All churches are called to serve the needs of their communities. Individually, however, parishes may not be able to effectively address those needs. Through Interchurch Social Services, ecumenical ministries can be pursued with the pooled resources and collaborative efforts of sponsoring parishes.
Interchurch has several locations throughout Ohio in which it operates including Danville, Fredericktown, Centerburg, and Mount Vernon. If they cannot provide help they often can redirect the person to an organization that can.
Each location serves the diverse needs of their community by operating food pantries and thrift stores that are free to impoverished residents. Interchurch aids community members in the form of financial assistance for rent payments and deposits, medical appointments, utility disconnects, and gas vouchers.
Harcourt Parish, Gambier has sustained a vital partnership with Interchurch, providing financial and volunteer support throughout the years.
Each year, Harcourt holds a rummage sale on Kenyon College’s campus to raise funds for Interchurch and collects school supplies for families. Harcourt’s priest, the Rev. Rachel Kessler, believes this ministry is instrumental in bridging the missions of churches throughout the area, which allows parishes to provide concrete, comprehensive aid.
Interchurch is a well-known resource, especially in the city of Mount Vernon, partnering with several organizations such as Coats for Kids which provides winter clothing and Neighbor to Neighbor which supplements their financial assistance program.
Member churches span across the city, each maintaining a seat on the board to communicate recognized needs and ministries. In cooperation with Winter Sanctuary Shelter, Family and Children First Council, Knox Health Planning Partnership, and Interchurch, Mount Vernon has become a part of a network of social service agencies committed to maximizing the assistance they provide.
A portion of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports the work of Interchurch Social Services. In 2018, for the second year in a row, total donations to the appeal exceeded more than $300,000 with more than 560 households participating. Y
ou will soon receive our annual report detailing the impact of your giving and Appeal Kits will be delivered to Parishes. In addition, we are pleased to share the following link to a video highlighting the impact of your giving: dohio.org/offices/bishops-annualappeal
. It is one of the tools available to you and your parishes to help raise awareness of the appeal. It is our hope that you will view and show this video at your parish meetings, Sunday forums, enquirers class, and anywhere else where people would like to learn more about how our diocese comes together to support God’s work in the world. For more information or to make a gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, please visit dohio.org/give-now
or contact Laura Hnat