The Outreach Ministry sends God's love out into the community and the world by combining their faith, time, skills, and resources to actively do the work of reconciliation, compassion, and justice. The Outreach members are eager to learn about the hopes and goals of people near and far as they team up with them to overcome challenges.
The ministry is comprised of several community programs (supported by A&HT) that promote housing and food security, welcome immigrants, foster children’s education and mental health, and more. For any questions or for more information about a particular program, please contact the office at email@example.com.
Valley Interfaith Community Resource Center, 420 Wyoming Avenue, Lockland
A&HT is a founding supporter of this ministry, which has grown into a lifeline for 12 zip codes in the Mill Creek Valley. It provides food, household essentials, and emergency assistance, connecting people to essential social services and the skills and mutual support to build the futures they want. Current volunteer roles are limited for safety reasons, but absolutely vital.
Tikkun Farm, 7941 Elizabeth Street, Mt. Healthy
A thriving hub where people of all backgrounds from urban teens to Bhutanese refugees come together to garden, prepare food, and grow in physical and emotional wholeness. Many roles available from planning logistics to chopping ingredients at home for community crockpot meals.
Habitat for Humanity + HOPE Coalition
HOPE Coalition, the Episcopal team of Habitat of Greater Cincinnati, welcomes A&HT volunteers to help build or renovate houses with partner families who will become homeowners through interest-free mortgages. Click here to volunteer at a work site.
Heartfelt Tidbits is an extraordinary network of volunteers inspired by Wyoming resident Sheryl Rajbhandari to welcome immigrant families to Greater Cincinnati and help them navigate a new culture, language, schools, jobs, and friendships. COVID-safe volunteer opportunities include Virtual Buddies (weekly conversations with a school child), tutoring adults in English, or helping people prepare for their citizenship exams. Sign up here.
Matthew 25 Ministries
M25M is our major way of supporting Sustainable Development Goals projects abroad. It is a logistical miracle, and a joy to be part of it. A&HT’s volunteer day is the third Wednesday of the month. Learn more about volunteering and the COVID safety protocols, including the need to pre-register.
St. Paul Village
St. Paul Village is one of Episcopal Retirement Services’ affordable senior housing communities, and our parish volunteers have a monthly commitment of serving lunch, organizing games or entertainment, and conversing with the residents. Volunteers sometimes also serve at monthly parties for residents which can include bingo and hilarious contests, or special event parties such as a Halloween Costume Party or a “Senior” Prom. St. Paul Village is in Madisonville and Wyoming parishioners usually carpool there.
Mill Creek Valley: ACTS
As one of four Episcopal congregations near the Mill Creek, we are teaming up with Lincoln Heights parents to support mental health in the community and document the environmental dangers (lead dust, toxic sound) created by 300 days a year of gunfire on the Cincinnati Police Firing Range as the stakeholder municipalities continue negotiations to implement their commitment to relocate it.
Current Outreach Events
Maple Knoll: Holy Eucharist
First Thursdays of the Month
Maple Knoll Village [11100 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246]
Fr. Eric will be celebrating Holy Eucharist in the Maple Knoll Village Chapel at 3:00 pm on the first Thursday of each month. All are welcome because all belong!
St. Paul Village
Volunteer Opportunities with Low-Income Seniors
Since 2013, we at A&HT have provided volunteer support for the mission of Episcopal Retirement Services in creating an enriched quality of life for the low-income senior residents at St. Paul Village in Madisonville. Our normal monthly commitment is serving lunch, organizing games or entertainment, and conversing with the residents. Sometimes we are called upon to assist with special events such as a Halloween Costume Party or a “Senior” Prom. COVID-19 disrupted this volunteer ministry following our early March 2020 visit.
Happily, St. Paul Village is opening up for visitors again and so, we are renewing our monthly volunteer-support commitment. Generally, our stint at St. Paul Village runs from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm, and we carpool from A&HT for those volunteers who find this convenient. In advance of each monthly commitment, once we learn the planned activity and how many volunteers are needed, we poll our established list of volunteers to see who is available.
More volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, or if you would like more information, please contact Noel Horne [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Kathy Kessler [email@example.com].
Lincoln Heights Update
Huge Breakthroughs for Lincoln Heights! The Cincinnati Police Firing Range will move to Colerain, and Princeton Middle School has agreed to build peer mediation into the school day starting next fall!
Firing Range Announcement: On Jan. 31, the Hamilton County Commissioners announced that they are committing $15 million for the construction of a regional police training center in Colerain Township, matched by a $4 million federal allocation secured by Senator Sherrod Brown, and $2 million from the City of Cincinnati, the proceeds expected from the sale of the land abutting family housing in Lincoln Heights where the range has been for generations.
In her public remarks, Commission President Alicia Reece thanked St. Simon’s LaVerne Mitchell, who has served for years on Lincoln Heights Village Council, for her advocacy on what Reece termed “the number one environmental injustice in our county.” The County Administrator unveiled drawings for the expanded facility which will be shared by Hamilton County, Cincinnati Police Department, and federal law enforcement agencies. This outcome is the result of tireless advocacy by Lincoln Heights Council and the young leaders of The Heights Movement, matched with the vision and grit of women in public office, and once-in-a-generation federal funding streams:
Three women serving as Hamilton County Commissioners, one of whom is a past City Manager for Lincoln Heights
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, a member of Christ Church Cathedral
Patient but determined negotiations by Lincoln Heights Mayor and Council including Ms. Mitchell and the leaders of Woodlawn, Evendale, and Colerain Township
The support of Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey and CPD Chief Teresa Theetge
Funds from the American Rescue Plan (source of the County’s $15 million)
The passage of the Infrastructure Bill in 2021 (source of $4 million)
Advocacy by Lincoln Heights civic groups, Center for Closing the Health Gap, with ACTS congregations adding ours last year
The price tag for the new regional facility will be significantly more than the $21 million raised so far, but renderings are ready for a phased construction which could start within months. Commissioner Reece mentioned negotiations with a potential private sector donor (GE?) and the possibility of the Governor allocating some of the state’s unspent ARPA funds, since creating regional police training centers is a state goal. Reece also challenged the City of Cincinnati to commit more money. You can view the announcement on this recording of the Commission meeting, starting at minute 13:53 and continuing for just over half an hour.
Princeton Middle School to Launch Peer Mediation: After months of effort, ACTS succeeded in persuading Princeton Middle School to add peer mediation to its ongoing program, and we are joining the Center for Social-Emotional Learning in requesting an Educational Success Grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to train school staff and students in effective communication and conflict resolution starting next fall. A phone call from St. Monica’s Rev. Mike Pearl broke the ice, and we met with Principal Dave Mackzum a week ago. To our amazement, he was fully prepared to talk specifics about how training will unfold, the staff who will be involved, and how peer mediation time will be built into the school day. ACTS decided in consultation with trainer Bob Kelly and Dr. Mackzum to adapt our plans for this year and next to the following:
1-2 workshops this spring at St. Monica’s for the Lincoln Heights Peace Leaders to unpack their experiences and reinforce their skills
A two-day training this summer at St. Monica’s for 5-10 rising Middle Schoolers
Two Saturday workshops a semester for Lincoln Heights peer mediators serving at Princeton Middle School
Integrating peer mediation into the culture and practice of the Middle School was ACTS’ goal all along. This breakthrough is a beautiful and astonishing answer to many months of planning and prayer. Now, please pray for the Letter of Intent due this Friday will lead to Greater Cincinnati Foundation giving us the go-ahead to apply for the Educational Success Grant.
Stewardship Spotlight: Housing & Food Security
A&HT parishioners have been working for decades, with passionate dedication, to provide free food and reduce the burden of housing costs for people in Greater Cincinnati. Valley Interfaith Community Resource Center, which was founded in our undercroft, is now the major emergency food provider for twelve communities in the Mill Creek Valley. Last year, thanks to a $5,000 anonymous donation from a young family in our parish, we spearheaded a successful campaign to raise over $50,000 for a refrigerated van to enable Valley to accept more fresh and frozen food donations and to deliver food to people who can’t safely come to the pantry in Lockland. The parish outreach budget provides a grant of $5,000 a year, and we also hold fundraisers for Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas Target gift cards which families can use to choose useful and joyful Christmas presents. We also collect specific items like noodles or soup, as requested by the pantry. You respond to these campaigns with incredible generosity, always exceeding what Valley requests. If you’d like to put your toe in the water, consider the Thanksgiving campaign which includes delivering the baskets. This has been an incredibly rewarding experience for many parish families. For more information, contact Melissa Monich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In affordable housing, parishioner Maurice Bason spearheaded Valley Habitat in the 1980s. Habitat is a fantastic model for homeownership, a major pathway out of poverty in the United States. Families and volunteers contribute sweat equity to build or remodel houses, greatly reducing the cost, and families are provided an interest-free mortgage. Under the leadership of Christina Brandewie, A&HT volunteers help build houses every year through the HOPE Coalition, the Episcopal coalition in Habitat of Greater Cincinnati. Christina posts weekly updates in this newsletter. The Outreach budget sends $1,500 a year for materials and other costs. You can also experience the joy of Habitat in the one-day Rock the Block event on May 14 in Cincinnati’s West End. We’ll be working with West End residents on repairs to 15-20 houses, and learning about this historic neighborhood. Sign up here.
Did you know that Episcopal Retirement Services, a Cincinnati non-profit, is a major provider of safe, beautiful, and affordable housing for senior citizens living on limited means? Under the leadership of Noel Horne, we have a vibrant team who travel to ERS’s St. Paul Village community in Madisonville once a month to host lunch parties for the residents, with Kathy Kessler as our celebrity Bingo caller. We help plan truly zany celebrations for holidays like Veterans Day and Halloween. Costumes and sing-alongs with live performers are also on tap. The Outreach budget sends $1,000 a year to help cover the costs of these parties.To join this dauntless team, contact Noel at email@example.com.
Ariel Miller | Outreach Co-Chair