Ministries Across the Diocese Receive Funds from ECW Diocesan Board to Expand Aid

As agreed upon the dissolution of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Diocesan Board, the body is distributing its funds to 10 ministries across the diocese, awarding a $30,000 grant to each of them. 

The Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher, bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Texas, praised this support.  

By giving from their abundance, the board of the diocesan ECW illustrates their faithfulness to the service of God’s people. These women have taken great care in making substantial monetary gifts, to ministries and outreach organizations, in locations all across the geographical span of the diocese. The diocesan ECW board leaves a legacy of caring for people, in response to the instruction by Jesus to wash the feet of others,” said Fisher.  

According to Patricia “Trish” Johnston, president of the diocesan ECW board, the plan of dissolution will result in significant outreach grants of $30,000 to 10 ministries across the diocese, as well as a similar grant to the Iona School for Ministry in support of women in formation. There will also be an opportunity for congregations and local ECW chapters to apply for smaller sustaining grants for outreach projects. The Vera Gang Scott Scholarship Fund for women will continue to exist under the direction of new permanent trustees selected by the ECW board. Any remaining funds will be sent to the UTO.  

The entities that are receiving a donation from the ECW Diocesan Board is listed below: 

St. Vincent’s House
St. Vincent’s House (SVH) is a non-profit social service mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. It was started in 1954 as a small outreach ministry of St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church in Galveston, Texas for the youth. For more than 60 years, SVH has provided programs and services for the disadvantaged and underserved population in the Galveston community. SVH partners with a number of agencies in order to provide community clinical services, case management, emergency assistance and spiritual services.

Ubi Caritas
Ubi Caritas has been providing healthcare to the uninsured in the Beaumont/Jefferson County communities since 1998. One in every three people in the area lack health insurance. Ubi Caritas via its ‘Partnership of Caring’ programs is providing an accessible option for many to receive affordable primary health care and health educations.

Compassion Ministries
Compassion Ministries is the only transitional homeless facility in Central Texas or families with children. It has been serving McLennon, Falls, Hills, Bosque, Freestone and Limestone counties in Texas for 26 years.  This ministry focusses on reintegrating homeless families with children and those families on the verge of homelessness, into permanent housing and employment through counseling, job training, GED preparation, healthcare, social, domestic and works skills training.

Lord of the Streets
Lord of the Streets is a church community that Welcomes, Restores and Rebuilds lives through relationship-focused ministries with the homeless and formerly homeless. LOTS offers clothing and hygiene items, vision and clinical medical services, social services, assistance with government assistance programs leisure hours and an address that many can use to receive mail for assistance.  There are times for bible study, financial management services, life skill mentors and “reel faith” facilitators who help derive insights and life lessons from movies.

El Buen Samaritano
For more than 30 years, El Buen Samaritano has been a trusted community partner serving and addressing the physical, social, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing of Latinos. As a mission of the Diocese of Texas Episcopal Church, they play a vital role in partnership with others to improve health access, health outcomes, economic stability, and academic attainment  becoming a “one stop shop” to address the needs of the Latino and Spanish-speaking communities of Travis County and surrounding areas.

Hope Center
In 2015, members of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church became aware of the number of people experiencing homelessness in the area. A strip center location was found, and the homeless ministry opened. The ministry quickly grew with support from more than 20 churches in the Diocese of Texas. In August 2019, Hope Center Houston acquired a new facility, allowing them to provide additional services and opportunities for supporting agencies to come alongside them.

Family Crisis Center of East Texas
Established in 1979 by two Nacogdoches women that recognized a need in their community to provide services to battered women and their children. In October 2007, a state-of-the-art, multi-service crisis intervention center was constructed. Today, the Janelle Grum Family Crisis Center of East Texas (Women’s Shelter of East Texas, Inc.) staffs a full array of professionals specializing in assistance for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Mission of Yahweh
A faith-based homeless shelter in Houston, The Mission of Yahweh has been empowering, enriching and restoring the lives of homeless women and children as well as providing outreach services to low-income communities since 1961. The many life-changing programs focus on ending the cycle of homelessness and dependency.

Brazos Valley Food Bank
The Brazos Valley Food Bank serves Burlison, Grimes, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties partnering with over 32 food pantries to supply food for youth, emergency shelters, senior citizens, and the disabled to provide more than 6.8 million pounds of food to the community each year.

Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program
Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP), located in Bay City, Texas is a health care center funded by the federal government.  MEHOP can cover services such as checkups, treatment, immunizations, prescription medicine and mental and substance abuse programs where applicable. This program offers a full range of healthcare services for the Matagorda area population.

The Diocese of Texas Iona School for Ministry
The Iona School for Ministry is a program of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas that provides comprehensive training for those called to the bi-vocational priesthood, the diaconate and various lay ministries. The Iona School for Ministry has three tracks for lay leaders interested in augmenting their theological studies, forming missional communities, or being licensed in the canonical areas of lay ministry (preacher, worship leadership, catechist, evangelist).

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