Outreach at Holy Family provides a way for parishioners to live into their baptismal vows to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to strive for justice and peace among all persons, and to respect the dignity of every human being. The Outreach Commission leads the parish in this mission by engaging in relationship with ministries on the local, regional, and global level. The Vestry sets aside a percentage of the parish’s total annual budget for outreach. The Commission decides how to allocate that money and also provides parishioners with opportunities for hands-on ministry whenever possible.
The Chair of Holy Family’s Outreach Commission is Diane Steinhaus. Diane would love to tell you more about all of the ministries detailed below. Email her here.
The Commission meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the library. We welcome new members and input from parishioners. Please join us in living our call to reach out to the world in evangelism, service and concern for all of God’s creation! The following is a selection of the outreach programs with which you can become involved:
- Our School in Haiti: Holy Family is the sole source of support for an elementary school in the northern mountains of Haiti. A relationship that’s now 30 years old, the parish makes frequent visits to the village of Molas to deepen friendships and provide basic medical and material support to the students and their families.
- Habitat for Humanity: Holy Family has helped build several homes in Orange and Chatham Counties. When we start another home we will need help with fundraising and other behind-the-scenes activities, as well as site workers.
- Refugee Ministries: In 2016, the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of Holy Family parishioners during the height of the Syrian refugee crisis. In the spring of that year, we welcomed the first Syrian (Muslim) refugee family to Chapel Hill. We network with other congregations trying to engage this difficult work. In 2017, we agreed to help an Afghani family settle in Durham.
- Orange County Justice United: We are members of this ecumenical initiative that helps those without voice to speak the truth to the powerful in our community.
- Prison Ministries: Participants in Yokefellows Ministry leave from the front of the church at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday, except the last Tuesday of the month. For one hour we share refreshments, prayer, and conversation with the inmates of Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. Watch the church bulletin for requests for refreshments. Parishioners also correspond with and visit inmates at Central Prison in Raleigh. The Reconciliation and Reentry Team provides emotional, spiritual, and practical support to persons transitioning out of prison back into a productive life.
- Augustine Literacy Project provides free, long-term, one-on-one tutoring in reading, writing, and spelling to low-income children and teens who struggle with literacy skills. Holy Family founded this ministry almost a generation ago. Volunteer tutors receive intensive training (70 hours) and are then paired with a student from a local school. Tutoring normally takes place twice a week, at the child’s school during the school day. Many of the tutors, trainers and board members are parishioners of Holy Family. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, serving on the board, or supporting the program financially, please contact Lori Easterlin here.
- Hispanic Ministries: Holy Family supports Iglesia El Buen Pastor, an Episcopal mission of the diocese of North Carolina in Durham (1852 Liberty St.). After-school programs are offered through LEAP (Latino Education Achievement Partnership). If you would like to volunteer or find out more, please be in touch! Holy Family also supports Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Newton Grove, NC.
- Interfaith Council for Social Services: Holy Family is a member of the IFC, an ecumenical organization which operates a Community Kitchen, serving three meals a day seven days a week to any hungry person; a Homeless Shelter; a Crisis Intervention program for local families; a live-in program called Homestart for families in transition to permanent housing; and an administrative office. All these programs are in constant need of volunteers. Holy Family parishioners prepare and serve lunch on 2nd and 3rd Mondays, pick up and sort food, participate in CROP Walk and RSVVP fundraisers, and help in other ways. Holy Family collects non-perishable food items for IFC on the third Sunday of each month.
- International Missions: Holy Family supports the building of God’s kingdom through prayer and relationship to various missionary efforts globally. In addition to our primary work in Haiti, we have mission partners in Nepal, South Sudan, and Uganda.