The Miracle at St. Barnabas
By Blanche Cooper
In late October we were surprised by a call from a new friend of St Barnabas who was wondering whether the congregation could match a $2,500 donation to the Outreach Fund. As chairperson of the Outreach Committee I was initially hesitant as we had so recently raised $1,500 through a Lenten Challenge to aid Syrian refugees. Would a $2,500 goal be asking too much? On further discussion with the committee, we agreed that a matching grant from the Diocesan Global Reconciliation Fund (which is powered in part by the Alleluia Fund) combined with local donations seemed a likely possibility. Furthermore, we decided that any money raised should go to Haiti, a country still in dire need of help in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Episcopal Relief & Development has been very active in responding to this crisis, and we agreed to work through them.
While we are a small church, about 35 households, St. Barnabas has always been a very generous and caring one. The response from our members and friends was astonishing. We raised $2,055 and received an additional $1,990 from the diocesan grant. When we informed Episcopal Relief & Development of our $6,545 gift, they agreed to match it with funds from one of their own grants, bringing the total contribution to $13,090!
What started out as a simple leap of faith will surely make a difference in the lives of people in Haiti. On behalf of the entire Outreach Committee— Alice Gollnick, Jenny Thomas and Sandy Virginia—I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in some way to make this miracle possible.
All members are encouraged to learn more about the available grant and loan funds through the Episcopal Church in Vermont. Funding options include traditional grants, as well as financial awards that require matching funds, and low-interest, collateral-secured loans. For additional information, contact Canon Lynn Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Episcopal Relief & Development