Angel Tree *
Christmas is right around the corner, and that means it is time for our annual Angel Tree program to support the Children’s Home Society of Fort Myers. Children’s Home Society serves nearly 2,000 children every year in Southwest Florida, working to prevent child abuse, heal those who have been abused, and break the multi-generational cycle of abuse in at risk families. To do so, CHS offers programs to help families raise safe, healthy kids; provide early childhood education and care; respond to family crises; and help teenagers in foster care. Children’s Home Society also provides help for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
This year, St. Hilary’s has committed to providing gifts for 90 children and teenagers currently being served by Children’s Home Society right in Fort Myers. The Angel Tree will be located in Browning Hall, and the tags will be on the tree in time for weekend services on November 29 and 30. To ensure timely delivery of all our gifts, please return all gifts with the tag attached by Sunday December 14. Most Importantly, all gifts need to be returned UNWRAPPED.
If you think you may need some help this year providing a Christmas gift or two to your own children, please contact Fr. Charles directly and he will be able to add your request to the Angel Tree in a confidential manner.
If you have any questions about the Angel Tree, please contact Trevor Whitley at 565-5455.
Stephen Ministry Update *
Saint Hilary’s Episcopal Church became a Stephen Ministry congregation in June 2013. We are pleased to announce that we now have eleven commissioned Stephen Ministers — Betsy Barbour, Mary Dolan, Martie Danielson, Sybil Edgar, Paula Kalemeris, Libby Maxwell, Donna McVety, Penny and Nick Ranson, Joann Votaw and Colleen Wheeler.
Martie and Ron Danielson attended the Stephen Leaders Training Course in Dallas, Texas from July 13 through July 19. Father Charles will soon commission them as Stephen Leaders. They will join Penny and Nick Ranson, who became Stephen Leaders a year ago, as directors of Stephen Ministry.
Stephen Ministers are lay people—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment. Stephen Ministers maintain confidentiality. If you would like to have a Stephen Minister, call the church office at 239-936-1000 or contact us via email.
We will begin training new Stephen Ministers in January 2015. If you would like to become a Stephen Minister, please email us. We especially need men to join this vital and caring ministry.
More About Stephen Ministry *
Stephen Ministry is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. Through one-to-one caring and confidential relationships, those who are hurting receive the love and care they need.
What is a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister is:
- a child of God who walks beside a hurting person
- a caring Christian friend who really listens
- a lay person who has received 50 hours of training in how to provide distinctively Christian care
A Stephen Minister is not:
- a counselor or a therapist
- a problem solver
- a casual visitor
What is Stephen Ministry for?
- Loss of a spouse
- Retirement changes
- Separation and Divorce
- Terminal illness
- Being shut-in
- Most of life’s struggles
Who can benefit?
Anyone going through difficult times who needs someone to care, listen, and share God’s love with them on a one-to-one confidential basis. Information is available from the rack outside the church office or by contacting Nick and Penny Ransonoffice, or you can contact them at (239) 887-1703 or email@example.com
How do I obtain a Stephen Minister?
Call one of your Stephen Leaders, Penny or Nick Ranson at 239-225-1204 or 239-887-1703. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com.
You can tell Father Charles that you would like to have a Stephen Minister.
You can call the church office at 239-936-1000 to let Chris know that you would like to have a Stephen Minister.
You can suggest to a friend that he or she might benefit by having a Stephen Minister. However you must have the friend’s permission before you try to obtain a Stephen Minister for him or her.
Prayer Shawl Ministry *
What is a Prayer Shawl Ministry? “Shawls, made for centuries, universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles.”
Whether they are called prayer shawls, comfort shawls, peace shawls or mantles, the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Upon completion, a final blessing is offered from our parish priest at the altar during a Sunday service. Then the shawls are ready to be sent on their way. Prayer shawls are given to console those that are grieving, comfort those that are ill, and bring hope to those in despair. They can also be used to celebrate life and its milestones.
We hope you will come and join us the third Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m. in Browning Hall. You do not have to knit or crochet, you can just come and visit with us. Contact Nancy Terrell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be part of this group.
If you would like to send a prayer shawl to a friend, relative, or yourself, we can ship to anywhere in the United States for the flat rate of $12.95. We can create a custom card with any message you choose. If you are able to include an additional donation to our Prayer Shawl Ministry for supplies, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact our office at (239) 936-1000 or by email at email@example.com.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry will also leave a few shawls at the back of the church for those that get cold during the service. Please feel free to borrow one during the service to keep you warm!
Teen and Tween Mission Trips *
Our teens and tweens are involved in stateside mission work! Please see the Teens and Tweens page for more information on their outreach efforts.
Pantry Sunday *
Bring a canned or dry food item to church the first Sunday of each month, which is Pantry Sunday. All donations benefit Community Cooperative Ministries.
CCMI has provided us with a wish list for donations. This is posted on the bulletin board just outside Browning Hall and is also available here. All donations are greatly appreciated and can be placed in the collection bins in the narthex and Browning Hall. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me …” (Matthew 25:35)