Our Outreach Ministry
We take seriously our call to follow Jesus in caring for the marginalized and poor, by working for justice and peace. We also share in the work of the Diocese of Montana and the larger church through our diocesan assessment. Apart from our assessment, all of our outreach comes in the form of volunteer hours, projects funded by the Memorial Foundation and special offerings. The urge to help stirs us to action over and over.
Current advocacy projects: Holy Spirit, spearheaded by the Social Concerns Committee, is going to be advocating for affordable housing. Watch for more information on the website, in the Paraclete, Spirited Times, and in the bulletin, and read about this key book on housing, Evicted (summary, Part 1). Read Part 2 of the summary of Evicted. Read Part 3 of the summary of Evicted.
Social Concerns Committee
At Holy Spirit, social concerns is integral to mission and our congregation. The Holy Spirit Memorial Foundation provides funding to the Social Concerns Committee to manage in support of outreach projects chosen by the Committee and approved by the Vestry. In recent years, we have sponsored a number of outreach programs that benefit our Church, the local community and the world at large such as Partnership Health Center (since 2003), Missoula Food Bank, Montana Food Bank Network, The Parenting Place and Red Cross in Missoula, a school and clinic in Haiti, an Episcopal parish in New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and a medical clinic in Zambia. Holy Spirit initiated a Three Faiths series with Jews, Muslims and Christians sharing meals, conversations and service projects at the Montana Food Bank Network--this program proved so successful that it has become a larger, communitywide event series sponsored by Missoula's faith organizations and the University of Montana. Read about the history of Social Concerns at Holy Spirit.
Homelessness, instability, financial stress, incarceration, lack of community… these issues are at the forefront for many of the at-risk families, youth and children at Hellgate HS and Parenting Place. We have the opportunity, through service, education, prayer and advocacy as church members and with other Missoula Interfaith Collaborative members, to build life-changing relationships at Hellgate and Parenting Place. Learn more about our Community Ministries.
Your Holy Spirit Social Concerns Committee seeks to broaden our impact by supporting causes embraced by our parishioners. Toward that end, we intend to fund small grants (up to $300) and invite our parishioners to submit proposals using a brief application form. We look forward to learning about your interests at the local, state, national or international level.
The Social Concerns Committee urges Holy Spirit members to apply for grants of up to $300 for charitable work they want to help fund. Previous grants have gone to someone taking leftover Rummage Sale items to an Indian reservation, to someone creating musical CDs for care at the end of life, to someone building a small library, to someone doing prison ministry, to a food outreach program in a small fishing village, and to our Church School children getting Kohl's to give $900 worth of clothing for $300 to the Lowell School Closet for children in need, and another project of Church School children helping with supplies for Watson Children's Shelter. The deadlines for submitting proposals are March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. The grant proposal form is available in the office and on the website. We look forward to reading the proposals from all the caring and gifted individuals who occupy the pews of Holy Spirit Parish, thank you again. Click here to learn about previous Butterfly Grant projects.
This outreach project began as a book study. We learned that one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time is the treatment of women around the world. Perhaps the most important solution is the education of girls and women. In many places around the globe, there is little if any social support for girls to be educated, and in fact, a lot of pressure socially, and financially, to keep girls at home.
We chose to become involved with Studer Trust, which at the time had an 11-year track record building schools and fostering students in Burma (now called Myanmar). Our fundraising provided support for six girls in Myanmar to continue their education and obtain the certificate required to enter the skilled work force or prepare for university education.
In fall 2015, a group of 16 volunteers from Holy Spirit traveled to Myanmar on a three-week teaching mission, helping teachers adopt a method of teaching English, in English , to young students. While there, our volunteers learned about the lack of preventive and treatment dental services, and we provided funding for a dental clinic which serves over 17 nearby villages in addition to the students, monks and teachers at the monastery and its dental school.
Some of our volunteers have made additional trips to Myanmar to help with further teaching. Another group of teacher volunteers traveled to Myanmar in early 2018.
PARTNERSHIP HEALTH CENTER
One of Holy Spirit's greatest contributions to the community comes through the hundreds of hours of volunteer time given by Holy Spirit parishioners to Partnership Health Center, which offers critical access to affordable health care in the Missoula community. Last year Holy Spirit volunteers donated 2,000 hours at Partnership.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF MISSOULA
Holy Spirit is participating in the Good Neighbor Build for the third time, raising funds for Habitat homes and helping to build them. If you recycle your aluminum cans here, those funds also go to Habitat.
MISSOULA FOOD BANK
Every Sunday donations to the Missoula Food Bank can be made in the little manila envelopes found in the pew.
In December, Holy Spirit holds a "Christmas SOCKing" event. We collect clean, used or new men and women's socks, as well as donations of clean new or used men's and women's gloves. Socks and gloves donated are given to the Poverello Center for distribution to Missoula men and women who spend many of their winter hours outdoors.
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE
Holy Spirit hosts a Red Cross blood drive in our parish hall in February and in late summer. Check our calendar for dates.
EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT (ERD)
The birthday and anniversary offerings are collected throughout the year and donated to Episcopal Relief and Development's Global Needs Fund. The Global Needs Fund allows Episcopal Relief & Development to fight poverty and disease worldwide by helping people sustain healthier, safer and more productive lives. Other collections for ERD are taken occasionally in response to disasters. Read more about Episcopal Relief and Development at www.episcopalrelief.org.
UNITED THANK OFFERING
The United Thank Offering is a program of the The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church, founded and administered by women since 1889. The UTO Committee is a spiritual and financial partner in the mission work of The Episcopal Church, through every person in every pew. It is entrusted to promote thank offerings, to receive the offerings and to distribute the monies collected through grants ranging from small amounts to major contributions. Although these grants serve our church missions internationally, their impact has also been felt in our own diocese through a $40,000 grant to Partnership Health Center here in Missoula a few years ago.
EMMAUS CAMPUS MINISTRY
Emmaus Campus Ministry is a Christian community that is committed to social justice, care of the environment, and working with marginalized people, which values conversations and questioning over convicted belief, and helps students find their own place and path in life. Holy Spirit has been a partner in Emmaus Campus Ministry for many years and has participated in various fund raising events including the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Read more about Emmaus Campus Ministry.