Appalachian Service Project (ASP)
Contact: Mike Muyres
The Appalachian Service Project is a youth-oriented outreach program focused on repairing homes and transforming lives of families in rural Kentucky. This yearly trip affords participants a chance for spiritual and personal growth, both through the interaction with the local community in Appalachia as well as the relationships with your work crew. You do not need to know anything about home repair, but a willingness to get your hands dirty and work as a group are essential. In addition to the trip, there are activities throughout the year related to trip planning, team building and fundraising. Trip registration is in early November, with the main trip week typically around mid/late June. This outreach is geared toward youth, 13+ with adult leaders. All activities are done with the group. The time commitment includes 1 full week of service in Kentucky as well as 2-3 hours a month in the 6 months prior to the trip. If you are interested in outreach, service, and great fellowship, this is for you. Home repair interest or skill is nice but not required. You will learn on the job!
Contact: Kati Olsen
Each year, The Cradle coordinates a holiday gift drive for families served by their Birthparent Services program. Individuals provide gifts and warm clothing to children of families who have qualified for assistance. The drive for funds or gifts begins mid-November for about 4 weeks. Volunteers of all ages to help coordinate are always welcome and anyone can donate funds or gifts for this project.
Interfaith Acton of Evanston
St. Matthew’s is a member of Interfaith Action of Evanston. As part of this group we join forces with more than 40 communities of faith in Evanston to assist the homeless and the working poor in our community. Our engagement includes material support and financial contributions in our annual membership and through generous giving. Our funds help provide meals, overnight shelter during cold nights in the winter months, a warming center during winter days, job training assistance and other supports. We celebrate individuals who have had an impact on the community, each year, at the Vision Keepers Dinner. All are more than welcome to join this effort. See the website to sign up to volunteer or contact Corky for more information.
Stephen Ministry is a Christian education organization that produces a variety of training and resources for congregations and individuals to use in assisting others. In its 6th year at St. Matthew’s, we have several trained Stephen Ministers who are able and willing to provide confidential, high quality, ongoing one-on-one care to people experiencing difficult times in life. Stephen Ministers care for individuals experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, hospitalization, and many other crises. Members of St. Matthew’s are encouraged to request a Stephen Minister as a confidential listening ear as you traverse difficult or troubling times. You can plan on at least 1 hour a week with your Stephen Minister.
To become a Stephen Minister, you are required to attend 50 hours of training (through The Stephen Ministries organization) to provide Christ-centered care to people in time of need. Following the initial 50 hours of training and their Commissioning, Stephen Ministers participate in Caregiving Relationships, a Peer Supervision Group and ongoing Continuing Education. Stephen Minsters meet weekly with their care receivers for an hour and monthly with the group.
Wednesday Lunch Program
Coordinator: Kati Olsen
Every Wednesday, members of St. Matthew’s work with members of St. Mark’s to feed lunch to the homeless and working poor of Evanston. Many have come to count on the Wednesday lunch program and tell the volunteers that it is one of their favorite meals of the whole week. Anyone can help in some way. We prepare sandwiches and serve on Wednesdays during lunchtime. Volunteer times are as you are able so can be regularly or periodically, according to your own schedule.