In the Gospel, we are called to reach out beyond ourselves to bring the compassionate love of God to all people. Trinity seeks to be responsive to the needs of our local community and to the world through a variety of ministries based at the church and elsewhere.
Results from our recent parish survey show how close this value is held to Trinity’s heart. A “strong emphasis on social justice” was the second most selected values statement (46%), followed closely by “belief in the centrality of the instruction to ‘love one another’ within the teaching of Jesus Christ” (44%). And 38% of survey respondents indicated that they either have been or currently are involved in a Justice and Outreach (J & O) ministry.
The Justice and Outreach Fund.
This fund had traditionally been supported through a line item which represented a certain percentage of the parish’s annual operating budget. Each year the council issued a call for grant requests, reviewed requests that were received, and made recommendations to the vestry for approval of a variety of small grants.
Beginning in 2011, the council went through a rigorous examination of this model, and ended up shifting to a program that would establish longer-term partnerships with local organizations, and would encompass more than just the relegation of funds. The process had several elements, including a broad parish survey; the appointment of a small committee to study the results, and to discern what the parish was telling us.
Then in 2013, a new group, the Justice and Outreach Steering Committee, was established by the vestry to implement the resultant recommendations for the Justice Fund, which was to prioritize local issues of concern around the Jubilee Justice theme of Economic Justice. The committee researched and identified organizations and programs working locally on economic justice, and considered potential partnering, volunteering, and Justice Fund award opportunities.
Three focus areas were agreed upon: hunger; early care, education, and advocacy for children; and the increase of the living wage. A Hunger Working Committee (HAWC) and an Early Care and Education Working Group (ECE) were immediately formed, with the understanding that the living wage issue would require a longer timeline because of the need for preliminary meaningful and strategic community dialogue and action. After exploring a wide range of partnering possibilities within the first two focus areas, the Storyteller Children’s Center and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County were selected as the compatible for collaborative efforts over the next few years.
In addition to these two organizations, the Justice Fund continues to support a number of “Historic Ministries”—programs that were started through Trinity, and which we believe merit our ongoing financial assistance: St. Michael’s Campus Ministry, Transition House, the Community Kitchen/Casa Esperanza, the Faulding Hotel, Harding School Helpers, the Children of the Children of Joy orphanages, and the Freedom Warming Centers.
Organizations we support.
These worthy organizations are supported by Trinity through our clergy and lay volunteer efforts, occasional fundraisers, and other kinds of volunteer assistance.
Alternative Christmas Market: Our children assist at a market that raises funds in support of such organizations as Heifer Project, Angels Bearing Gifts, the Children of Joy orphanages in Sri Lanka, Episcopal Relief and Development, and Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance.
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem: promotes education and advocacy for peace in the Middle East, and supports Christian churches, schools, hospitals and clinics in the Diocese of Jerusalem.
CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice: is an interfaith organization bringing clergy and laity together for organizing, advocacy, and building bridges on behalf of the poor and marginalized in Santa Barbara County.
Community Kitchen/Casa Esperanza: Trinity volunteers prepare and serve hot nutritious lunches to the hungry and homeless on Wednesdays throughout the year.
Faulding Hotel: volunteers serve hot meals and offer fellowship monthly at this 80-room historical hotel housing the working poor and residents on a fixed income.
Freedom Warming Centers: November through March, Trinity opens its doors on a rotating basis with other faith communities to provide a hot meal and safe place to sleep for the most vulnerable homeless in our community.
Harding School Helpers: Provides homework help for children grades 1–6, both in the classroom and after school.
Sarah House: a “social model” hospice home providing compassionate end of life care for those who are low-income or without homes.
St. Michaels Campus Ministry: serving the campus of the University of California – Santa Barbara.
Sustainable Trinity: promotes environmental sustainability within parishioners’ homes, at the church, and in the Santa Barbara community.
Transition House: two volunteer teams (monthly and bi-monthly) cook and serve dinner to residents of this shelter for homeless families.
Team Trinity AIDS Walk: Trinity parishioners form a team each year to raise funds and participate in the Annual Pacific Pride Foundation AIDS Walk.