[The Episcopal News] To assist congregations and institutions financially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, donors to the diocesan One Body & One Spirit Emergency Appeal have raised a total of $264,000 in 614 gifts to date, with $34,340 in new grants awarded by the Corporation of the Diocese at its most recent monthly meeting.
June 7 is the application deadline for the next round of grants, for which the request guide and application forms may be found on the diocesan website here.
A total of 26 grants have been made since the appeal was launched in March 2020, with the newest to these recipients:
- Camp Stevens, Julian – $10,000 to help cover health benefits for reduced staff after two months of being completely shut down.
- All Saints, Highland Park, Los Angeles – $7,500 to address urgent repairs for roof and building to maintain revenue from current tenants to offset significant loss of rent during the pandemic.
- Christ Church, Ontario – $7,500 to assist in completing development of a vacant portion of campus to improve outdoor space and accommodate new safety protocols.
- St. Martin in-the-Fields, Winnetka – $7,500 to perform maintenance of the heating/cooling system in preschool rooms to provide needed filtration and air conditioning.
- St. Ambrose, Claremont – $1,840 to aid in providing hybrid worship via online services.
“Every dollar awarded through the Emergency Appeal grants is at work helping local congregations and institutions respond in practical ways to needs created by the pandemic,” said Bishop John Harvey Taylor. “I thank each donor for sharing in this vital work, and I commend the joint effort of the Special Committee on Incorporation of Parishes and Missions and the Corporation of the Diocese for invaluable discernment and stewardship in grant-making that reflects our diocesan unity in ‘One Body and One Spirit.’”
Video messages of appreciation from previous grant recipients are available here. Among most recent speakers in the video series is the Very Rev. Jeanette Repp, rector of St. Peter’s, San Pedro, and dean of diocesan Deanery 8 which spans the South Bay, Long Beach, and Southeast L.A. County.
“Our deepest thanks to all who have donated to the One Body and One Spirit Emergency Appeal, and to the diocese for awarding St. Peter’s one of its grants,” Repp said in her video message. “When COVID hit last spring, St. Peter’s was its congregation, and yet also the nine 12-step groups that meet here, creative writing classes, dance, crafts, and other groups. In addition to providing space for these wonderful ministries, these groups also provided us with significant revenue for the church’s operating budget and outreach programs. With the pandemic, though, we found ourselves scrambling to help the groups move to online, yet with a significant loss of income. Thankfully, with the diocesan grant, we will be able to keep our staff and prepare the groups to return to campus when it is safe to do so.”
In another video message, the Rev. Canon Mark Hallahan, rector of St. Paul’s, Pomona, expressed his gratitude, also noting, “Like all of you we have been adversely affected by this pandemic. We’re grieving the loss of beloved parishioners, and we were also affected financially when our successful wedding venue business came to an abrupt end and we had to lay off our staff. We lost hope and figured that St. Paul’s might not survive.
“But our God is an awesome God, and our diocesan and parish family are awesomely generous. So we have a future, and we will survive and thrive. This grant will help us restore our venue revenue, bring back staff, and improve our social media technology and outreach. My friends, we are but one example of how the diocesan COVID-19 Emergency Appeal grant can help turn around a dire circumstance,” Hallahan added, encouraging all “to give generously to the Emergency Appeal.”
Gifts to the One Body & One Spirit Emergency Appeal are welcome and may be made online here or made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and sent by postal mail to Bishop John Harvey Taylor, care of Canon Gail Urquidi, Finance Office, 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026.