Disciple: From Salisbury to Zimbabwe
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation funds projects locally and abroad
A senior memory care training program in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. A reforestation program in Kenya led by a Catawba College student. A lunch program for students in Tanzania. The Rowan Literacy Council in Rowan County, North Carolina. These are just a handful of the projects funded by the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation of St. Luke’s, Salisbury, during 2020.
[Image: The trustees of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation present a $10,000 grant to Rowan Helping Ministries. Photo courtesy of St. Luke’s, Salisbury]
While applicants do not need to be affiliated with a church or faith-based organization, the mission and goals of the project must be consistent with the foundation’s missional priorities, which are centered on supporting the work of Christ in our community and in the world.
During St. Luke’s recent annual parish meeting, the Rev. Stephen Doma from the Anglican Diocese of Harare in Zimbabwe shared the story of the Anglican Wabvuwi Memorial Clinic. The clinic, located approximately 60 miles from Harare, was founded by members of the men’s group Wabvuwi after five of their members died en route to the hospital from injuries sustained during a mission trip in the area where the clinic now stands. This critical medical infrastructure suffered the effects of ballooning inflation in Zimbabwe during the last several years. The Diocese of Harare applied for and received a $30,000 grant from the foundation to cover the finishing touches on the clinic, including running electricity to the clinic and staff housing, securing refrigeration for medications and installing solar panels.
Autumn Jones from the GRACES ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury, which supports La Escuela Integrada in Antigua, Guatemala, also shared how funding from the foundation helped children and families thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of Education [in Guatamala] did not require the continuation of learning during the pandemic for a significant amount of time, so it was a decision of GRACES and La Escuela Integrada to continue the learning, which really sets those students up for a greater advantage in breaking the cycle of poverty because their learning never stopped,” she explained. An important part of supporting distance learning was continuing the school’s focus on holistic learning by providing weekly food bags to families while students study at home. The foundation’s $12,000 donation supported this critical aspect of education for students and their families.
During the spring and fall 2020 grant cycles alone, the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation donated to eight international organizations. In addition to the Anglican Wabvuwi Memorial and GRACES, the foundation funded:
- Two Mules for Haiti, a North Carolina-based 501(c), which links rural Haitian communities with partner organizations and individuals to improve education, healthcare, agriculture and reforestation;
- Bethlehem Senior Memory Care Training Program in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories, a ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury;
- The Explorer’s Club of Kenya, led by Alberto Borges, a Catawba College student from Kenya, is involved in reforesting a large area around Marsabit, Kenya, to improve the lives of the nomadic people in the region;
- The Lunch Project based in Charlotte, which provides food for students attending Lengiajave Primary School in Tanzania;
- Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro, Belize, via a grant to St. Luke’s, Durham;
- Sudan Rowan, which supports scholarships for students in Aliap, South Sudan, the area of the former Lost Boys of the Sudan; and
- Episcopal Relief & Development’s campaign, ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE.
The logo of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation alludes to its mission of partnering with both local and international ministries.
While investing heavily across the globe, the foundation also supported a dozen local ministries in Salisbury-Rowan County:
- Rowan Helping Ministries,
- Prevent Child Abuse Rowan,
- Meals on Wheels Rowan,
- The City of Salisbury Dixonville Memorial Project,
- The Rowan Museum Recognizing Systemic Racism Project,
- The Bread Riot,
- The Rowan Literacy Council,
- Communities in Schools,
- Food for Thought and
- Racial Equity Rowan.
“Though the last year has been a crazy one, it’s also been a transformative one for our Foundation,” the Rev. Robert Black, rector of St. Luke’s, Salisbury, said in his sermon for the church’s Foundation Sunday. “The foundation is doing so much more than mailing checks, we are building relationships, we are seeing how the tradition of which we are part is manifest in other parts of our community and our world. St. Luke’s, both the parish and the foundation, are growing in our call to become the beloved community which stands in the tradition of the prophets, apostles and all the faithful who have followed Jesus.”
APPLY FOR A GRANT
Applications for the spring St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation grant cycle opened on February 15, and the application window closes on April 2 at 11:59 p.m. More information and the application are available at SLS.church/foundation.
Summerlee Walter is the communications coordinator for the Diocese of North Carolina.