Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Pensacola, Florida is excited to share some good news. This past year has not slowed down the community outreach and ministry for this small but mighty congregation. Throughout the pandemic they've continued to serve the residents of Southern Oaks Nursing Home, provided 125 backpacks for Camp Happy Sands kids, and helped sponsor the inaugural year of the CDF Freedom Schools of the Central Gulf Coast program. Read all about their outreach ministries below:
Southern Oaks Outreach
Holy Trinity has had an ongoing quarterly outreach activity with Southern Oaks Nursing Home for several years, taking crafts and snacks for residents to enjoy. Knowing what a rough time they have had there with COVID-19, it was only natural that Holy Trinity ECW members wanted to do something to uplift the staff and residents. It was decided to provide the 150 staff members a BBQ lunch complete with sides and homemade cookies and brownies. One family offered to buy and decorate 120 bags for the residents with hopeful art and messages and then several ladies on the Yard Sale committee filled those bags with snacks. Soon an artist in the parish offered her beautiful artwork for a card for each resident which had Ephesians 3:b on the outside and a prayer message inside. The Activities Director at Southern Oaks was overjoyed to see the four trollies of food and snack bags and thanked the delivery team profusely for their kindness.
For a number of years, Holy Trinity has provided lunch one Friday in June for the children and staff of Camp Happy Sands. This year, of course, camp sessions were cancelled. Fr. Bob Graves asked Charlie Rouse, Camp Director, what might be done for the children to remind them that they are God’s beloved children and are loved by our community. Charlie suggested giving backpacks to the children, which would have been done at the end of the camp sessions. Fr. Bob contacted the Rev. Katie Gillette at Christ Church and this idea became a reality. Holy Trinity and Christ Church joined together to give 125 children the required backpack needed to be ready to begin the school year.
CDF Freedom School of the Central Gulf Coast
Along with six other area Episcopal churches, Holy Trinity helped to sponsor the first Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in the Central Gulf Coast. The curriculum provided by the Children’s Defense Fund stresses literacy, an appreciation of reading and cultural enrichment as well as teaching the students how to become active participants in the world around them. A preliminary report of reading achievement indicated that the 13 children of the Central Gulf Coast's Freedom School site who completed pre- and post-tests demonstrated an average increase of nine months in instructional reading levels.