What is Outreach?
The Outreach Ministry at St Barnabas is a very important expression of Christ’s commandment to love one another as he loves us. Led by Yvonne Moses and Shirley Browne, the Outreach Committee raises money through bake sales and special events like the pancake supper; collects non-perishable food, clothing and household necessities; and provides support to vulnerable people in the community, as well as to many organizations both in Centretown and throughout Ottawa. Here are some of the ways in which St Barnabas has recently responded to community needs through its outreach ministry: Centretown Churches Social Action Committee (CCSAC) is made up of 25 churches in the Centretown area. Through CCSAC, we can do much more then we could possibly do on our own! In 2011, in addition to our donation of $1,000 from outreach funds, St Barnabas allotted $1,000 in its annual budget, and gave an additional $1,000 to help support a refugee family fleeing the ongoing violence in Syria. Centre 507 is a drop-in at 507 Bank Street in the parish hall of Centretown United Church. It offers fellowship, a place out of the cold, and programs such as life skills, budgeting, cooking, etc., to support people on the margins. On average per month, more than 2,000 people visit the Centre. Centretown Emergency Food Centre is where the donations in the food barrel in the Narthex are taken each week (a total of 640 items in 2011). Located in the lower level of 507 Bank St., the Centre provides food for people in need, filling 714 requests for assistance in February 2012 — of these, 501 were individuals and 75 were families, with 68 children in all. The face of poverty is often hidden and the work of CCSAC is an important element in responding to need. Cornerstone Housing for Women continues to receive our support, lately with a gift of bedding and some coats for the women at the Booth Street residence. The brand-new building at 314 Booth Street opened in May 2011. St. Barnabas sponsored the furnishing of a suite, a gift made possible through the Bill Knight bequest. Other organizations St Barnabas helps through its outreach ministry include Centre 454, The Well, Ottawa Innercity Ministries, Multi-faith Housing Initiative, Shepherds of Good Hope, and JMJ Children’s Fund of Canada. The Fred Allen Memorial Hall is a great parish resource for outrrach by hosting organizations and events. For example, the hall is rented to a well-attended AA group at noon-hour Monday to Friday, and is the venue for the monthly seniors’ tea.
The Outreach Committee holds a Bake Sale following High Mass once a month to raise funds to support this ministry. The Food Barrel in the Narthex is emptied weekly of your donations of non-perishable food. The food is taken each week to the Emergency Food Cupboard at Centre 507. Food such as cans of soup, pasta sauce, vegetables, tuna and salmon, and fruit; and small packets of oatmeal, tetra-pak juices for lunches, peanut butter, and dried pasta can be put into the Food Barrel. Consult the Outreach Bulletin Board in the hallway of the Parish Hall for the latest news, needs, and information.