For much of its history, Trinity Cathedral has embraced a mission of service to the last, the lost and the least. From the Trinity Lunch Room for working women in the Downtown area in the early 1900s to its partnering with other downtown churches in the establishing of the Bethlehem Haven’s Women’s Shelter and through it’s participation in the Walk-In Ministry of the Downtown Ministerium today, Trinity’s clergy and people have recognized that the mission of the Church is to serve the needs of the whole person, both spiritual and material.
Trinity is a popular place for prayer and reflection for the Downtown residential and business community and this includes many of the area’s homeless residents, particularly when the weather is exceptionally cold. On Sunday mornings, Trinity has extended hospitality and welcome to the homeless during regular worship hours. Many, though by no means all, are looking for a safe environment (shelters frequently cannot be so characterized) for a few hours of slumber and not necessarily to participate in regular congregational worship.
Listed below are a few of the ministries that Trinity actively supports. We provide that support financially, by praying for them regularly, and by sending them cards or emails. We as a church will highlight our missionaries when they are in town, share updates in our services, and keep the several missions prayer groups aware of up-to-the-minute prayer needs.
In January 2007, Trinity Cathedral initiated a partnership with Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship in Pittsburgh’s uptown district. Shepherd’s Heart was launched as a ministry of pastoral care to the homeless residents of Oakland in 1993 and moved to its current location, just a few blocks from Mercy Hospital, in 2006. Nearly every Sunday, once the cold weather sets in, from November through April, Shepherd’s Heart provides shelter, a delicious breakfast and worship from approximately 7:30 a.m. to noon. Once or twice during the colder months, Trinity Cathedral volunteers make to make large batches of egg casseroles for Shepherd’s Heart volunteers to serve as a hot breakfast after the worship service. For more information on Shepherd’s Heart and their hours of operations, please refer to their web site at: http://www.shepheart.org
Bethlehem Haven Shelter for Women
Bethlehem Haven is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing a number of services including emergency shelter; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; meals; medical, dental, obstetrics and mental health services; as well as employment services to women in the Pittsburgh area. The Haven also provides some medical, mental health and employment services to non-residents, including men. Trinity volunteers prepare and serve (only women are allowed to serve) a dinner meal to the shelter residents four times a year (every fifth Wednesday of the month).
Since its modest beginning in the basement of the Smithfield United Church to its current three uptown locations, Bethlehem Haven has provided shelter to thousands of homeless women in the community for more than 10,000 consecutive nights. For more information on Bethlehem Haven, please refer to their web site at: www.bethlehemhaven.org
We sponsor two children through the World Vision Mission. Their names are Maniraguha Providence and Eric Nsabimana and they live in Rwanda. Sponsoring a child is the most powerful way we can fight poverty. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
World Vision provides hope and assistance to approximately 100 million people in nearly 100 countries. We join with local people in communities around the world to find lasting ways to improve the lives of poor children and families. For more information on World Vision, please refer to their web site at: www.worldvision.org
Marc and Suzanne Jacobson – Phillipines
Marc and Suzanne are missionaries to Capul, a small island in the Phillippines, being initially sent there by Wycliffe Bible Translators over 25 years ago. They did Bible translation and more. As their journey continued, they saw that their role was starting to look different than first imagined. They found they were not to lead as missionaries, but to facilitate. Their mission was not to bring education, truth, etc., but to be the ones who fertilize what has already been planted by God in advance of their involvement. One of the things that was very clear to them when they went to Capul was that they needed to be working where God was working. “We didn’t need to start another church, we felt we were there to assist a church that wanted translated scripture to get translated scripture.” They began to focus on bringing a retreat center to the island’s Christians. They are working to build housing for the poor and they have a three-phase building plan for a high school youth ministry that includes a library, a computer room, and a residential facility. In 2011 two of their six college students graduated, two continue to study and they are hoping another can enter pre-college. As you can see they are very active in bringing God’s love to this part of the world. Marc is an ordained Episcopal priest who served at Trinity Cathedral during his diaconate in 2005.
The Bernardis – North Africa
The Bernardis have 4 children and live in North Africa. After Frank was ordained an Episcopal priest, they lived and ministered to the homeless community in Pittsburgh. In 2001, they fulfilled a call to be a Christian presence in a Muslim country and moved to North Africa. Their work involves holistically sharing the Gospel in a Muslim context and sensitively working to plant indigenous faith communities.
QUARTERLY OUTREACH PROJECTS
For each quarter of the calendar year, the Outreach Committee identifies a different project for the congregation’s outreach efforts. Focus points for each project are shared with the congregation and individuals are encouraged to particpate in each project.
The Outreach Ministry has identified four core Outreach Projects for 2016:
February and March: Nets For Life
May and June: Jeremiah’s Place
August and September: Stuff A Back Pack
November and December: Nativity Tree
Throughout the year the Outreach Ministry will continue to prepare and/or serve meals to organizations and ministries such as Shepherd’s Heart, Bethlehem Haven, and other local shelters. For 2016, we are looking at new opportunities directed towards those in need of prepared foods services.
If anyone is interested in joining with us in any of our ministries and projects, please feel free to contact Josie White, Dean Scott Quinn, or anyone on the Outreach Ministry team.