St. Stephen’s serves the Lord through our Outreach Programs by helping those in need in our community, state, nation, and world. Orchestrated though the St. Stephen’s Outreach Committee, abundant opportunities exist to help those less fortunate – from packing meal packs for the homeless to clean-up and construction following natural disasters.
The St. Stephen’s Outreach Committee hopes to involve every parishioner in meeting the needs of God’s world around us. There are abundant opportunities for St. Stephen’s to reach out to those in need in our community, in our diocese, and in our world. The Outreach Committee is committed to keeping those opportunities visible to our parish at all times.
Charity begins at home. A significant portion of our resources goes towards helping people right here in the Tennessee Valley.
St. Stephen’s Child Development Center (CDC) – A community’s lifeblood is its youth. By providing a Christ-based educational childcare program, the CDC cultivates the qualities that enable our children to grow emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and creatively.
Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) – On the other end of the spectrum, St. Stephen’s works with CASA of Madison County in helping to provide services to aging /homebound individuals, allowing them to remain in their homes. From collecting non-perishable foods during the Lenten Season to helping winterize homes of CASA clients, our parishioners have opportunities to assist seniors all across the county.
Huntsville Assistance Program (HAP) – St. Stephen’s supports HAP, which provides economic assistance and referral services to individuals and families in the Greater Huntsville area. The organization is composed of an interfaith consortium of congregations (including St. Stephen’s), pooling volunteers, information, and financial resources to accomplish its mission. The HAP has joined forces with local food pantries, pharmacies, and other entities to provide assistance as effectively as possible to those in need. In addition, HAP provides a “clearinghouse” to allow churches across the community to verify what, if any, assistance has been offered to those in need.
Homeless Ministries – The homeless hold a special place in the heart of our Deacon Lynn Bullard. St. Stephen’s supports the First Stop homeless ministry, which links chronically homeless people on the streets and in transient shelters, with case management, mainstream supportive services, and permanent housing. First Stop also provides mailing addresses, showers, laundry, and food/hygiene packs as needed as well as first-hand attention in homeless camps. St. Stephen’s provides financial support, volunteers, and contributions of food and other goods to First Stop.
Through our support of the Diocese and our own initiatives, St. Stephen’s reaches across the state to help fellow Alabamians in several programs.
Sawyerville Work Project – The Sawyerville Work Project, sponsored by the Youth Department of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and the parishes of the Black Belt, creates a day camp for economically disadvantaged children and youth in Hale County, Alabama. St. Stephen’s participates through our adult and youth parishioners who volunteer as camp counselors and through in-gatherings of needed goods.
Kairos and Kairos Outside – Kairos is a body of ministries that address the spiritual needs of incarcerated men, women and children, their families, and those who work in the prison environment. Through special collections and support, St. Stephen’s helps those across the state with this outreach program.
Whether the need is for disaster relief or support for our missionaries abroad, St. Stephen’s provides support across both state and national borders.
Disaster Recovery – In coordination with the Huntsville Episcopal Churches, St. Stephen’s has assisted the Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery effort since September 2005. Through numerous mission trips to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans and through in-gatherings of food, clothing, household items, gift cards, and medicines, St. Stephen’s continues to help this region rebuild and recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Our current focus is on additional mission trips to Camp Coast Care and New Orleans. When deadly tornadoes struck North Alabama in 2010, parishioners from St. Stephen’s helped devastated homeowners by cooking and delivering meals, collecting clothing and household goods, cutting and clearing downed trees and other debris, and offering personal assistance whenever needed throughout the crisis.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) – Episcopal Relief and Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States, guided by the Episcopal Church’s principles of compassion, dignity, and generosity as we work to heal a hurting world. St. Stephen’s supports the programs of ERD through periodic in-gatherings of offerings.
Companion Diocese - Companion Diocese relationships are encouraged within the Anglican Communion. Our diocese has developed and maintained close ties with Haiti through many years and many sources. We send money, supplies, and teams of workers to help rebuild the church in Haiti and to feed, educate, and nurture her people. Our focus has been going where we are wanted and doing what is needed as directed by the Bishop and his priests. Parishes all over the diocese lift Haiti in prayer weekly and will continue to walk with them into the future.