In response to God’s call to be servants and ministers to all people, St Mark’s supports, financially and through volunteer efforts, a number of ministries in the Charlotte area.
It is out of gratitude for what we have been given that we share our blessings with others, including the following social ministry partners:
It grew out of an effort in 1975 at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church to respond to the growing hunger problem in Mecklenburg County and continues to expand to meet that need.
They operate food pantries that provide a week’s worth of food to families and individuals in crisis.
St. Mark’s supports Loaves and Fishes by collecting nonperishable food items that are delivered to the pantries on a regular basis.
The Urban Ministry Center provides daytime services including lunch, showers, laundry facilities and restrooms, telephone service, counseling regarding housing or jobs, and medical needs for our homeless neighbors.
They also coordinate the Room In The Inn program.
Through Room in the Inn, churches and schools provide shelter, food, and conversation for homeless neighbors in their facilities from December through March.
St. Mark’s has provided financial support for the Urban Ministry Center, and also hosts Room in the Inn every Tuesday night during the cold winter months.
Volunteers are responsible for setting up the sleeping area, providing a hearty dinner, breakfast in the morning, and bagged lunch to take with them.
They also provide transportation for the neighbors to and from the church, and stay the night.
Any member may–and is encouraged to–volunteer for any role. Travel- and sample-sized toiletries (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc.) are also collected year-round, in order that our neighbors might also receive a bag of toiletries for the night.
Observing a dire need for adequate, affordable housing for the area’s low-income families, the churches created a non-profit group.
Since 1983, our affiliate has been enabling working-class families to help themselves become homeowners.
To date, more than 900 families have been able to realize their dream of home-ownership.
St. Mark’s supports Habitat Charlotte financially and with volunteers for spring and fall builds.
Kairos is an interdenominational Christian ministry whose programs are presented in state and federal men’s and women’s correctional institutions in the U.S. with adaptations for other countries and languages.
The purpose of Kairos is to build strong Christian communities inside prison walls.
It begins with a three-day short course in Christianity and continues with small share and prayer groups among the residents of the institution.
St. Mark’s supports Kairos by sending a team of men to the Foothills Correctional Institute in Morganton, N.C., for a weekend every April, where they share Bible study, prayer, conversation, and thousands of cookies.
Often, our youth participate in baking the cookies for these weekends.
St. Mark’s sponsors an adult mission trip annually in the spring to areas of the country in need of manual help and fellowship. Alex English and Neil Dixon lead this effort.
Thanksgiving Bags are a way for our congregation to provide a hearty Thanksgiving meal to families in need. Recipients are identified by the Social Ministry Committee. The totes are available in the gathering place the first two weeks of November with a list of nonperishable food items to be purchased for each tote. You can fill a bag yourself, join with a friend, another family, your committee, circle or group. The bags need to be returned to the church by November 14th. The Social Ministry Committee will add the produce before delivery.
The goals of A Child’s Place are to provide stable, appropriate education to homeless students, to provide support services to enhance their opportunities for academic success, and to provide services to families to ensure long term stability and self-sufficiency.
St. Mark’s supports A Child’s Place by holding a school supply drive during the summer months so that children who are homeless can begin the school year with new school supplies.
It is their vision to inspire our community to justice and generosity as they provide help, hope and understanding to people struggling with limited financial resources.
They provide financial aid to families with immediate emergency needs for rent, food or utility bills, plus distribution of clothing, furniture and household essentials in their store. St. Mark’s provides financial support for Crisis Assistance.
St. Mark’s provides financial support for the Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program, which provides a backpack full of nutritious, ready to eat or easy to prepare foods to children at risk of hunger.
The children take the filled backpacks home on Fridays and return them on Mondays, to be filled again for the following weekend.