Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Outreach and Mission

Dean Fricke Memorial Episcopal Food Pantry 2014 Report

George Rood, board member from All Saints, serving food at the DEO luncheon at Trinity Cathedral.

George Rood, board member from All Saints, serving food at the DEO luncheon at Trinity Cathedral.

The mission of the Dean Fricke Memorial Episcopal Food Pantry is to serve others in the name of the Lord by providing food to families The Fricke Food Pantry is a unique organization that brings together Episcopalians from all over Omaha.

The pantry provides 100 bags of groceries per week for Youth Emergency Services (YES), an Omaha-based agency that serves homeless and at-risk youth in crisis, and we provides $1,200 per month to help stock the pantry at Project Hope, a Lutheran agency that provides food and clothing assistance to families in need. It also provides larger Parish Pantries with bags that hold enough food for an entire family, and traveler’s lunch sacks which are distributed by Holy Family Catholic Church at 17th and Izard.

Click here for the full Dean Fricke Memorial Episcopal Food Panty 2014 Report.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Changes and Extended Deadline for Young Adult UTO Grants




The United Thank Offering (UTO) is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its ministry as a part of The Episcopal Church.

This year, the UTO Board has created a special $1,250 grant for young adults as part of this celebration. UTO is asking each diocesan bishop to select one application for submission per diocese. Of those submitted, a total of nine (9) grants will be awarded. Each awardee will receive $1,250 to carry out the chosen ministry.

The purpose of this grant is to provide seed (start-up) money for a new project that focuses on any of the Five Marks of Mission: To tell the story of these grants, a video of highlights will be shown at the 2015 General Convention. The UTO Board will pay for travel and expenses for the top three ranked grants awardees to tell about their grants at the UTO Dinner.


Due to the special nature of this award, the board has created an application form and process for young adults (ages 21-30). Information on submitting a grant will be posted to the UTO website (see link below).

  • By March 17, 2015, submit your completed application to your diocesan bishop, carefully answering each
    question on the application form. NOTE: No video is required at this time.
  • The bishop will select one application per diocese. The diocesan office will submit its choice by March 27,
    2015, 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, to the UTO Office. The bishop’s office will be provided a link for
  • A bishop’s signature is required on the application. Applications without a bishop’s signature will not be
    accepted. UTO will notify the nine grant award winners in May 2015.
  • During the grant review process between submission and announcement, the grants will be ranked and the top
    three grant awardees will travel to Salt Lake City in late June to the UTO Dinner to present their projects at
    UTO Board’s expense.

Questions? Please contact the Rev. Heather Melton, UTO Coordinator, at


Here are links to the application documents

Young Adult Grant Application

Bishop’s Approval Form

This article in Spanish

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All Call Omaha Kiva Update: Next Event February 8th


Five of the seven All Call Omaha Kiva loans have now been paid back in full! Currently, Lalitibe in San Diego, California, Tuyen in Vietnam, and the Mariposas 1 Group in Santiago, DR are repaying their loans on schedule.

Click here for a pdf with details.

With the repayments we have received, there is over $600 in the All Call Kiva account to be re-loaned, and we’ll be having a Kiva party to do that at 5 PM on Sunday, February 8th at Church of the Resurrection.  Snacks will be provided, and we’ll also hear a presentation from Pamela Berry on the North Omaha Summer Arts Crawl, and close with a brief prayer service.

Berry created the North Omaha Summer Arts organization(NOSA) in 2011 to serve the area north of Ames Ave. along the 30th Street corridor. The free Arts Crawl public festival is held every summer and it includes visual and mixed-media artists, quilting classes, and musicians. Artists are stationed with their works at Metro College and various churches along North 30th Street, and attendees have a chance to talk with the artists about their work as they snack their way through the venues.

Berry sees NOSA as a much needed asset for an underserved community challenged by poverty, crime, scarce amenities and a perception problem. “In the area of North Omaha where we live we could find no art,” she says. “We knew it was there, we just had to uncover it. We knew art would bring hope and peace and most of all community to our neighborhood. We’ve seen it grow, we’ve noticed the interest and the benefits…and we want it to continue to flourish.”

Nebraska Arts Council Heritage Arts Manager Deborah Bunting says NOSA is part of the new energy and sense of community being built in North Omaha.

Below are some photos from the 2014 arts crawl.

butterfly abstract
crucifix cut-floral
daniel pam
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Let’s Build a Home Together!!!

Help Kelly build a house in the DR!

Help Kelly build a house in the DR!

My name is Kelly Dornan. I am a member at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church and a senior at Westside High school. I would love to share with you my mission experience in the barrio of El Pedregal, Dominican Republic.

Last summer I participated in a Nebraska Diocesan Youth Mission with youth from four parishes. Our mission was to build a home for a church family there, and a playground at the school. Together we worked with the community to complete our mission calling. In one week, I formed life long friendships not only with my fellow missioners, but also with this wonderful community.

This experience was very important to me because through it I became closer to my faith. I thought I went to the Dominican Republic to help change the lives of others, and they changed my life. I am blessed to say, I am who I am today because of my mission experience in the DR.

I am writing to you because I am hosting a dinner and silent auction to raise funds to support the 2015 building of a home and the renovation of a building into a children’s shelter. Funds raised will be used to purchase necessary project materials. Youth from several Diocesan churches will again work with the community to complete these important projects.

I invite you to attend the dinner to support our projects and learn more about my mission experience as well as the experience of the youth who participated last year.

When: Sunday January 25, 2015
Where: Saint Andrews Episcopal Church 925 South 84th St. Omaha, NE 68114
What: Catered Latin Dinner and Silent Auction
Time: 5:30 P.M.
Price: $25 Per Person/$30 at the door

Babysitting provided in the nursery.

Please make checks payable to Saint Andrews Episcopal Church with “DR Youth Mission” in the memo line. Please send checks to St. Andrews Episcopal Church. No tickets will be issued. You will check in at the door.

If you are unable to attend but wish to support the 2015 Nebraska Youth DR Mission, checks may be sent to St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or suggestions. You can reach me at my cell phone: (402) 536-0179, or my email:

I am excited about this event and hope you will become a part of our team so that we may build this home together.

Thank you for your consideration and support,

Kelly Dornan


Note from Don Peeler:

Kelly Dornan is a remarkable young lady who went with us last year on the Diocesan Youth DR Mission. She poured the last bucket of cement to complete the floor in the house we built for Jacqueline’s family. Kelly told us then that we had more homes to build, and last Fall committed herself to raising the funds necessary to build a home for another church family in el Pedregal.


Kelly is hosting a dinner and silent auction to raise funds to purchase the materials to build the home and to renovate a building into a children’s shelter. The youth who participated last year, and those going this year are working with her, so while the dinner is at St. Andrews, this is truly a Diocesan Event.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2015 Youth Mission to the Dominican Republic

The 2015 Youth Mission to the Dominican Republic is June 22-29; the 2015 team is forming now!

The Nebraska Youth Mission Team will once again partner with Christ Church (Valdosta GA) to work on two construction projects in the rural, mountain community of El Pedregal. As in 2014, we will stay at the Diocesan Camp located there, and will work both on the grounds of the camp, and in the adjoining community.

A very special third project will be completed by the NE Youth Mission Team. This project will create a dedicated media projection room on the grounds of the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center. This room will provide valuable programs to the community and to its visitors, including the much appreciated Movie Ministry that was initiated by the NE Youth Mission Team in 2014.

The building at the Diocesan Camp which will house the media projection room

The media room will be located on the second floor of this building which serves as a large dormitory. This building also houses a conference facility at the Diocesan Camp in El Pedregal. During the past year, several Diocesan groups and mission teams have utilized this facility. A dedicated media room offering audio and visual services will enhance learning and fellowship opportunities to all visiting this very special place. A projector and ten family friendly movies have already been delivered to the camp so that the Movie Ministry, and other programs, might continue in the interim.Our first construction project will involve the renovation of an existing building to serve as a day care center that will be administered by the staff of the local Episcopal K-8 School, Monte de la Transfiguracion. This building is adjacent to the playground which the NE and GA teams built together on the school grounds in 2014. As this building has been flooded in the past, both landscaping and structural improvements will be made. The building to be renovated is pictured here:

The building to be renovated

The building to be renovated




Our second construction project will be to replace a wooden house in the community with a concrete-block house for Altagracia, her two children, and her husband who currently live in the home shown here.


Exterior of Altagracia’s home


The photo on the right shows the interior of Altagracia’s home. Altagracia is pregnant with her third child. She is employed as a cook and domestic at the camp. In June 2015, we will help Altagracia welcome her new child into a new cement block home. In 2014, we helped build a home for Jacqueline, who is caring for nine people in her home, including her deceased sister’s children and her aging mother. The home we build for Altagracia will be very similar to the one we build for Jacqueline, except it must be smaller because of the the size of their building lot. Like Jacqueline, Altagracia’s family is active in the local church community. She works very hard to provide the best she can for her family, but mosquito-safe housing has proven unattainable for them.


Interior of Altagracia’s home




Here is the home we helped build in 2014.


Home we helped build in 2014




The 2015 Mission Team will leave early morning from Omaha NE on June 22, 2015. We will return to Omaha late evening on June 29, 2015. We will arrive in Santo Domingo shortly after noon on June 22nd, and will travel by private coach two hours north into the heart of the Dominican Republic. We will be warmly welcomed to camp by Padre Alvaro Yepes and his wife Angela. We will stay in dormitory-style housing, and our meals will be prepared by camp staff. We will work on our projects simultaneously, so work teams will be utilized with everyone having the opportunity to work with each other and the community.

Afternoon activities, such as trips to the river and waterfalls, are planned with the community. We will continue our Movie Ministry Nights with the children (ages 2 to 92) of the community. On Saturday night we will celebrate the success of our mission with a Community Fiesta like no other. Following worship on Sunday morning, we will return to Santo Domingo for an afternoon walking tour of the historic Colonial Zone. We will spend our last night in a hotel in the Colonial Zone. The following morning, we will travel to the Santo Domingo airport, and begin our journey home.

Eligible youth must be at least 16 years old by June 2015, or just graduated high school in May 2015. Preference will be given to youth attending an Episcopal parish in Nebraska. We have reserved 16 airline tickets, and we expect the group will fill fast.

The total cost, including air and ground transportation, housing, meals, insurance and project fees is estimated to be $1675. A non-refundable $100 deposit is necessary at this time to reserve your seat on the plane. The remaining costs will be determined 60 days before departure, and all fees must be paid 30 days prior to departure. Fundraising will be left to the youth, family and sponsoring parish.

Questions???   Please, call Don and Melissa Peeler at 402-572-7556, or email them at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Christmas Eve DEO Dinner: Trinity Cathedral 6-9 PM

DEO pic

Fr. Ernesto Medina and the Team from St. Martha’s

On Christmas Eve, Downtown Episcopal Outreach, a cooperative ministry of clergy and laity from around Omaha, will be offering a traditional holiday feast for the community at Trinity Cathedral.

The meal will feature turkey, ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, pie, and all the traditional trimmings. In addition to food, DEO will be handing out new socks, underwear, and small lunch sacks of non-perishable food to anyone who needs them. Dinner will be served from 6-9pm, and is free and open to all.

Guests may enter through the red door on Capitol Ave. Monetary donations to our weekly feeding ministry, as well as donations of new socks and underwear, will be gratefully accepted.

Please contact Michael Duffy at (two d’s) with any questions. Trinity Cathedral is located on the corner of 18th and Capitol.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

UTO Grant News

uto_BlueBoxDates to remember for applying for UTO Grants:

** Friday January 16, 2015 – Grant applications need to be submitted to the diocesan or provincial office by Friday, January 16, 2015, OR whatever date is set by the diocese or province.

**Friday January 30, 2015 – Diocesan or provincial office will submit selected grant with Diocesan Bishop or Provincial Secretary/Primate’s signature by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. No grant application will be accepted after 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


At the 1889 General Convention of the Episcopal Church the Women’s Auxiliary took up a special offering to support the mission of the Episcopal Church and collected some eighty dollars for the cause. From that humble beginning grew today’s United Thank Offering, which now awards $1.5 million dollars in grants every year to support the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and our partners in the wider Anglican Communion.


In the most recent 10 years, Nebraska has received 5 UTO Grants. In 2004 St David’s Episcopal Church, Lincoln received $6,000.00 to cover salaries and administrative support for a program assisting battered Christian women. In 2005 Christ Episcopal Church Beatrice received $40,469.00 to make their parish hall accessible accessible to persons with disabilities, so that the church could continue to host a weekly meal for the hungry. In 2006 St John the Baptist, Valentine received $19,000.00 to refurbish their church kitchen, which enhanced the church’s service to the community through meals and a food bank. In 2007 Episcopal Church of the ResurrectionOmaha received $14,000.00 to help make the church barrier-free to enable persons with disabilities to participate in a multiethnic church which serves the community and offers space to Sudanese refugees. In 2012 the Diocese of Nebraska received a grant for $11,000 for our Companion Diocese of Twic East which purchased ten bicycles and five motorcycles for clergy to access remote areas.


Information is now available regarding how to apply for a 2015 grant. A PowerPoint on How to Write a Grant can be found on the new United Thank Offering website ( Beginning this year, grants will focus on “to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”


Please check with or contact Kathy Graham for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

UTO Newsletter and Bulletin Inserts



We hope this letter finds you well as we prepare to enter October. One of the requests we found in our survey last spring was a desire to have access to Newsletter articles and bulletin announcements pertaining to the United Thank Offering. The Board has worked to prepare articles and announcements for you to use and share throughout the year. These articles and announcements will be available on our website (which is currently under construction) so that you can download one month of the entire year. Since our website isn’t quite ready to launch, we wanted to send you the October article and announcements via email. We encourage you to customize these sample articles and announcements as you see fit, or you are welcome to use them as they are printed below. If you have any questions or need further information, please do not hesitate contact our staff or your Provincial Representative.

Thanks you for sharing these wonderful articles and announcements as a way of helping us get the word out about the United Thank Offering.


All the best,

The United Thank Offering Board



A Brief History of the United Thank Offering


In the early 1880’s the Board of Missions of the Episcopal Church asked the Women’s Auxiliary for help with missionary work at home and abroad. The women suggested an offering given in thanksgiving for God’s blessings. This offering, given in thanksgiving by the Women’s Auxiliary, was a new thing in the Episcopal Church. It would be called The United Offering and would include women in every Episcopal Church. In 1889 the first United Thank Offering was presented at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. It was small, just a little over $2,000, but it helped build the first Episcopal church in Anvink, Alaska, sent the first female missionary, Lisa Lovell, to Japan and it even sent 25 cents to an organ fund in Liberia.


As the United States expanded westward, the women always remembered to take their small thank offering box with them, along with their household items. The families were traveling west to start a new life in Kansa, Colorado, or the Dakotas and they knew that God would bless them as they traveled the unfamiliar territory. Every day, they would put an offering of a few coins in the Blue Box with a prayer of thanksgiving.


Today, men, women, and children are still putting coins in the Blue Boxes with prayers of thanksgiving. And God’s people are feeling His love through grants from the UTO. Last year $1, 525, 407.78 was collected and given away. These funds are providing vehicles to enhance ministries, create a senior center, plant gardens, build churches and support innovative ministries within the Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion.


We invite you to remember the grants given in our own diocese (INSERT SOME RECENT GRANTS) as you give thanks for the blessings in your life by dropping coins into your Blue Box. This is also a great time of year to consider grants that your congregation wants to apply for since applications for UTO grants will be available in November.



Bulletin Announcements


Sunday, October 5, 2014


God gave you 86,000 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say, “Thank You.”

Put a coin in your Blue Box and say a prayer of Thanksgiving, everyday.



Sunday, October 12, 2014


A prayer of Thanksgiving and Offering in your Blue Box lets others know of God’s love.

Give thanks to God every day with a Prayer and an Offering in your Blue Box.


Sunday, October 19, 2014


Always and everywhere—Give Thanks!

Use your Blue Box Daily and remember the United Thank Offering!


Sunday, October 25, 2014


Give thanks everyday for God’s blessings. If you put 25 cents a day in your Blue Box, at the end of a year there would $92.25.

Help others to know of God’s love with an offering to the United Thank Offering.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Discussing Tragic Events in a Youth Community



Danielle Dowd, Diocesan Youth Missioner for the Diocese of Missouri, has created a resource geared mostly towards junior high and senior high youth groups but which could be easily adapted for young ones.

The PDF document includes

  • A framework for discussion
  • Bible verses for comfort
  • Resources for further inspiration.


Click here for the full post from Danielle Dowd.




Click here to directly download her PDF resource for Discussing Tragic Events in a Youth Community.  Here is an excerpt from Danielle’s post:

This past week has been a difficult one for our communities. The shooting of Mike Brown brings forth all sorts of emotions and questions. Yet, despite the overwhelming tragedy in Ferguson and its troubling aftermath, we can be consoled with the knowledge that our God is no stranger to heartbreak.  Jesus enters into our messes. Jesus is present with us in our grief.  And in this way, Jesus models for us the ministry of presence.  Jesus shows us that to serve, the most important step is the first step: Show Up. 

We may feel intimidated by these discussions. We may feel inadequate to lead them. But our youth need a safe space to tell their stories and process their feelings.  They need us to come forth as servant leaders – leaders who are ready to cry with them, to struggle alongside them, to listen to them.  Many of the questions that come along with these discussions do not have easy answers.  Enter into them anyway….

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jacob’s Report from Africa: Kakuma Refugee Camp


The Refugee Camp in Kakuma

Kakuma Refugee Camp: Field post and reception

The field post here in Kakuma is a government office where displaced refugees first get registered before they can go to refugee reception. At the field post people were tired, sitting down in the sun waiting for their names to be called. It can take some days to register if there are many people coming in, as you can see below.






Waiting For Registration at the Field Post

People who are finished with registration at the government office can go to UNHCR in order to get their refugee card. The reception is under UNHCR, so they provide water, food and camps for people to sleep in. According to the people that I talked to, it takes about two to three weeks to get the card that is use for food distribution. Those who have received cards can go to the new location within Kakuma refugee camp which you can see below–it is also hot, dry and has no trees.





The New Refugee Buildings

The buildings shown to the left in the picture are built of mud underneath then covered on the top with plastics. The temperature inside these buildings is very hot day and night. People choose not to sleep outside because of lack of security. None of the refugees here in the camp have any money, but Turkana come to the camp at night and demanded money. If they don’t find money they take everything they can find. Many people have been killed within the camp when they try to protect their property from robberies.


– Jacob Manyang

Print Friendly, PDF & Email