Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Outreach and Mission

Emily Barker- September Missionary Update

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Emily shows us where she’s living

Emily Barker, our missionary has been in Cape Town working for HOPE Africa for a month! Check out her update below on what this first month in Cape Town, South Africa has held for her.

hope-boxes

Part of HOPE Africa’s job is to provide disaster relief to dioceses and projects that need it. These six boxes of dried food are promised to a few relief sites in the Western Cape and will be sent over when the time is right. In the mean time, they live my office 🙂

desk

And what does that office look like? This is the desk where I spend my weekdays at HOPE Africa. Currently I’m working on quite a few distinct projects and need a lot of materials to help prepare for those projects, so maybe my desk will be more organized when things calm down–never!

emily-no-heat

I arrived at the end of winter and quickly discovered that that the buildings where I work and live do not have central heat. So this is how the office keeps warm!

emily-elephant

I’ve already seen multiple elephants, although none have been real yet. Hopefully I’ll be sending an update soon about a real live elephant!”

emily-whale So no real elephants, but I’ve seen real whales! At a Whale Festival in Hermanus, Western Cape, I was lucky enough to see quite a few whales breach at the bay. See that black in the middle of the picture? That’s a Southern Right Whale! Whales come to this bay to calf and mate every year and the festival is scheduled right around the time when they are most visible.
emily-rocky-horror

Some things are timeless and universal! In the past week, I pursued my favorite passion and saw some live theater in the middle of Cape Town at the Fugard Theatre in District 6. Here I am with Frankenfurter, from the cult classic Rocky Horror Show.

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All Saints Omaha: Annual Cycle for South Sudan Fund Raiser

Pedal for Treadles Riders and Volunteers

Pedal for Treadles Riders and Volunteers

On Sunday September 15th , All Saints Omaha had their 5th annual Cycle for South Sudan fund raiser for our Companion Diocese of Twic East South Sudan.

This year’s theme was “Pedal for Treadles”. The funds raised will go towards the purchase of treadle manual type sewing machines and grinding mills. The sewing machines will be used to make different clothing to be sold to the communities. The motorized grinding mills will be used to replace the manual stone grinding operation the women now use.

We had a record turnout of bicyclers and walkers for the event. A very special occasion for this year’s event was the attendance by Bishop Ezekiel Diing, the Bishop of Twic East Diocese and his wife Rebecca. The event was especially exciting because of their attendance. They are here due to their son Paul’s surgery at Sanford Hospital Sioux Falls South Dakota. (Bishop Ezekiel and Rebecca received a cash prize for coming the greatest distance for the event!)

A cookout picnic was held at the All Saints Retreat Center following the event. Everyone is looking forward to next year’s event.

– Jim Yeates

Using a grinding mill

Using a Stone Grinding Mill

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All Call Omaha Kiva Kickoff Raises $925, Gives Micro-loans to Three

Dean Pritcher explains Kiva

Dean Pritcher explains Kiva

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 in her rice field in Honduras

Gladis in her rice field in Honduras

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 at his house in the Dominican Republic

Francisco at his house in the Dominican Republic

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 at home in the Dominican Republic

Maria at home in the Dominican Republic

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)

Honoring Dean Joan Pritcher for her loving service to Trinity Cathedral and the people of Nebraska

Honoring Dean Joan Pritcher for her loving service to Trinity Cathedral and the people of Nebraska

Counting the generous offering

Counting the generous offering

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Kiva Micro-loans: A Personal Perspective

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Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria and Magdalena at their daycare

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?

Who will we help at the All Call Omaha Kiva kickoff party this Tuesday th 17th at Trinity Cathedral at 7 PM?  How about Rosemery, Marjorie, Maria and Magdalena, in Washington DC?

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.

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Kiva Awarded Charity Navigator’s Highest Rating

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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.

Who can we help? Come to the All Call Omaha Kiva kickoff party at Trinity Cathedral, 7:00 PM on Sept 17th, and help decide. Here’s a link to the Facebook Event. Maybe it will be Evangelina:

1424709 Evangelina is a very hardworking woman, and has been carrying out both domestic and farming chores since she was young. Her parents were the ones who taught her to work the land. She could only study until the third grade because her parents were unable to support her economically.

She is the mother of five children. She fights, along with her husband, every day in order to dress them, give them shoes, feed them, and provide them with everything they need that she and her husband, as their parents, are able to give them. Four of her children are studying in school and are in different grades; her youngest son is too small and is still at home.

She dreams of her children’s futures, and of seeing them become adults and professionals. She also hopes to be able to grow more crops on her land, and to grow a greater variety of crops, which is more attractive to her customers. This would allow her to generate more income so that she can achieve her goals and dreams.

For these reasons, she is requesting financing today from Comixmul. She will buy four quintals of organic coffee, six quintals of 18-46-0 fertilizer, three quintals of urea, four quintals of foliar fertilizer, two liters of fungicide, three quintals of 12-24-12 fertilizer, and four quintals of a special fertilizer specifically for coffee plants. These supplies will help her crops and will ensure a good harvest.

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Who can we help via a Kiva micro-loan: How about Letecia?

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:

Letecia

Letecia

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.

http://www.kiva.org/lend/604385http://www.kiva.org/lend/604385

 

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.

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All Call Omaha Kiva Kickoff Sept 17th

 

aco-heart4 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. kickoff-postcard-front

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:

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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:

  • Awareness
  • Service
  • Community

In Three Ways

  • For those in need
  • For those who serve
  • For the Episcopal Church
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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.

 

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Rosebud & Pine Ridge Update – International Taize Gathering

The Pine Ridge volunteer team

The Pine Ridge volunteer team

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:

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/ministries/young-adult-intentional-community-rosebud

 

http://www.facebook.com/YoungAdultIntentionalCommunityOnRosebud

 

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2013/05/28/pilgrimage-of-trust-taize-community-come-to-pine-ridge-reservation/

A Lakota language class

A Lakota language class

Kieran, Pastor Daryl Schubert (Rosebud Interum Minister) and  new Priest in Charge Rev. Lauren Stanley at  St. Thomas Corn Creek

Kieran, Pastor Daryl Schubert (Rosebud Interum Minister), new Priest in Charge Rev. Lauren Stanley, Fr. Paul Sneve and Caroline Quick Bear at St. Thomas Corn Creek

Evening prayer service at the international Taize gathering

Evening prayer service at the international Taize gathering

Preparing for the international Taize gathering

Preparing for the international Taize gathering

Praying with Brother Emile of Taize and families at one of many reservation parishes across the region.

Praying with Brother Emile of Taize and families at one of many reservation parishes across the region.

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A Quiet Privilege…necommonprayer.org

pray-without-ceasing-with-url-squareThe 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.

Keep praying.

Noelle Ptomey

 

 

(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.)

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2014 DOMINICAN MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES ANNOUNCED

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
krnwtsn78@gmail.com
402-517-1326

Youth Mission Information
Don and Melissa Peeler
dpeeler@cox.net
402-572-7556

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.

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