The Outreach Ministry of St. Martin's Episcopal Church Williamsburg Virginia

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

A commitment to bold and innovative
outreach was one of the founding hallmarks of St. Martin’s, and we continue to strive to be a beacon in our community. We give our time and talents both publicly and privately, as a church and as individuals.

Mentorship Programs

Dear Mentorship Team,

Feb 2nd is the first Wednesday of the month so we’ll have our monthly gathering in Miles Hall.  The main item on the agenda will be a discussion, led by Tom Hale, for the continuing exploration of identifying and serving the needs of the unemployed/underemployed in the St. Martin's community.

We will roll out the new St. Martin’s Outreach blog that should foster our growth and collaboration.  I would appreciate your input for improvement of the attached overview of the Mentoring Outreach Support document that will be posted on the blog.

Please come join us, and spread the word to others who might be interested.

Mentoring Outreach Support Fellowship 
@ St. Martin’s, Williamsburg VA

The purpose of the Mentorship Outreach Support Fellowship is to bring together parishioners who have mentored in any capacity, or who are interested in the possibility.  Mentorship has many faces: have you been in an outreach situation where you have shared life with another and helped them grow?  It ranges from volunteer tutoring to one-on-one guidance for a person in a social program.  If this has been part of your life, or if you are considering that possibility, join us for sharing and collaboration.

Monthly gathering – 1st Wednesday of every month (except July and August) 7pm in Miles Hall

Williamsburg-area Mentoring opportunities:

1.       Walk the Talk – David Benedict
This Mentoring Program is designed to meet with inmates at the Virginia Peninsula Reginal Jail (VPRJ) prior to their release to guide them in making preparations for their release and to be available for advice and moral support after release.  The purpose is to encourage a smooth and successful transition from incarceration to finding a better quality of life in the greater Williamsburg area. The long-term objective is to reduce the jail’s recidivism rate.
2.       Thinking for Change – Pryor Green
Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, cognitive behavior change program for recent parolees that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills.

Goals for support fellowship

The overall goal is to nurture St. Martin's parishioners who mentor others in any capacity and to provide opportunities for gathering in:

o   Prayer
o   Reflection and sharing on mentoring experiences
o   Connecting to resources to help mentors
o   On-going collaboration

      Familiarize the parish with mentoring opportunities and help recruit volunteers

      Set up a monthly meeting of all parishioners involved in outreach mentorship so people have an opportunity to share their struggles and successes.  This will be especially valuable for organizations that don't have much support for their volunteers

      Expand parish outreach to other needy organizations.

Brainstorming on mentor outreach possibilities 

  1. Adding a mentoring blog to the new Outreach section of the parish web site to foster sharing and collaboration
  2. Holding a story-telling evening during one of our monthly meetings where individuals could share on a meaningful mentorship experience

Recommendations on effective mentoring:

a.       Set expectations for both parties up front
b.      Keep voluntary, i.e. either party can end at any time
c.       Establish sharing between parishioners who are mentors to feed their ministry (which is the purpose of the monthly mentorship support gathering)
d.      Establish a process to facilitate and broker relationships
e.      Provide information on available resources to help people make connections

Rev. Richard Meadows insights on 
Why should you recruit volunteers?
       To give St. Martin’s the power to do more ministry
       To reduce the burden on paid staff members
       To give St. Martin’s a larger, more diverse membership
       To increase awareness and understanding of St. Martin’s
       To get as much done as possible with our budget
       To act together to achieve a shared purpose and calling as priests.

Reflection - from Richard Rohr's Beloved Sons Series

“Mentor” was the name of the man that Odysseus placed in charge of his son, Telemachus, when he went off to fight the Trojan wars.  The very fact that he saw such a need created the role and the name.  A mentor has a mature sense of himself or herself.  A true mentor has inner authority that gives confidence to others.  She or he possesses a certain “magnanimity” of soul—a generosity of heart that makes others know they will not be abandoned.  Basically, they must have the care and the capacity for simple friendship, not domination or merely supervision.
Mentoring leads us into the Real Work inside: to work on ourselves; to do our soul work and not be preoccupied with answer-giving and problem-solving. The focus is on the inside, “cleaning the inside of the cup.” It is clarifying our attitudes and our intentionality.

       The mentor has the caring ability for simple friendship. What is important is the transmission of life; it is not about a money making skill or career.
       A mentor has a mature sense of self. You can only lead people as far as you have gone.

Questions for Consideration:  

When have you served as a mentor and experienced spiritual growth in the process?
How can St. Martin’s help build God’s kingdom with an effective mentoring program?

Mercy Now