Mission and Outreach at Rowntree
Mission and Outreach, both local and global, is an integral part of Rowntree’s ministry.
Mission and Service Fund of the United Church
We are committed to the United Church of Canada’s Mission and Service fund; the focus is on human rights, social justice, peace initiatives and global development; the fund is typically around $30 million. Find link to Mission and Service’s ‘ M & S at a glance ‘ So far in late 2019 our support is $9193.
In addition to this, our congregation supports many other projects; for many years we have provided Christmas hampers and 2019 was no exception. This past year though we changed our format to provide families with vouchers for groceries and a box of fresh veggies and knitted items for larger families. We supplied 39 hampers to local families.
Tuesday Evening Meal
Scott Woolford had an idea to offer a meal program, and with many other people, this project got off the ground on March 5, 1996 at Robinson United. The first night 14 volunteers came out, but unfortunately no guests! As the years passed, the need grew though and by November 2010, when Robinson closed, there had been 49,106 people served.
In December, 2010 the meal transferred to Rowntree, although a huge snow storm cancelled the meal on the 7th, so the first night was the 14th. The first year at Rowntree, the meal served 3,587.
The meal consists of two types of hearty soups; hamburger bean, the most popular or chicken and rice with bread, crackers, celery and carrots with cold and hot drinks and cookies.
A large part of the funding for the meal comes from money transferred from Robinson. Money also has come from the Bank Of Montreal employees, from the U.C.W. ( United Church Women) at Robinson and from our congregation.
The meal could not run without volunteers; and we are grateful to many; in particular Western students, and nearby high school students, people from other church’s and some non-church members . We are unusual in that we do not close down in the summer . The time spent helping is enlightening for our volunteers too ; the guests range from young to old, from nearby to not so close, and relationships are formed over the years; there is more than a meal exchanged here. Unfortunately every year we see a higher attendance- in 2013 we average 80 guests per week. We can always use help, monetary or manual, so if you feel moved to help our efforts, we’d appreciate that. Please call the church office; 519-432-8075.
Thanks to Joanne Hamilton, the Chief Cook, Bottle Washer and Organizer of the Tuesday meal program.
Welcome Wednesday meal
Also we started hosting a second meal on Wednesdays known as the “Welcome Wednesdays” meal in Sept 2019 that usually has about 70 guests. This meal is put on by a group of north-east London church’s. Presently we are searching for a volunteer to head this needy program.
We are one of the original members of the East London United Church Outreach cluster of churches. As well as providing financial support we participate in ELUCO’s fundraising endeavours.
In the fall we typically run the “Fill A Back Pack” project, where we ask for the donation of various school supplies – back packs, lunch boxes, pencil cases, notebooks, markers and crayons. We will collect these until mid August and then turn them over to the ELUCO Community Worker for distribution to needy families in NorthEast London.This past fall for 2019 we sent in 37 backpacks plus some miscellaneous school supplies. Rowntree members also donated $498 to ELUCO’s fall 2019 Walk and Roll fundraiser.
Also- the first Sunday of the month we ask our congregation to bring in non-perishable food items that get delivered to the ELUCO food cupboard – in Gethsemane Gardens, corner of Sandford and Huron in London.
The ELUCO food cupboard is a busy spot – in 2019 it served 504 families, 865 adults and 348 children. Rowntree’s own garden supplied 50 lbs of potatoes last fall and 320 lbs of produce was donated at Thanksgiving. Thank-You for your donations of food and dollars to help sustain this project.
For more info go to their web site at http://www.eluco.ca/
Each summer Camp Kee-Mo-Kee welcomes hundreds of campers to our site to experience all that that summer camp presents. From camper, to Leaders in Training, Counsellors in Training, and then as part of our Summer Camp Team, our camp encourages children and youth to be their best selves, explore new opportunities and develop into leaders, both at camp and in the community. Rowntree usually sponsors a number of children at this camp.
Kare for Kids/ Zamokhule Care Centre
Rowntree supported Kare for Kids for two years as a Lenten project. The congregation was encouraged to donate to Middlesex Presbytery’s project to raise enough funds to build a day care centre in Wattville, Benoni, South Africa. The response was phenomenal and as a congregation we donated $1478.10. For more information on this project go to Ivan Pastoral Charge. https://www.ivanpastoralcharge.ca/
Update on this project – Sept 2018. Kare For Kids’s goal of $120,000. to build the day care was reached in Oct 2013. One major problem surfaced in 2014, the lack of a deed for the property the building was supposed to be built on. So after some time the solution was to use and convert shipping containers as buildings. As it turns out this is a popular route to build in South Africa – so popular there are companies that specialize in this wok. At the same time there was a name change to the project – now called the Zamokhule Care Centre. The centre was opened Jan 20, 2018 to much local appreciation.