Lenten Outreach Project

Engaging God’s Mission of the Beloved Community

The Episcopal Church of Minnesota will continue with the mission opportunity of Engaging God’s Mission of the Beloved Community, looking at it through a new lens:  responding to the spirit’s invitation. Beloved Community has been talked about in many ways by many people. But God calls us to Beloved Community when God calls us to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth. To bring justice, to reconcile relationship, to speak truth, to walk humbly, to care for creation. God calls us to this work – to discern the gifts that we have been given, and put those gifts to work in building the Beloved Community, the Kingdom of God on earth.

2020 Lenten Outreach Project

In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated. For this reason the Outreach Working Group has chosen Sunset Terrace Elementary School (our neighborhood school) as the focus of our Lenten Outreach Project. The projects objective is to assist in reducing the negative school lunch balance. The project runs from Ash Wednesday (February 26th) through Holy Saturday (April 11th).

The policy of Rochester Public Schools is to provide nutritional services to every student. At Sunset Terrace, students pay $2.35 per lunch.

Families who find themselves in financial need are able to apply for governmentally funded “Free” or “Reduced” priced lunches. Unfortunately, many families hover just above that qualification line. They do not qualify, yet they can not afford to pay for the daily lunches. When this happens the family is left to make the decision to pay off the negative lunch balance or not purchase food, basic need items or pay rent. The district is at times forced to move funds from other areas like staffing and educational supplies to cover the debt.

If a family chooses to pay off the negative lunch balance and neglect their needs of food, shelter and clothing, students often suffer side effects. They are sick more often, suffer growth impairment, incur developmental impairments, and struggle in school. Often times school attendance is effected which keeps students away from a food source.

Sunset Terrace

Our neighborhood school has a large population that sits just above the qualification for free and reduced lunch. There is an average of 20-30 students with a negative balance at $100 or greater. Negative balances carry over from year to year as the student goes through their school years.

As a church, we would like to help these families stop their worry about a negative balance per child and focus on using their limited funds for providing the food, clothing and shelter needed for their children to thrive, both physically and mentally.

Please consider a donation to benefit Sunset Terrace Elementary School, which is engaging God’s mission of the Beloved Community.

2020 Lenten Outreach Brochure and Donation Form.

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