Spearheaded by Trinity’s Mission Team and sparked by the passion of Trinity’s parishioners, Trinity Episcopal Church is actively engaged in and with the community, meeting the needs of people living on the margins, particularly the homeless and the hungry. As much as possible, parishioners discern where Jesus is already at work in the community, work in partnership with others in the community, and engage in activities that are relational. The Mission Team works hard to ensure that missional activities are sustainable in terms of volunteers and financial resources. All of Trinity’s partner programs are going through transitions, navigating their new normal with Covid and the economy, including their impact on funding, partners, and volunteers.

While most mission work is focused outward, those inside our parish are not forgotten. Because of our strong ministries and deep compassion, we respond to specific parishioners’ needs as we are able.

The Mission Team meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month, and all are welcome to join. Our current mission activities and partnerships are below, and you are invited to participate. Please connect with Deacon Eileen Harvala if you are interested or would like additional information.

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Trinity has long been a supporter of the Anoka County Brotherhood Council (ACBC), providing a monthly financial donation of $600 since the advent of COVID, collecting food, particularly during Minnesota Food Share in March, and other items based on its needs.

ACBC’s mission is to provide emergency food and clothing to Anoka County residents in need while maintaining the dignity of those we serve. ACBC Food Shelf was founded in 1971 by four women who wanted to help with the need for food and clothing in their community. They founded the ACBC Food Shelf in one of their basements and packed bags of food to distribute to community members. After a few years, the ACBC Food Shelf moved to the old Milk Factory and served pre-packaged boxes of food out of the tiny space. After needing more space to expand the organization, ACBC Food Shelf moved to its current location on 9th Ave N. Through a few capital campaign expansions, the building has been renovated to include a large warehouse space, walk-in freezer, and cooler and donation sorting room in addition to the main store and clothing closet.

Currently, the ACBC Food Shelf offers shopping using a client choice model and allows participants to walk through the store and choose their groceries. As of 2019, the food shelf is SuperShelf certified, which encompassed partnering with the University of Minnesota Extension Program to transform the physical food shelf space and encourage healthier eating. To date, ACBC has served more than 40,000 families this year, and distributed more than 373,000 pounds of food. The needs have increased, and it is estimated that 1 in 5 children in Minnesota are experiencing hunger.

Volunteer opportunities include . . .

  • Store Hours – Help neighbors as they shop for their groceries. Volunteer positions include restocking shelves, greeting families, working the checkout counter or clothing closet. There are times during the afternoon and evening.

  • ACBC Outreach Delivery Driver – ACBC delivers food shelf orders and offers social connection to home-bound seniors. It is looking for volunteers to come in once a month, for about 1 hour a day. Volunteers are more than welcome to take on multiple deliveries on multiple days. Delivery days are Monday morning and afternoon, Tuesday evening, and Wednesday morning and afternoon.

  • Donation Intake – ACBC is looking for volunteers who can assist with taking in food and clothing donations.

  • Retail Rescue Assistant – Ride along with ACBC’s Retail Rescue Driver and pick up food donations from retail partners in the community.

  • Produce Sorter and Stocker – Volunteers are needed to sort through donated fresh produce to check for quality and get them stocked for distribution.

Since 1976, Trinity has worked with Impact Services Meals on Wheels and was one of its founders. Recruiting drivers is now coordinated by Steve Harvala, replacing Gladys Odegaard who coordinated the program for many years. Volunteers from Trinity deliver food for a week about every six weeks in the cities of Anoka and Coon Rapids. A minimum cadre of 10 volunteers is needed.

For many senior citizens, one of the most valuable aspects to their overall health is having a nutritious meal. Unfortunately, for many, a warm, healthy meal is not part of their day. Meals on Wheels fills that gap. For many of the neighbors, the noon time meal is one of the reasons they are able to stay in their home. The meal is just the start of what Meals on Wheels provides for neighbors at nutritional risk. For many, the wellness check and friendly conversation provided by our volunteers is just as important. For the individual receiving Meals on Wheels, it helps them feel connected to the community. For loved ones, they know the person they care about is all right.

Impact Services provides Meals on Wheels services to 17 communities in Anoka and Hennepin County. It can be a long-term resource to help keep people in their homes, or a short-term need to help through a medical crisis. It serves neighbors at nutritional risk, including:

  • people unable to cook for themselves,

  • people unable to grocery shop for food,

  • people at risk of harm to self, others, or structures if they were to cook,

  • people with disabilities,

  • people with mental health concerns,

  • people recovering from a medical procedure,

  • pregnant women on bed rest, and

  • families dealing with ill loved ones.

Meals on Wheels delivers 2,200 meals every week.

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We partner with Family Promise to support families that are experiencing housing insecurity so they can build foundations of lasting independence.

Family Promise in Anoka County (FPAC) began in 2009 with a group of Anoka County residents, congregation leaders, laypeople, and other caring people who saw a need in our community. The Family Promise model is a community response to a community need; the name refers to the promise, in the sense of commitment made by the community to families in need. But it also refers to the promise, the potential, inherent in every family. Originally operating as an Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), FPAC opened its doors to guests in September 2010 as the 157th affiliate of its national organization. Family Promise in Anoka County has grown to offer a continuum of programs and services to families experiencing homelessness. Its new mission: “Empowering families experiencing housing insecurity to build a foundation of lasting independence.”

Like many organizations, Family Promise is going through transition as it navigates a new normal with Covid, including its impact on funding, partners, and volunteers. Currently, families are housed in a hotel with suites, and FPAC has funding to continue doing this through spring 2023. It continues looking for a permanent location where it could provide a static lodging guest house for families. Each week of the month, volunteer organizations such as Trinity purchase specific items for the guests, gift cards, and other items.

In addition to our current support, we could consider providing:

  • Meals for Families in Shelter Program: Provide a homemade meal to a family currently living in shelter through Family Promise. Meals can be prepared at home and stored in disposable containers. Another option is to provide a small gift card for a restaurant meal. Delivered to hotel in Fridley.

  • Meals for Families in Housing Stabilization Program: Provide a homemade meal to a family in the Housing Stabilization program. Meals can be prepared at home and stored in disposable containers or provide a gift card for a restaurant/takeout. Meals are delivered directly to the recipients.

  • Baby Care Boxes: Provide items for young babies in the Shelter or Housing Stabilization program. These can include infant teething items, baby wipes, diapers (specific size for each family), baby bubble bath, and bath toys.

  • Kid Care Boxes: Provide items for kids in the shelter, including crayons, washable markers, coloring books, watercolor/paint, paper, stickers, educational books/flashcards.

  • Adult Self-Care Bags: Provide items for self-care for adults, including bubble bath, nail care, adult coloring books, tea, chocolate, etc.

  • Holiday Bags: Gifts or activities to celebrate holidays, including Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and July 4th.

Headwaters Relief Organization, Saint James in Liberia, United Thank Offering

The Headwaters Relief Organization seeks to inspire passion for serving others. It forges connections among those who are being served, the Headwaters team, and the community at large. It works to ensure that every volunteer, regardless of age, background, skills or experience, feels valued and motivated to continue to serve others. Its initiatives include books, education, disaster relief, medical support, psychosocial support, public health, and human trafficking.

St. James in Liberia

Quarterly, we collect special donations that are given to our sister church, St. James Church in Liberia.

Twice a year, we collect donations for the United Thank Offering. This ministry is spearheaded by Kay Stickney. The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings, and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute 100 percent of what is collected to support innovative missions and ministries throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.