There is a quiet movement building in our diocese. Across central and southern Indiana, our congregations are learning to advance their mission by putting their buildings to the service of the wider community.
Grace Church, Muncie and St. Matthew’s, Indianapolis have built commercial kitchens. St. Stephen’s, New Harmony hosts community meetings and arts events in its parish hall. St. Thomas, Franklin is home to a weekly health clinic for the poor and uninsured, and St. Stephen’s in Terre Haute serves as a warming center and headquarters for a local food ministry.
My staff and I support this transformative work with both grants and guidance, and you can support it, too, by making a generous contribution to the 2021 Bishop’s Appeal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted in-person worship in many places and deprived us of our ability to gather in person as often as we would like. But our commitment to the work God has given us to do has only deepened during this difficult period. I have begun to hear about the ministry occurring in our buildings from people beyond the Episcopal Church, so I know we are making a difference in the communities we serve.
Grace, Muncie, featured in a recent story on our website, is a good example. The success of its popular Sunday hot meal program led parishioners to raise more than $170,000 in just 15 months, and to construct a commercial kitchen that was completed in November. Now the congregation will be able not only to continue its meal program but also to offer space for cooking classes and training programs that equip people to work in the food services industry.
Our church buildings are precious to us as houses of prayer, but they can also help us to advance God’s mission as centers of service and hospitality. The diocese awarded Grace, Muncie a grant to support its work. I want us to be able to support similar initiatives across southern and central Indiana, and your gift to the 2021 Bishop’s Appeal can make that possible.
If your income has not been interrupted during this pandemic, please make your gift today. Together, let us make our buildings places of generous invitation and welcome to all of God’s people.
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
Bishop of Indianapolis