The Outreach Ministry
Everyone has a definition of “outreach,” but what does it mean for Macedonia Baptist Church? The Outreach Ministry does just as the name implies, it reaches outside of the Macedonia church family to help people who need assistance. The Outreach Ministry provides that assistance to individuals or families in situations that result from the loss of a loved one, from the loss of home and goods due to fire, or as the result of other types of tragedies.
The Process – Requests for assistance to individuals and/or families reach the Outreach Ministry through several sources, including members of the Outreach Ministry, members of the church at large, or calls and letters from community organizations. The Outreach Ministry does not address the needs of Macedonia members; the Diaconate is responsible for ensuring member needs are addressed. Examples of some of the assistance provided by the Outreach Ministry to community organizations include the following:
- Cash donations to the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany, New York to support its work with the homeless and the needy.
- Cash donations to the St. Catherine Center in Albany, New York to support its work with children and families in need in relation to issues of child abuse, neglect, mental health, and homelessness.
- Donations of food and clothing to support the Whitney M.Young Health Center’s work with babies and infants.
- Providing winter hats, scarfs and glove to local elementary schools for children without the appropriate winter outerwear.
- Collecting and contributing canned good to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
- Combining funds contributed by Outreach Ministry members to purchase cases of baby food to donate to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany and/or the Whitney M. Young Health Center.
- Donations of clothing to Dress for Success Albany that provides professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.
Other Outreach Initiatives – The ministry has found that need is ever present, and it is always in the process of just completing an effort or planning to address a newly identified need. The following are highlights of some of the ministry’s annual and recent initiatives:
- The Outreach Ministry annually puts together and provides Thanksgiving baskets for needy families. The ministry reaches out to local schools to identify their neediest families and to let the ministry know the size of the various families. ( Names are neither sought nor provided for this or any other ministry initiative). Each basket is specifically designed to provide the appropriate amount of food to serve the number of people in each identified family. Dinners include all the trappings for a complete Thanksgiving dinner from turkey to dessert. In 2011, the Outreach Ministry provided 99 Thanksgiving baskets for families in the community.
- In 2011, the Outreach Ministry sponsored a luncheon for homeless women and women living in shelters. The Women’s Fellowship also supported this effort by assisting in the collection of useful toiletry items, such as deodorant, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. The toiletries were used to create gift bags for the women attending the luncheon. Toiletries remaining after the luncheon were donated to Dress for Success.
- The Outreach Ministry supported the Men’s Fellowship during its annual Men’s Weekend celebration in 2011 by providing door prizes for the young males who attended their leadership and mentoring workshop. The door prizes included items such as gift certificates to McDonald’s or Barnes and Noble.
Looking Forward – The Outreach Ministry will continue to meet needs as they are identified to the best of its ability. It is also looking to expand and is considering various methods to assist it in doing so. On its horizon are:
- A recent request to assist female veterans in Saratoga. The ministry will meet to discuss how best to help facilitate the donation of sheets, towels and other household goods for women to establish a home.
- The intention of gaining insights from the Our Lady of Mercy Food Pantry regarding the administration and operation of a food pantry in anticipation of the possibility of establishing a Macedonia Food Pantry at some future point.
- Gathering information from local businesses regarding how to garner their support in the work of the Outreach Ministry. Ministry members have approached businesses such as Hannaford and Prince Chopper grocery stores and Walmart to learn each businesses process for obtaining donations. The donations would support the ministry’s Thanksgiving baskets and other requests for assistance. Thus far the ministry has successfully obtained a commitment for a monthly gift card from Hannaford Supermarket for the year.
Membership – The Outreach Ministry currently ranges from 10 – 15 members, but would welcome people who are willing to work. There are no other qualification criteria. Come to a meeting and join us!
Meetings: The first Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m.
Location: Macedonia Baptist Church, 26 Wilson Avenue, Albany, New York 12205
If you have questions or comments about the Outreach Ministry, use the Contact Macedonia form to reach Berthlynn Terry.