The outreach committee works hard to advocate our continued presence in the reconciling work of the church in our community and the world. We invite you to join us in these life-changing endeavors. The opportunities are many, and the rewards are great.
Outreach Mission Statement: Our radical values lead us to reach out to the people of Epiphany and inspire them to works of reconciliation so that the world knows it is beloved.
We speak, write, march, study, and witness on behalf of our ministries to the needy and poor; we also advocate on behalf of minors who are subjected to sexual trafficking. Activities include attending lobby days at the Georgia General Assembly and assemblies to bring notice to public policy issues, telephone canvassing to elected officials, publicizing alerts from the Episcopal Public Policy Network, and speaking out at Epiphany through such platforms as Adult Formation about social justice. Our outreach ministries dovetail with the Episcopal-wide imperative to confront the sin of racism when we build relationships with those we meet in outreach service actions. Moreover, we confront anti-Muslim attitudes through our refugee resettlement activities. Advocacy takes us beyond Christian charity to the work of justice – changing the systems that necessitate charity.
Church of the Common Ground
The Church of the Common Ground is a worshiping community of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which provides support for the spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs of Atlanta’s unhoused men and women. A weekly outdoor worship service, Morning Prayer services, Bible studies, and a foot clinic provide community, inspiration and healing to housed and unhoused men and women.
Mary Ann Schneider
Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM)
DCM (www.decaturcooperativeministry.org) is a faith based non-profit currently supported by 38 congregations with the mission to “help families facing homelessness to settle into safe, stable homes and build healthy lives filled with peace, hope, and opportunity.” DCM helps families achieve self-sufficiency through three programs: Project Take Charge, which provides emergency assistance with rent, mortgage, utilities and food as well as financial management classes; Hagar's House, which provides emergency shelter for homeless women and children; and Family House, which provides long-term transitional housing. Epiphany provides evening meals to Hagar's House for a week once a quarter. Other volunteer opportunities include tutor for children/youth, tech center tutor, childcare provider, mentor, office assistant, financial management facilitator, dinner or lead volunteer.
Mary Ann Schneider
Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry
DEAM provides short-term assistance to families in Decatur, both financial for emergency expenses (e.g. utilities and prescriptions) and food. Epiphany supports DEAM with a monthly monetary donation. Semi-annually, parishioners bring pantry goods to Epiphany for DEAM's pantry. Epiphany members also volunteer in the DEAM office and pantry located at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur. You can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DEAMdecatur. For assistance, contact Karen Johnson, DEAM Office Manager, 404.373.2300 or visit www.DEAMDecatur.org.
Dot Romo Food Pantry/Food Bank
The Dot Romo Food Pantry is used to support Epiphany feeding ministries as needed. A majority of the food/goods in the Pantry comes from the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Ministries currently receiving food/goods include DEAM, Emmaus House, Hagar’s House, Holy Comforter, and the Gateway Center.
Emmaus House Ministries
Emmaus House is a center for community life on the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Haygood Avenue in the Peoplestown neighborhood just south of Turner Field. Founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Emmaus House offers over 150,000 hours of direct service in programs for youth, adults, seniors and families each year.
Promotes economic sufficiency and stability for the neighborhood. The Muriel Lokey Center offers assistance with government benefits, rent, utilities and health care; a food pantry; Georgia Identification vouchers; and a prison ministry.
Fosters the growth and development of our neighborhood’s children and youth through classes for parents and caregivers of children pre-natal to 5 years old; Saturday Arts classes for children that strengthen and enhance skills; summer day camps and away camps that serve over 100 youth; and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, a program designed to foster the love of reading in young people while enhancing reading comprehension scores.
Engages and supports partnerships with organizations both in and outside Peoplestown that further enhance the well-being of neighbors.
Epiphany has a long history of volunteering at Emmaus House, including for the Saturday arts program, summer camp, the Lokey Center, and the Meal at Home Thanksgiving Dinner program.
Emmaus House Christmas Ministries
Each Christmas Eve, Emmaus House hosts a Children's Christmas Eve Festival. With the support of volunteers and donors, they distribute gifts to over 1,000children in the Emmaus House service area. The Epiphany congregation has participated in this caring ministry since 1995 by donating gifts to the children in need and also by helping to stock the Secret Santa Shop where these same children can shop for gifts for their families. To find out more information about these and other opportunities for outreach, please contact the ministry chair people listed below or Emmaus House.
Episcopal Church Women
Every month the ECW makes sandwiches for the Muriel Lokey Center at Emmaus House. The sandwiches are given to people in the neighborhood who come to the center for assistance.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Episcopal Relief and Development is the worldwide agency of the Episcopal Church that provides emergency assistance in times of disaster, rebuilds devastated communities, and offers long-term development solutions to fight poverty.
Hagar's House is a transitional shelter for women and children run by Decatur Cooperative Ministries, located on Church Street in downtown Decatur. For many years, Epiphanites have served meals to the 20-30 clients of Hagar House each night for one week, four times a year (January, May, August and November). Each meal is usually hosted by two families/individuals from Epiphany. You can sign up on the RSVP page. There are other volunteer opportunities at the shelter as well if this ministry interests you. (See DCM information.)
Habitat for Humanity
Epiphany works with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to assist first-time homebuyers move into affordable, energy efficient homes. Epiphany regularly participates in the local interfaith build, which brings together volunteers from the five major world religions (Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Christian, and Buddhist).
Holy Comforter is an Episcopal mission located in southeast Atlanta. Approximately 60% of its congregation lives with mental illness. Holy Comforter opened the Friendship Center in 1997 in response to public funding cuts that reduced day programs for persons living with mental illnesses. Twice a week the Center provides fellowship, art, gardening, games, music, meals, and social interaction. There is also a weekly Community Supper co-sponsored by area Episcopal churches, including Epiphany. For several years, members of Epiphany have taught in the woodturning program, helped with Friendship Center meals, and provided Community Supper dinners. Volunteers are needed in this diverse community for teaching art and gardening programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, driving vans, helping in the office, visiting with the people of Holy Comforter, preparing and serving Community Meals, and much more.
Partnership with BTI in Haiti
Epiphany has been in partnership with the Bishop Tharp Business and Technical Institute (BTI) in Les Cayes, Haiti, since 2009. BTI, which opened in the fall 2005, provides associate and bachelor degree-level education and training in business management and computer technology, with the principal purpose to seed small business development in Les Cayes and support economic development in the region. BTI produces skilled graduates who are employed in fields such as banking, government administration and NGO services. BTI is operated under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.
Epiphany offers BTI our treasures, our skills, and our selves. Our treasures include tuition scholarships for students who could not otherwise attend BTI. Support for capital expenses includes half the costs of a vehicle in 2010. With no public transportation, this vehicle is a critical lifeline to BTI. Epiphany has also provided major funding for a guesthouse for BTI. The guesthouse, which opened in April of 2016, provides housing for visitors to BTI and is a source of income for the school. Our skills include serving as visiting lecturers on business or technical topics or carrying out specific projects when we travel to Haiti. We share our selves through on-going annual partnership visits, where we build relationships, offer seminars, and help with projects. In 2016 established an Entrepreneurship Institute for BTI that will include coaching and financial support for BTI students who complete the coursework and submit promising business plans. We also have a group of BTI students visit Epiphany each summer. These visits offer students the opportunity to learn about business from American experts, experience some of life in Atlanta, and build relationships as we mutually share our stories.
Please get involved in our work in Haiti! Pray for the people of Haiti. Make a financial contribution. May checks payable to Epiphany with “Haiti” written in the memo line. Give generously. Give no matter the amount. Give your treasures, your skills, your selves.
For several years Epiphany has supported families displaced by war and natural disasters. We have worked with New American Pathways (formerly known as Refugee Resettlement & Immigration Services of Atlanta) to resettle families from New Orleans, Bosnia, Sudan, Burma, Haiti, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Ethiopia. These families are in immediate need of a home. We financially help provide them with rent and utilities during their first three months in the United States. An apartment is furnished with donations from the Epiphany community. When the family arrives, we greet them at the airport and provide a culturally appropriate meal cooked by parishioners. Volunteer opportunities are numerous including providing friendship, tutoring, clothing acquisition, transportation, and exposing the family to American culture.
St. Nicholas’ Walk in Love Shoe Drive
Between services on the Sunday closest to St. Nicholas’ Feast Day, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas tells his story of the Christmas miracle of giving as Epiphanites bring gifts of new athletic shoes for our homeless neighbors in Atlanta. About 150 pairs are collected annually for a local non-profit with a foot ministry.