Dear Friends and Benefactors of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego,
Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the year. It is a time when we wait for the light of Christ to pierce the darkness and to bring goodness into the world. And today, like many other Advent days, our world could use more goodness, more joy, and more light.
The Holy Spirit is calling us into courageous love for our neighbors. The turmoil of 2020 pushed countless people further into the margins–leaving many stranded by the economic crisis, by crippling anxiety, by COVID-19. This is why I’m writing to you today, to request your help, with a donation to the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego as we continue to follow Jesus and to help those in the deepest of need.
I want to share with you an example of the wonderful support your contribution can bring.
Earlier this year, shortly after the onset of the pandemic, the people of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego came together and contributed to the “For Such a Time as This” fund–dedicated to aiding churches in helping their neighbors. To date the “For Such a Time as This” fund has provided over $100,000 toward local food, shelter, and outreach ministries throughout the diocese.
Here are two short stories about how this fund provided tangible, real ministry to a growing population in need of a little help:
The economic downturn hit the people of Palm Desert especially hard. With service sector jobs declining as the tourism and entertainment industries dwindle, many in Palm Desert found it harder and harder to feed their families.
Each week scores of volunteers from St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert and the surrounding community gather to distribute much-needed food to their neighbors.
“St. Margret’s Food Ministry has gone from serving an average of 400 families per week to over 700,” said Rev. Andrew Butler, Rector of St. Margaret’s, “We are so thankful for the extraordinary volunteers who have showed up to lend a hand and for the outpouring of financial support needed to meet the rising cost of food.”
St. Margaret’s and our clients are especially grateful for the generous grant from the ‘For Such a Time as This’ fund, and to those wanting to contribute to the tangible ministries being carried out throughout the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego,” said Rev. Butler.
But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” Luke 9:13
The ‘For Such a Time as This’ funds were also a blessing to St. Alban’s ministries.
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has cared for and fed people on the streets of El Cajon for over 50 years. Today, the community of El Cajon is one of the largest concentrations of Iraqi refugees in the country–many who are quietly in need of help. St. Alban’s ministries are that help.
“Working with refugees is a humbling and blessed experience and gives an encouraging perspective, especially ‘in times such as this,” said Rev. David Madsen, rector of St. Alban’s.
Because of the generosity of the people of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, St. Alban’s was able to help their refugee parishioners who have lost jobs due to the pandemic, who have family members with serious health issues, and who have been doing their best without complaint or requests for help.
“These were people living on the edge, not knowing what would happen next. When they realized that not only St. Alban’s, but the diocese as a whole cared and wanted to help them, they were exceedingly grateful,” said Rev. Madsen.
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
We all know that this year has been especially difficult. Reflecting on this year’s hardships, I think about the Holy Family and their anticipation, anxiety, and fear surrounding their first Christmas. I think about the weather-beaten, tired young family—imminently expecting a child—looking for shelter. And I think about the warmth of the simple stable; about how the only offer of help was enough.
Today you can be that offer of help to dozens of tangible ministries throughout the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. Your generous contribution is vital to the successful mission and ministry of the diocese. Thank you for your generous donation to the continued mission and ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook
Courage is a word that comes from the Latin for “heart.” To have courage is to have the heart to live in the truth of God’s love for us and God’s love for this world.
Join us in Courageous Love and help the world heal through Christ’s love.
Checks can be made out to The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and mailed to:
Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
ATT: Kirby Smith
2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego CA 92107