The Diocese of Virginia is excited to announce St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA was awarded a United Thank Offering grant of $14,315 for Community Garden and Interfaith Meditation. Congratulations to St. Philip’s, Richmond!
As stated in the press release from The Episcopal Church, “The United Thank Offering is a ministry to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in The Episcopal Church.” This year UTO awarded projects to 32 dioceses for a total of $1,161,314.62.
In the grant application, St. Philip’s explained, “in December 2013, the church acquired an adjacent residential property. After exploring several options for the property, the congregation has decided to demolish the current structure on the property and establish a community garden, interfaith meditation and prayer area with perennial plants, flowers, trees and benches, and a safe play area for the younger children of our parish and community on the land where the house currently sits.”
And to answer the application’s question of what excites you about this project, St. Philip’s wrote, ” we are excited about the opportunity to renew and sustain the life of the earth adjacent to our parish in such a needed and beautiful way. The property we acquired was ignored for many years and had become an eyesore prior to our purchasing it. We hope to become a beacon of light and hope for our street and in the neighborhood. Our church is located in a food desert and the residents of our community desperately need healthy food options available for them in close proximity to their homes… Our hope is that this plan for renewal of the earth will help facilitate our community’s relationship with God and bring the residents and students in our community to St. Philip’s to worship, to plant and help maintain our garden, to meditate and pray, to enjoy harvesting and eating the vegetables from our garden, to learn about horticulture, exercise and play, or to simply participate in programs and activities at our parish.”
Please keep St. Philip’s, Richmond, and this ministry in your prayers as they continue God’s important work in the world and for their witness of Christ’s love.