Adapted from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs

The Episcopal Church is providing $40,000 in support of the Diocese of Missouri for immediate domestic poverty, pastoral, and community work in Ferguson, the strife-torn inner-ring suburb of St. Louis.

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, through the Office of Justice and Advocacy Ministries, is offering $30,000, with the remainder provided by Episcopal Relief & Development.

“The proposal addresses both immediate need and long-term issues related to the cycle of poverty,” said the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, the church’s chief operating officer. “This joint effort helps restock food pantry shelves to feed the hungry today, but it also provides nutritional counseling and food preparation education for a more healthy future; it helps local businesses get back on their feet, but it also partners with public and private groups to encourage entrepreneurship and sustainability; it provides a mechanism to deliver food and other assistance to shut-ins, but it does so by offering skills training to young adults and older youth that will help improve their lives for years to come.”

The grant emerged from on-the-ground collaboration and conversation between staff of the DFMS and the bishop and staff of the Diocese of Missouri.

“These funds bring resources into a place experiencing such brokenness,” said the Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith, Bishop of Missouri. “This moment shows the power of belonging to something larger than the merely local. Indeed, we are one Body, and it is always good to remember that truth.”

Three Episcopal parishes — St. Stephen’s and The Vine (Ferguson), Ascension (Northwoods), and All Saints’ (St. Louis) — serve their cities and North St. Louis County and have been affected by clashes between police and protesters since the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Katie Mears, ERD’s director of U.S. preparedness and response, said the organization will help the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri replenish and increase food and personal care items in three food pantries operated by All Saints, Ascension, and St. Stephen’s.

Funding will be distributed this month.

Image: Ferguson, Day 6, by Loavesofbread (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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