The Matthew 25 Mission is an outreach program of love and compassion to the needy in Pontotoc County. We provide food and other health care essentials for individuals and families on a monthly basis.
Although St. Luke's has always been active in reaching out to those in need, in January of 2002, on one of the coldest days of that winter, the parish office received a call from the Red Cross indicating that there was a young mother in need of diapers for her newborn infant. Not having transportation or a sitter for the infant, this young mother bundled her one-month old child, braved the elements, and walked to the Red Cross building in the snow and ice.
After responding to this emergency, a group of parish members met and decided it was time to seriously confront the issue of poverty in Pontotoc County. Vestry members canvassed most of the churches in the Ada area to assess services offered. After gathering this information, it was determined that food would be our primary need to address. After a few months of sensitizing the congregation to the need and receiving very generous donations from our members, on June 20, 2002 we began a monthly distribution of food to those in need in the Ada area.
With a phenomenal growth in the number of people we serve, other churches in Ada now also offer food distribution services. We have even enlisted the support of young people from leadership and life skills classes in our local schools as well as individuals in the Ada area to serve this important ministry.
As we are all painfully aware, the issues surrounding the causes of poverty are complex. While we are not equipped to take on the structures that perpetuate cycles of poverty or cause unemployment or homelessness, we can do something to ease the tension in families created by not having enough to eat and to provide relief to children who might otherwise go to school or to bed hungry.
We also realize that there are many elderly adults long past the age of retirement who are operating households on fixed incomes. With the rising cost of prescription drugs, utilities, and other essentials, some elderly adults are forced to take short-cuts with their health care. Our hope is to bring relief to grocery bills so that other essential needs can be met.
We are aware of the extreme sensitivity to personal dignity needed in such a ministry. "Compassion without judgment" is key to engaging in the many people who come through our doors on a regular basis. Some find themselves newly unemployed while others discover they can no longer meet the demands of everyday living while working at minimum wage. One of our goals is to restore that loss in self-esteem and to treat each person as if they were Christ himself, which, according to the 25th Chapter of Matthew, they are. No one need ever be embarrassed to receive from our abundance. We offer it freely, and we hope that in doing so, others will be strengthened to act sacrificially for the good of all people.
How to Help Matthew 25
Financial Donations: Your dollars provide great buying power through the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. Financial contributions can be made to "St. Luke's Episcopal Church" and designated for Matthew 25 Mission.
Food Donations: We are more than happy to receive canned goods and other non-perishable foods.
Your Time & Energy: We are always in need of willing hands and feet to help us do the work of preparation and distribution. (Check with us about times and where to meet.)
Plastic Bags: If you wouldn't mind saving your plastic grocery bags, we can use them. Simply drop them off at the church office.
Your Prayers: At the heart of every good work is the God who provides the grace to accomplish it. We need your prayers as we continue the ministry that God empowers us to do.