SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PORTFOLIO
Jesus commands us: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” In our Parish we try to honour this command by providing opportunities for parishioners to interact with one another on a social level, getting to know one another and care for one another better. We also provide opportunities for outreach in the community; to demonstrate God’s love for all his children, especially those outside the community of the Parish Church.
1. KICK (Kids in Christ’s Kingdom)
KICK is a Non-Profit Organisation based in the Eden Park community which provides a feeding scheme and homework facility for primary school children from Grades 1 to 7 in the area. These are children from essentially “broken” homes and who suffer in one way or another from the poverty, alcoholism, AIDS, gangsterism, or whatever it may be that surrounds their lives. Most of these children don’t have loving families to go home to, and so they cherish their time with the ladies who run KICK. They rush from school to come and play, work and eat. And they use every facility we can offer. As important as food, or homework supervision, or even playing, is the love and affection they are given.
It all grew from a church project between the Parish of St Francis of Assisi in Meyersdal and the Parish of St Matthew & St Luke in Eden Park. Our volunteers are predominantly from Eden Park, and they are responsible for the preparation and cooking of the meals. Our donors include individuals, members of St Francis Parish, our link parishes and businesses.
2. Ecumenical Outreach Feeding Scheme
The Parish of St Francis teams up with other churches in the area, especially the Methodist Church, to provide a soup kitchen for the less fortunate. While there are parishioners who donate their money and time to help provide, prepare and serve these meals, the Parish also has an Alms Bottle and Basket for everyone to donate money or food towards this charity work.
3. Food Parcels, Gifts and ‘Winter Woolies’.
Food parcels are distributed to the needy in our area throughout the year, and especially around Christmas time. During Lent parishioners rally to do a special project around the theme ‘Count your Blessings’, and collect little gifts of love for the elderly or underprivileged children. During winter we collect blankets and jerseys which are distributed to the needy. Much of this work is initiated by the AWF of our Parish.
4. Family Fellowship
Once a month a Family Fellowship event is arranged to provide an opportunity for parishioners to relax, have fun and get to know one another better. These have taken the form of special teas, games evenings, cooking competitions, Mandela Day and Heritage Day celebrations, Pentecost and Patronal Festival events. Great fun is had by all and our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ is strengthened.
5. Men’s Fellowship
The men of the Parish get together once a month – usually on the second Saturday morning – for a fellowship breakfast. A speaker is invited to address men on issues that affect them, followed by a short discussion; we sing, pray, eat and chat. The event lasts approximately one hour and has become increasingly popular. All men are welcome!
6. Ladies Fellowship
Recently, the ladies of the Parish have started meeting on the third Saturday of each month to have breakfast, fellowship and fun. The format is similar to that of the men, but because many more words are used, the meetings sometimes take a little longer! Please come along and join in the fun and build this fellowship.
7. Seniors Fellowship
A dedicated, loving group of ladies provide a wonderful tea and cake feast for our senior parishioners after their special Eucharist, on the third Thursday of the month. It is an opportunity for those who are housebound or without transport to be fetched so that they can attend church, receive Communion, and afterwards visit and chat with their friends. Of course, both men and women are welcome.
8. Anglican Women’s Fellowship (AWF)
The motto of the AWF is: United in Prayer, Service and Love. Their aims are to promote prayer and worship; mission and witness; fellowship and study; and service and stewardship. For many years the AWF at St Francis Church has served Parish in these ways, often playing the role of “back room girls”, collecting funds for various charities, organising Parish events, and supporting and loving each other in general. St Francis is proud of the ‘silent, dependable work’ of our AWF ladies and really value their contribution to our Parish.
9. Mothers Union (MU)
St Francis is proud to add yet another branch of the Mothers Union to our Diocese. Our ladies will be officially robed this month! The MU meet together regularly for prayer, worship and fellowship but their strength lies in their involvement in programmes to promote good parenting, stable marriages and family life, literacy, various community service projects and relief work. Since their inception in 1876, a lot of effort has always gone into helping clergy families and clergy in parishes with work as Sacristans. We welcome our MU ladies and look forward to their service among us and involvement in the wider community.
A group of ladies, headed up by Mtr Mickie, provides teas and eats for bereaved families at the funerals of their loved ones. More hands are always needed so please join this group if you would like to serve in this ministry.