Habitat for Humanity
We have set our schedule of Build Days through summer 2019:
Sat Apr 6 – Donora Alexandria: a single family new home build.
Wed May 15 – Location TBD
Sat Jun 8 – Location TBD
Wed Jul 10 – Location TBD
Sat Aug 10 - Location TBD
For more information, see our SignUpGenius page at http://tinyurl.com/Habitat-IC
Use these as an opportunity to bring your 16+ kids to join you doing good and learning building skills. If you have older high schoolers, it is a great and easy way to build service hours. No prior skill is needed - you will be taught. If you have questions, or to be added to the Franciscan email distribution for Habitat, please contact Phil Pifer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Barney Thomson (email@example.com).
Please come join us this year! Follow the 'Golden Rule', learn some skills, and have some fun!
And to all our volunteers, thanks for your great work in the past!
For more information on Habitat for Humanity International, please visit Habitat for Humanity.
St. Francis Outreach Committee Mission:
To identify needs in our community, our city, and the world
where our financial commitment and hands-on involvement aid in alleviating human suffering,
empower those in need to become self sufficient, and strengthen the love of Christ in areas we touch and within ourselves.
Each year the Outreach Committee promotes specific outreach projects and facilitates parishioner involvement. These projects include meals for the Salvation Army Grate Patrol, food drives for local families in need, school supplies drives, an annual Christmas toy drive and party for Samaritan Ministry and Housing Up families, a diaper drive for a local shelter, Sunday dinners for Second Story's teen shelter, and tutoring in Anacostia.
The St. Francis Vestry allocates funds to the Outreach Committee each year for hands-on activities and donations to organizations. Franciscans have been directly involved in most of the organizations to which we donate as volunteers or through special projects. Some of the major outreach emphases include:
|St. Francis & South Sudan
Second Story (formerly Alternative House)
Salvation Army Grate Patrol
|Habitat for Humanity
Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington
SHARE of McLean
Committee meetings are usually held on the second Sunday of the month after the last service. We welcome you to join us.
Soup for the Homeless
On Saturday, March 19, a small group from St. Francis will serve soup along with bagged meals to DC's homeless on the Salvation Army Grate Patrol. For this to happen, we need parishioners to make 15 gallons of soup. If you can make a gallon of soup (see recipe and instructions below), please let Ginger Roll know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHITE BEAN & PASTA SOUP
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cups chopped onions*
• 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
• 1 ½ cups chopped celery
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic)
• 2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
• 8 cups (2 quarts) low sodium chicken broth
• 4 15 oz cans white beans (drained and rinsed)
• 1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes seeded & finely chopped)
• 2 cups small pasta (such as mini penne, farfalline, elbow macaroni)
Heat 6 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until all vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Add chicken broth, beans (previously drained and rinsed), garlic, oregano, and can of tomatoes with juice and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 25 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Mix in pasta, bring to boil, and cook until pasta is still firm (al dente). Add salt to taste if necessary. Makes approx. 1 gallon.
*If I remember, I thoroughly chill onions in the refrigerator before chopping, and then my eyes don't sting when I chop them.
For the Grate Patrol - Please bring cooked soup either hot or cold to church on Saturday, March 19 before 2 PM. We will heat soup on the stove before putting in styrofoam cups, which will be provided. Help with ladling soup into the cups will be most welcome. Don't worry if the soup is thick. I will bring chicken broth to thin it when we heat it up. Freezing is another option. You can put it in the church freezer and label it for the Grate Patrol up to Wednesday, March 16. After that, pIease just put it unfrozen in the refrigerator. I have lots of yogurt cartons if you need containers for the soup. Just ask me if you need some. Please let me, Ginger Roll, know if you can make soup or have any questions. I can be reached at email@example.com. Many thanks for making soup!!
St. Francis and South Sudan
St. Francis was introduced to ministry in southern Sudan in 1996 by Assistant Rector Hentzi Elek, a former relief worker in Sudan. Our first outreach project was the collection of money to buy goats for Sudanese women widowed by the long civil war in that country. In 1997, Father Hentzi introduced St. Francis to the Rev. David Bako, an Episcopal priest from the Diocese of Ezo in southwest Sudan who was studying at the Virginia Seminary. David's stories of his life in Sudan, his faith, and the needs of Sudanese Christians inspired St. Francis to make Sudan a vital part of our prayers and outreach ministry.
Our Covenant with the Diocese of Ezo
In 1998, St. Francis signed a formal covenant with the Diocese of Ezo. The covenant hangs in the Narthex. In the covenant, we promise to:
1. Pray for peace in Sudan, for the alleviation of suffering there, and for the Christians in Ezo Diocese.
2. Study and educate our congregation about the conditions of Sudanese Christians.
3. Bring the covenant before the Diocese of Virginia for prayerful consideration.
4. Communicate regularly with the Rev. Bako and others in Ezo as we come to know them.
5. Send a mission trip to Ezo to learn more about conditions there, to focus on our material assistance, and to encourage them in their faith.
Establishing the St. Francis Basic School in Juba
Using money raised by St. Francis, David Bako started a school in Juba in southern Sudan when he returned in 1999. The school was started in Juba rather than in Ezo, because Ezo was still a site of much violence and warfare, and many Ezo natives had fled to the relative safety of Juba. The "St. Francis Basic School," as it came to be called, began with 63 students taught by four volunteers. Over time, and as our church was able to provide more funds, the St. Francis Basic School grew in size and number of students. Within 10 years, the school had multiple buildings, a well for water that was a boon to the entire community, and more than 700 students.
The 2008 Mission Trip to JubaIn 2008, St. Francis sent two parishioners, Charlie Jackson and Janet Gralley, to visit the St. Francis Basic School in Juba. They were warmly welcomed and spent almost 2 weeks in Sudan, most of it at the school.
Some of their most vivid impressions were of the sheer poverty of the area, coupled with the great optimism and faith of the people, who made the most of very limited resources.
A New Country Emerges
Civil war and unrest have plagued Sudan since 1955. North Sudan, the site of the capital of Khartoum, was (and is) a Muslim country with a government that has been on the U.S. list of countries with state-sponsored terrorism since 1993. The south of Sudan had always been home to tribes who were more likely to be Christians or to practice native animist religions. The government in Khartoum had been loath to free southern Sudan because of the oil deposits there; in fact, the government had carried out genocide and warfare in the south. A peace agreement was finally reached in 2005 between Khartoum and rebels in southern Sudan. The agreement stipulated that a referendum be held on independence for southern Sudan. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of independence, and South Sudan became an independent country in 2011, with Juba as the new capital. For a time, Juba was the site of more building than any other city in the world, as many countries rushed to establish embassies and offices in the new country.
The St. Francis Basic School Evolves
The establishment of Juba as a world capital had a number of consequences for the St. Francis Basic School in Juba. On the one hand, the many years of warfare and strife took their toll on the school's relationship with its home diocese of Ezo, and the school no longer maintained a relationship with Ezo. David Bako left the Episcopal church to join a new church, and we lost touch with him.
The school benefited from the building boom in Juba when an Ethiopian entrepreneur offered to replace the mud-brick buildings with a concrete two-story school in exchange for constructing commercial buildings along the very valuable road-front parcel. The new building has been an enormous improvement.
2013 Mission Trip to South Sudan
In 2013, our Rector, the Rev. Penny Bridges, accompanied by parishioners Stephanie Kendall and Virginia Carlson, visited South Sudan. They were able to spend time in Juba, visiting the St. Francis Basic School, where they met Simon Bonis, head of development for the school. Simon has since become our main contact person with the school.
Mother Penny, Stephanie, and Virginia also made the difficult trip to Ezo, which involved a plane flight to Yambio followed by a long trip over miles of unpaved roads. In visiting Ezo, Mother Penny and Stephanie and Virginia were able to establish a relationship with Bishop John, and his wife, Mama Nancy. In a country of extreme poverty, the people of Ezo Diocese are some of the poorest. Their lack of resources, their isolation and lack of reliable transportation, and brutal attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army have made life especially stressful and dangerous. Nonetheless, Bishop John leads a flock of dedicated Christians, and we continue to pray that their situation will improve.
Where Are We Today?
No one would deny that the situation in South Sudan today is extremely complex. Despite the fact that the south was able to establish its own country, conflict erupted in December 2013 amid a power struggle between the president and his deputy. This escalated into fighting along tribal lines between government and rebel factions. In early 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Juba was forced to evacuate U.S. citizens as violence grew. By mid-2014, over 1.4 million South Sudanese were internally displaced by the conflict, which remains unresolved.
Likewise, the relationship of St. Francis Great Falls remains complex with our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.
Currently, we support two areas and projects:
1. We continue to support the St. Francis Basic School in Juba. We correspond with Simon Bonis, who is an officer of the school, and we continue to send money that was raised through church galas and other fundraisers. The money goes directly to the school's account.
2. We continue to carry out our covenant with the Diocese of Ezo. Thanks to the mission trip of 2013, we now have a relationship with Bishop John, and we are sending them funds, also from church galas and other fundraisers. We are asking that those funds be used primarily for educational purposes, although they have many needs.
We are committed to carrying out the promises we made in the covenant signed in 1998 with the Diocese of Ezo. We would like to continue to build our relationships with the people of South Sudan. We would like to plan more mission trips and, perhaps, be able to sponsor a trip for either officials of the St. Francis Basic School in Juba and/or for Bishop John and Mama Nancy of Ezo to visit us at St. Francis.
Would you like to be involved? Everyone is welcome to the St. Francis Outreach meetings, held in the conference room on the third Sunday of every month, after the last service.
· Read about Bishop John and the Diocese of Ezo at http://ezo.anglican.org.
· Learn more about the involvement of American churches with Sudan through the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan at www.afrecs.org.