St. Thomas’ has a long tradition of working in partnership with Episcopal Community Services. ECS’ programs challenge intergenerational poverty by reducing barriers to opportunities. ECS stands against social and economic injustice by building community networks of housing support, workforce development, health and wellness, and youth enrichment.
For over 25 years St. Thomas’ parishioners have helped develop new programs in collaboration with ECS. The Summer Camp, Be An Angel Christmas Party and Fall Harvest Fest, all developed with ECS support, continue to benefit ECS families. St. Thomas’ has also regularly funded ECS directly, usually in ways which directly support ongoing ECS programs (e.g., scholarships for college-bound inner-City students). The St. Thomas’ Church Outreach (Fernley) Fund has provided seed money for many new ECS programs and program enhancements. St. Thomas’ parishioners have also regularly served on the ECS governing Board including three as President of the Board.
In 2016 St. Thomas’ and ECS deepened the relationship through a new, impactful Shared Ministry Youth Program. Under the SMYP, St. Thomas’ is funding $100,000 over a three -year period to start a youth mentoring program to enhance ECS’ R.I.S.E. career sponsors program for 18-25 year olds and its Seeing Youth Succeed post-secondary education program for college-bound youth. In addition to hands-on program development support, ten St. Thomas’ parishioners are serving as trained mentors to youth participants in these signature ECS programs. For more information, click on these R.I.S.E. and Seeing Youth Succeed links or contact John Kepner at 215-858-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org.