Outreach and Mission
More that 40 people, from every parish in Omaha, attended the All Call Omaha Kiva kickoff party, to discover what Kiva is about, to select the recipients of our micro-loans, and to say thank-you and farewell to Dean Joan Pritcher.
The group collected $925 dollars, and we browsed through the Kiva site to select two loan recipients in the Dominican Republic (one of our sister Dioceses), and one in Honduras.
It was fun and fulfilling and humbling for everyone attending to see how Kiva works, to browse through the list of possible recipients, and choose whom to help. Thanks to everyone who participated, and stay tuned for loan updates, news of the next All Call Omaha service project, and ultimately a repeat of this Kiva party when the original loans are repaid and we meet to re-invest!
Kiva: Loans that change lives!
Here are the three recipients of our loans:
|Gladis is a 31-year-old woman who makes a living as a teacher. Since she does not have a husband and she receives paychecks every four months, she decided to work in agriculture to earn other income. She is the mother of three children. Her oldest daughter is six years old and in the first grade. Her son is in kindergarten and her younger daughter is not old enough to study yet.
Gladis has the support of her brother who is in charge of caring for the crop, while she takes care of the financial resources in order to attend to them and give them the necessary and possible maintenance. Through the cultivation of rice, she earns income for the entire year and provides for her children. She has been cultivating rice for five years on land which belongs to her parents, which allows her to save money on rent for the land which is located around her house.
Gladis dreams of someday being able to buy her own land for cultivation, using the profits from this year’s rice harvest. For this reason she has requested financing from the COMIXMUL cooperative to provide greater maintenance and technical assistance to her rice crops through the purchase of three gallons of ARROMAX, 15 QQ of fertilizer 12-24-12, two liters of FURORE, and 10 QQ of urea.
|Francisco, a married man with three children, is a micro-entrepreneur selling miscellaneous products, especially fuels, such as gasoline, gasoil and motor oils. He is a member of the group called Vecinas Unidas (United Neighbors), located in the city of Samana. He has had his business for over eight years, started from his savings.
This is his sixth loan, which he will use to improve his house. After his last loan, which he invested in his business, Francisco realised the need to improve his home, and with this loan he will change his wood walls for a safer structure made of concrete blocks walls. With this loan he will buy cement, concrete blocks and other building materials.
Esperanza Internacional runs a program for their good clients who are reliable in paying back their loans, who have fulfilled the commitment to grow their business and who have shown fidelity in their groups. This allows them to take out a loan to improve the structure of their house at the same time as running their business and attending their group meetings. The other members of Franciso’s group are recommending him for a housing loan.
Francisco thanks God, Esperanza Internacional and all of you for this opportunity. In his name and that of his family, he thanks all of you for your support!
|Maria is one of Esperanza Internacional’s entrepreneurs. She is a single woman. She lives together with her children. She is working hard to change her home structure, and with her husband, she has decided to take a loan with Esperanza to continue improving their house.
Maria has been taking loans with Esperanza Internacional since she started her business, with her first loan almost seven years ago. She is receiving her 13th loan and this one is to finish building her house. She will build some concrete block walls in her house. With this loan she will buy concrete blocks, cement, rods and other building materials.
Maria is one of the members in the group called Nuestro Progreso (New Progress) located in one of the rural villages in the city of Samana. Esperanza Internacional runs a program for their good clients who are reliable in paying back their loans, who have fulfilled the commitment to grow their business and who have shown fidelity in their groups. This allows them to take out a loan to improve the structure of their houses at the same time as running their businesses and attending their group meetings. Maria thanks all of you for your support!
Here are two more photos from the evening:
(click on images to enlarge them)
From our friend Pat: I’ve been doing Kiva since last fall… And so far every one of my loans is in the process of being repaid. I gave my daughter some Kiva dollars on a Gift Card for her birthday, and now she looks forward to the notifications of repayment so she can continue to “pay if forward”. I think with her leaving for college this fall, Kiva was a good way to help her take a moment to reflect on how fortunate she is in life, and how many people around the world live in poverty and all that this entails. My nephew and his partner are going to South America next week, and plan to eat at a little restaurant they made a Kiva loan to over a year ago – How cool is that?
Four Latina women (Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria, Magdalena) worked together for two years to establish their own daycare cooperative, Semillitas, in Washington D.C. The daycare first opened its doors in January 2013 and currently serves 16 children. Rosemery is applying for a $8,475 loan on behalf of the cooperative to purchase and install four smoke detectors at the daycare. In the future, the women would like to open a second daycare.
The Kiva micro-loan organization has been awarded the highest rating by Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator is based in San Francisco, and it works to guide intelligent giving, helping people give to charity with confidence. At the same time, it aims to help charities by shining lights on truly effective organizations. It scores charities based on financial health, accountability and transparency, management, and overhead costs.
Click here to see Kiva’s score.
Come to the All Call Omaha Kiva Kickoff party and find out!
KIVA is an established micro-loan agency. It provides very small loans to men and women around the world who have demonstrated clear and workable plans to support themselves, their families and their communities. Individuals or groups (like our group at the KIVA evening) can contribute whatever they want toward a person’s business, by means of a loan. Kiva has gathered together a pool of men and women who can use our loan. For example:
|Leticia is a hard-working entrepreneur who has a cassava production business in the Philippines.
She is borrowing 29,500 PHP through NWTF in order to purchase empty sacks and to repair machinery for her cassava production business.
Leticia successfully paid back her previous loan, and now she is getting a new loan in order to build her business. NWTF is re-listing Leticia’s business profile again in support of her efforts to secure the future of her family.
During our KIVA evening, we as a group will make a loan (or loans)—to someone like Letecia, Edwin or Eteli. Come with your pennies (nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars will be accepted too). As a group, we will find the man/men or woman/women whom we will make our loan/s to. In addition, you will learn more about micro-lending in general—and, if you choose, you will take home information about ways you can continue to help make loans on your own.
|All Call Omaha, a service project of the Episcopal Church in Omaha, is having a kickoff event on Tuesday September 17th at 7 PM at Trinity Cathedral. The kickoff will be a Kiva micro-loan party, where everyone will pool an offering and select one or more Kiva borrowers to make a loan to that night. Kiva (at http://www.kiva.org/) is one of the leading charitable micro-loan organizations, and we’ll discover together how easy it is to empower people around the world with just a $25 loan! The part is BYOWine and a snack to share, with coffee, tea and lemonade provided.|
Here is a link to the Kickoff Event on Facebook.
About All Call Omaha
All Call Omaha is a multi-faceted and multi-generational service project sponsored by the Episcopal Church in Omaha. The goal of All Call Omaha is to raise awareness of the needs of others in our community, providing simple and clearly defined opportunities to serve. We foster meaningful conversation and community at times other than Sunday mornings and frequently at places other than church buildings. All Call Omaha has three components:
First Call: Service projects and fellowship held at various churches during the weekday. Target audience is current church members. Mostly this will be existing groups, now lightly bound together by a common overall vision/goal.
Second Call: Service projects and fellowship held at various business or community locations in the early evening after work. Target audience is younger professionals. Each month targets a specific group of professionals and a related service project (e.g. teachers and an education project).
Last Call: Service projects/discussions and fellowship held at various coffee houses and bars. (Service projects would be done at “normal” hours, but will be organized during these after-hours meetings.) Target audience is 20’s and 30’s, most probably unchurched. The goal is to welcome spiritual questions and to give something back to those in need.
Why All Call Omaha?
|Fulfilling Three Needs:
In Three Ways
The fundamental vision of All Call Omaha is to build a city-wide, visible service/outreach community we as Episcopalians can claim as our own. Each of the components (First, Second, and Last Call) targets a very different demographic, and each parish can be involved in as many ways as best fits it, but each can still take pride in and leverage the visibility of the whole. We will build camaraderie, energy and synergy among local parishes as we work together without having to worry about cannibalizing each other’s members. Work will be done a few times each year to combine all the components into one big community event.
Click here for a pdf version of the All Call Omaha flyer.
A Resurrection House Alumni and former St. Andrews member Kieran Conroy is entering his 2nd year serving with the Young Adult Intentional Community on Rosebud Reservation, a ministry of the ELCA Lutheran and Episcopal churches in South Dakota. Similar to Resurrection House in some ways, yet also breaking new ground, it welcomes young adults to commitments ranging from a summer to a year or more, centering its values on monastic patterns and a Rule of Prayer, Listening and Hospitality to shape relationships to each other and Lakota neighbors. The Community seeks a new vision of long-term, culturally sensitive ministry putting relationship before “grand plans.”
In its first year the Community has been blessed with growing partnerships with local Lakota Episcopal communities and a wide range of non-profit and denominational partners serving youth and families. Participants also study Lakota language and culture. In the first year they also helped organize an international Taize Gathering at Red Shirt, Pine Ridge hosting 600-1000 people for 4 days of camping, prayer and cultural dialog between young people. They encourage readers to follow their work at the following links:
The request came in an email, brief and to the point: “We’ve started a new thing in the Diocese of Nebraska, would you be willing to be an active participant and support the new Nebraska Common Prayer Facebook page?”
Without fully knowing what this was all about I reply back, “Of course. I’d be happy to.” (For heaven’s sake, it was one of the easiest things the church has ever asked of me). For one day each week, watch your Facebook feed, pray for requests as they are posted and then like them to show you’ve offered up prayers.
So I begin, and there sandwiched between a friend’s political rant and a thousand calorie recipe post was a request for traveling mercies. I spent a few moments thinking about this person, offered prayer for safe and smooth travel, and clicked like. It maybe took two or three minutes. Such a small and easy thing. I give a mental nod to the page creator: Goodness whoever thought this up, had a really good idea. I patted myself on the back and scrolled on.
But soon I wasn’t just watching on my “assigned” day, but checking on the page every time I checked my Facebook, Read. Pray. Like. Repeat. The more I did this the more I could feel a connection begin to form, my laptop serving as a conduit for prayer and meditation. Something about praying “in common” with and for friends, with and for people I’ve never met, moved my heart. I stopped patting myself on the back and started acknowledging that God was the moving force. And that’s when this volunteer gig became a quiet privilege for me. That’s when I knew this wasn’t just another Facebook page to like.
The Nebraska Common Prayer page is still in its infancy. No one knows where this will lead, how this will transform, but I have faith that it will do just that.
We live in a broken and hurting world, the connections that bind us together can seem tenuous and fragile. Perhaps they are as weak or as strong as wireless connection.
Someone once told me that prayer is the one thing you can do for someone that you can be absolutely sure will not cause them harm. We live in a messy world with real problems.
(Editor’s note: Thanks for the ministry of Rt. Rev. Stephen Charleston, whose Saturday prayer requests were the pattern for our necommonprayer.org prayer site.)
Is 2014 your year to join folks from across Nebraska in forming our Companion Diocese relationship in the Dominican Republic?
Are you ready to witness the joy and faith which makes the Dominican Episcopal Church one of the fastest growing dioceses of our Church?
2014 Mission Teams are now forming. The Adult Team will work at the Diocesan Camp in the mountains near Jarabacoa on February 10-17, 2014. A Youth Mission Team will work at the Camp on June 23-30, 2014.
We will be visiting a mission diocese in an emerging and developing country. Many of our Dominican brothers and sisters live in difficult conditions. Though financial resources are limited…faith is great, joy is abundant, and hope sustains those in need of food, clothing, and education. The blessings received will be equal to those blessing given.
The expected cost will be approximately $1500. Necessary fundraising will be left to the individual and their home parish, but fund raising ideas may be found at http://youthoutreach.episcopal-ne.org/fundraiser-ideas.html. Very limited scholarships may also become available.
Youth must be at least 16 years old in order to participate. Both the Adult and Youth Teams will arrive into Santiago on Monday evening. Our Teams will be met at the airport by local clergy who will either escort us to a downtown hotel or see that we are safely on our bus to the Diocesan Camp. Our journey will continue early Tuesday morning as we become familiar with the new surroundings that will become home during the coming week. We will work at the camp and in the surrounding barrio until we embark upon our journey home….changed forever.
Join folks from around the Diocese of Nebraska, as we continue to build companion relationships with our church and our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic!
For more information regarding these missions please contact:
Adult Mission Information
Rev. Karen Watson
Youth Mission Information
Don and Melissa Peeler
If you are unable to participate, but still wish to support our DR Ministry, educational scholarships are a wonderful way to support the work being done in the DR. A gift of $350 provides a student in the DR with the opportunity to learn for one year, and a much needed physical, vision, and hearing examination. For more information on how your life changing gift may be made, go to http://dgm.episcopal-ne.org/dominican-republic.html.
A special ministry opportunity exists for a creative individual with a little extra time and web-site development experience. The Diocese of Nebraska is looking for a volunteer to maintain its global mission web-page, and take it to the next level for communication, interaction, and information. If global mission and technology are your passions, please contact Canon Judi Yeates at 402-341-5373.
About one month from now, I will be moving to Cape Town, South Africa where for the coming year I will be volunteering for the Young Adult Service Corps in a placement as the Communications and Development Assistant at HOPE Africa, the social programming arm of the Anglican Church in South Africa! I’m still learning quite a lot about this job, but so far I’ve discovered that I’ll be spending my days traveling to different locations in South Africa and learning about the programs in these different places. Once I’ve learned about them, I’ll then create blurbs and photos that HOPE Africa can put on their website and Facebook page. I am writing here to ask the support of my fellow Nebraska Episcopalians.
One of the easiest ways to support me on my trip is to add me to your prayers. I’m carrying with me the long list of people and families that have supported me to make sure they’re in my prayers all year round!
Emily Barker (at left) with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and other new missionaries at the 2013 class orientation
Another way to support me is to read my blog. As a YASC volunteer, I am required to post to my blog at least two times a month, and I plan to fill my posts with lots of interesting info about Cape Town and the people I meet there. You can find my blog at http://theysolovedtheworld.blogspot.com.
The YASC program is committed to sending as many qualified people as they can overseas to help out in the communities that need them. The cost per ex-pat is $20,000. Luckily, YASC will cover half of that for each of us, but we are expected to raise the other $10,000 on our own. So far, I have about $6,500, which is great. But I’m still a ways off from my goal of $10,000, and I could really use your support. If you’re willing and able to contribute any sort of monetary donation, there are a two ways to go about doing that:
Option #1 is an online donation. A crowd-funding site called Go Fund Me allows makes it easy to send donations straight to me. Online donations also offer fun perks and rewards depending on your giving level. If you’d like to donate online, go to http://www.gofundme.com/32d2c8and click the big DONATE button! This method is the easiest, but unfortunately not tax-deductible.
Option #2 (the tax-deductible one) is to donate through the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. Simply make a check out to the Diocese of Nebraska, write “HOPE Africa” on the note line, and mail it to the Diocese of Nebraska, 109 N. 18th St., Omaha, NE, 68102. The Diocese will take care of the rest.
Suffice it to say that I will be grateful for any and all support that you can give. Please also know that I’m supremely grateful for the support you’ve given me over the years to help me be ready for this journey at this stage in my life. I look forward to being the best servant I can be, and to representing my fellow Nebraskans in South Africa in the year to come!
St. John’s Episcopal Episcopal Church
One of the new Ministries in the Nebraska Diocese is the repair and renovation of parish rectories in some of the small church communities in our diocese.
The first parish to experience this new ministry is the Broken Bow, Nebraska parish of St. John’s. An assessment was recently determined that the parish rectory was in very poor condition and should be either restored or demolished, whichever seemed most cost effective.
The rectory has not been used for many years as a residence for the parish priest. The rectory at one time was the source of rental income for the parish, but due to disrepair was no longer adequate for rental.
Since the Broken Bow region is strong economically, the decision was made to go ahead with renovation.
In July of this year a small mission team of Nebraska Episcopalians travelled to Broken Bow to initiate the renovation process. Working in conjunction with some contractors, a significant amount of restoration was completed at that time. The entire interior was examined for determination of what should stay and what should be removed.
Carpeting was removed from the upstairs floors. The original hardwood floors will be restored to their original condition. Ceiling tiles were removed and will be replaced. The exterior siding of the house was prepared and given two coats of paint. The bathroom interiors were totally removed and will be replaced. Windows were removed and reglazed.
The mission team was small in number, but was able to accomplish a considerable amount of repair and restoration.
In September, a plumbing and electrical contractor will complete the interior work. The rectory should be available for rental later on this year.
This is a new ministry for the diocese and should provide a basis for working on more diocese projects of this type in the future.