Five parishes are participating in the first wave of Living the Mission (LtM), a five-year campaign with a financial goal of $2.4 million for mission activities across the diocese and beyond. More parishes will be involved in the second wave beginning in January. In addition, smaller parishes can participate in LtM as “supporting parishes” rather than “campaigning parishes.” More than 90% of funds raised through LtM will be shared between the parish and the diocese, with the remainder going to support Aboriginal Ministry in Canada and building a hospital in the companion diocese of Muyinga, Burundi.

The first-wave parishes are All Saints, Regina; St. Aidan, Moose Jaw; St. James the Apostle, Regina; St. Mary the Virgin, Maple Creek; and St. Philip, Regina.

St. Aidan is unlike most of the campaigning parishes, because it is in the middle of a multi-phase effort to renew and modernize the facilities of its historic building, built in 1905.  The parish capital fundraising campaign "Renew, Restore, and Release" will contribute 10% of the funds raised, up to $45,000 to LtM. "This is important for us as a parish," says a parish document. "We exist within a diocese and live in the context of a church that is centuries deep and continents wide. What we do through St. Aidan connects to this wider church and connects us to it."  The renewed building will provide St. Aidan with a base from which to continue to do mission work, as well as worship. The parish already offers a Sunday meal which regularly feeds hungry people in Moose Jaw as well as fostering fellowship; partners with Riverside Mission to prepare and serve meals, provides school supplies for immigrant students; and provides clothing, blankets and personal care items for underprivileged newborns and for women and children at Transition House.  When renovations are complete there will be oportunities for even more outreach, as well as improved spaces for worship, meetings and activities for children and youth in the parish.

St. James the Apostle parish is more typical of campaigning parishes. The parish had been working on its Mission Action Plan before LtM began in the diocese, so already had ideas of mission opportunities. For the past two and a half years, the parish has provided free use of its kitchen to REACH (Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger) for several food security and education programs. One such program, Community Kitchen, not only provides economical health food, but teaches valuable skills in how to prepare food at home. Patrons pay a nominal sum and work together to prepare large meals which they take home for their families.

With money raised through LtM, St. James will go beyond merely providing a space to REACH, by giving a grant of $5000. This will allow REACH to greatly expand the Community Kitchen program, more than doubling the number of participants. Dana Folkersen, executive director, says, “St. James’ partnership with REACH is all about faith in action. Through the community kitchen partnership many good things will happen for the participants, the community and the parish. We at REACH are grateful for the involvement of St. James in building food security in some of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods in our city.”

Contributed by Joanne Shurvin-Martin