flakes, milks of all sorts, yogurt and rice, celery and peppers, and of all things, M&Ms. Just about any- thing you would find in a grocery store.  We discovered that the folks at Santa Fe were not well equipped to handle all of these groceries, so we found material handling equipment and developed methods to make the job easier and faster. We began bringing in more volunteers from St. Thomas. If someone even hinted of an interest we encouraged them to come and help.

We have studied the organization, become a big part of it and find that we are moving nearly 2 tons of food products to Santa Fe twice a month for a com- bined total of 50 tons in the course of a year. St. Thomas also provides $3000 a year to help subsidize the cost. Santa Fe Mission divides up the proceeds and provides about 30 pounds of food and sun- dry products twice a month to 130 deserving subscribers.

Grover Jackson, Tom Rickey and Jon Worthington transfer produce from Food Pantry trays to boxes at Santa Fe

The “Grocery Guys” team now includes Father Don Wilkinson, John Keith, Grover Jackson, Tom Rickey, Scott Perrin, Ned Christensen and Wayne Currier, along with some others who help when they can.

If you are interested in helping with this awesome Community Outreach ministry please contact either Father Don, 287-8215 or John Keith, 651-0243.

 

The Church has Left the Building

The St. Thomas Outreach Committee has invested a quite a lot of money and energy toward improving our community in the past few months.  Here is a summary.

Financial donations have been made to the following organizations:

-$2000 to the Northeast Senior Assistance Center for expenses in transporting clients;

-$300 for cab vouchers for residents of the Ronald McDonald House;

-$1500 to the Santa Fe Episcopal Mission Church Food Pantry $1500.

-We will be purchasing camper supplies for 24 Camp Capers campers from the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and holding our annual Back to School Back Packs for Santa Fe in July and August;

-Several St. Thomas members attended Palm Sunday service at Santa Fe and presented Rosie Rodgers with a check to pay for her second Future Physician’s conference in Boston and airline tickets, courtesy of a member of our church.

-The Diaper Fund is ongoing, you may donate diapers or money and we’ll do the shopping for you.

-The Lenten “Undies for Sundays” collection sent a carload of socks, underwear and personal hygiene items to the West Avenue Compassion Clothing Pantry.

In addition to money and contributed items, Outreach Committee members are involved in a variety of ongoing activities.

Every second Monday of the month, a faithful group serves dinner at Haven for Hope and then enjoys a meal on the way home. Plans are also in the works to schedule making meals for the Ronald McDonald House. Teams of 4 would be ideal.

The Grocery Guys are in great demand on at least 2 Fridays a month hauling about 2000-3000 pounds of produce and food staples from the Food Bank to Santa Fe Episcopal for the their Food Pantry.

On April 18, six volunteers from St. Thomas drove to Seguin to help with the Diocese Habitat for Humanity Home Build. It was real muddy, but thankfully not raining that day.

Project Story Book is a non-profit that connects children with their incarcerated mothers via books and tape recordings. Mom is recorded reading the book and the recordings and books are sent to the kids. The organization is in need of new children’s books and money for postage.

We plan to have volunteers from several organizations at the August 30 Rally Day to give our church members opportunities to engage in Outreach. Anyone can be involved in Outreach and  meeting attendance is not necessary.

If you have questions or wish to participate in any of our activities, please contact Judy Thompson, 887-2916.

Ronald McDonald House

(adapted from the May 2015 St. Thomas Clarion Newsletter)

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio is to provide safe, temporary living accommodations for critically ill children and their families while receiving medical treatment in the local area. The intent is to provide a home away from home where families in similar circumstances can interact and support each other.  The local houses are part of a 347-house worldwide network of similar facilities, including 180 in the US, and the rest in 37 countries worldwide.

Members of St. Thomas Outreach Committee have served meals at two of the houses and provide monies for transportation vouchers for families to travel back and forth to the hospital.  Committee involvement is spearheaded by Jane Kampschmidt, who previously served on the Ronald McDonald Board of Directors for three years and also served for four years on the Friends of Ronald McDonald House, including a term as President.

San Antonio has 2 free standing 20-room Ronald McDonald Houses. A third home,  located inside Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, is undergoing renovation and expansion to16 bedrooms. Houses typically feature a very large kitchen with multiple stoves, refrigerators, sinks and all cooking utensils needed for families to cook for themselves, as well as a designated pantry area for each family.  Each family gets a bedroom and private bath.  Some pantry food and paper goods are donated.

The medical community has requested a fourth house to be constructed in the Medical Center.  This house will be unique in that it will have a transplant wing, which needs a separate entrance and separate ventilation system. It will serve 21 families each night.  With completion of the Medical Center house, San Antonio will be the only city to have 4 Ronald McDonald Houses.  The houses currently operate at more than 100 percent capacity each night.

The Ronald McDonald Corporation provides a partial donation for establishing new houses, but the houses are sustained through volunteer efforts and donations.  Volunteer opportunities include financial donations, serving meals to house residents, and interaction with the children in residence.

If you would like to participate in this outreach opportunity, contact Judy Thompson, Outreach Committee chair, at 210-887-2916.

Palm Sunday at Santa Fe

Santa Fe mission church observed Palm Sunday with Bishop of West Texas Diocese Gary Lillibridge officiating. Santa Fe is a 67-year-old Latino parish located in south San Antonio. The parish provides food and other assistance to needy families in the local community. St. Thomas is proud to sponsor Santa Fe in the important work it does.

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