Mission to the Community
"Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 19:19)
Service to those within and outside the community of faith is an essential part of the mission of this parish. Currently, we engage in service in the following areas. New efforts in outreach are always welcome.
Episcopal Church Women
The Episcopal Church Women are a long standing organization in the parish whose primary mission is to help those in need. Every month, a member of ECW serves as the contact person for reaching out to those who may be ill, in the hospital, in grief, or have some other need that the community as a whole can address. This group also raises funds for community organizations that help others in the area. ECW organizes hospitality efforts after services and receptions as needed after special worship events and consults with the Rector on planning for parish programs. Meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month from October through April at a Noon brown bag lunch. These occasions are open to all members of the parish. These lunch meetings are where the latest information on what is happening in the parish is shared. Please join us!
The Stroud Fund
Through the generosity of Dr. Morris W. Stroud III, a permanent outreach fund was established in 1990. Income from this fund is disbursed for community needs and projects by the Vestry. Grants are made on a quarterly basis, with applications being reviewed on behalf of the Vestry by the Stroud Fund Committee.
The fund distributes approximately $30,000 a year. Applications must be completed and submitted electronically, using Word. You can download an application here
Feeding the Hungry
Parishioners are encouraged to bring non-perishable food regularly to church which is then transported to the Bar Harbor Food Bank and available to those in need. Additional help in encouraging donations and transporting food is always needed. A donation box for the Westside Food Pantry is in the church. This organization gives food vouchers to those in need on Mount Desert Island.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Begun in 2009, this vital ministry is engaged in by both year round and seasonal members of the parish. The group meets on Thursday mornings, weekly during the summer, and bi-monthly Brown Bag lunch gathering plans for the upcoming year during the rest of the year to pray together and support each other in knitting shawls for those with special needs. Shawls are mailed or delivered to those who are sick or in grief, or in need of special prayers for any reason. Recipients are often not always members of the congregation. To request a prayer shawl, please contact the church office. For additional information or to join this group, please contact Claudine Catlin (summer and overall coordinator) or Phyllis Partridge (year round coordinator).
In 2009 we began exploring the possibility of providing direct support to a parish or mission in Haiti. To begin, we hosted a Haitian Art show in 2009. Proceeds from that event were set aside for future work in Haiti. The January 2010 earthquake has slowed down any partnership efforts but those will be renewed as soon as the Episcopal Church in Haiti is ready. The Haitian Art show has been repeated again in 2010 and 2011 and there are plans to host it in Bar Harbor in 2012. In the meantime we continue to collect monies for Episcopal Relief and Development, designated for the Church in Haiti.
The Parish is part of a coalition of non-profits organizations on Mount Desert Island that raise funds to help those who need assistance to pay for heating oil. In addition to individual and Stroud Fund donations, we participate in periodic fund raisers to sustain this important means of support. The program is coordinated by the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor and administered by The Seacoast Mission in Bar Harbor. Donations should be sent to Neighborhood House. PO Box 332 Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.
Mount Desert Elementary School
Through the Stroud Fund, the parish has supported two major projects at the local school. The first is an ongoing occasional parent forum night in which topics
of interest to parents are addressed by experts in the field. Families are fed together and then kids are entertained or do homework while parents participate.
In 2012-13, the Fund is providing a major boost to a garden and greenhouse project that will involved not only elementary students in learning but also in raising food to consume at lunch time. In addition, College of the Atlantic students will have opportunities to teach and the community at large will eventually be able to participate as well. This exciting project needed a coordinator and we provided the funds to make that happen for the first year.