logoSt James on the Lake
Episcopal Church

OUTREACH

The greater Cedar Creek Lake area encompasses Mabank, Kemp, Gun Garrel City, Seven Points, Tool, Trinidad, Payne Springs, Malakoff and Eustace.

FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER


The Family Resource Center is a resource for families in the greater Cedar Creek Lake area to purchase clothes, shoes and household items at very little cost.  The center also assists with utility bills and other financial emergencies.  Families make application with the Resource Center for assistance and are screened by the center’s personnel.  St. James supports the Resource Center with monetary donations, goods from members and volunteer hours.     

BACK TO SCHOOL PROGRAM

school clothesSt. James partners with the Family Resource Center and other churches in Mabank, Gun Barrel City and Tool for this project.  Parishioners donate underwear, socks, shoes and much needed cash, for this yearly event.  Funds from members and our “Helping Hand” offerings are used to purchase school clothes and shoes.  This is a program for the families in the greater Cedar Creek Lake area who need clothes and school supplies for their children to start the school year.  The resource center is the screening facilitator for the applicants.  These items are set up at one of the churches, usually in the fellowship/parish hall, or similar location, two to three weeks prior to school starting. Our ladies volunteer to organize the clothes and shoes, and help the parents and children as they shop, try on clothes and pick up supplies. 

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ADOPT-A-FAMILY CHRISTMAS PROJECT

loading boxes

We furnish Christmas for 25 to 35 families each year.  The names of families are provided by the resource center.  Beginning the first of December volunteers start shopping for clothes for each child in the family.  Two complete sets of clothes, underwear, socks and shoes are given to each child in the family, regardless of age.  Most children receive toys and/or games, or other age appropriate items.  Each child’s gifts are wrapped and set aside by family.  After church the Sunday prior to delivery on Saturday parishioners box food.  Each family receives three boxes of food, plus fruit, onions, potatoes, a roasting hen and ham.  The Saturday prior to Christmas clothes, toys, and food are personally delivered to the homes by members. In addition to the families, we also furnish food boxes to approximately 15 senior citizens. Brookshires in Mabank has assisted with this project by donating food and we are greatful for their generousity.

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GOLF TOURNAMENT

The Christmas project is totally supported by our Adopt-A-Family Golf Tournament.

Golf tournament players

The golf tournament was begun in 1999 to raise funds for our adopt-a-family Christmas project.  It is held the first Monday in October at Cedar Creek Country Club.  Planning for the tournament continues from year to year.  Our entire congregation participates in some phase of the event to enable the tournament to be a huge success and profitable for our outreach ministries.   It begins with a hot dog lunch, and concludes with a BBQ dinner at the church where tournament and raffle prizes are awarded.  Many of the prizes are donated by church members. The tournament is supported by the greater Cedar Creek Lake community.  Proceeds come from tournament entry fees, hole sponsors, and raffle tickets. We normally have  22 teams,   24 hole sponsors, and average $8,500 profit.

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PRAYER BLANKET MINISTRY

We receive prayer requests from our parishioners, and from members of the community, for people whom they know are facing a serious, and sometimes fatal, illness. 

Prayer Blankets on alter

Fleece fabric is cut into a square and strips are cut around the edges.  The blanket is placed in the back of the nave.  As people enter, they stop at the blanket, say a prayer for that person, and tie a knot in the fringe.  When all the knots have been tied, a label is placed on the blanket with the person’s name stating they were lifted up in prayer by members of St. James.  The blanket is placed on the altar, blessed and delivered to the recipient.

 

 

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KAIROS PRISION MINISTRY

Kairos TeamKairos is a Greek work meaning a special time, one that cannot be defined by a watch or calendar. St. James Church has been involved with the Kairos program for over 20 years. Kairos Prison Ministry works primarily in maximum security units in an effort to help create and maintain a Christian environment with the unit. This ongoing program revolves around two four-day retreats supported by weekly reunion meetings for the residents who have been through the program. Members of St. James have served on teams both as clergy and lay members at the Beto Unit near Palestine since the program was introduced there in 1988. Kairos offers a long-term commitment both to the residents and the team who continues to visit with the men on a monthly basis. As a congregation, we support the ministry with our prayers, with homemade cookies and financially. A typical team is made up of about 60 men and women. The men go into the unit and work directly with the residents while the outside team of women prays and prepares meals that are delivered and served during the course of the weekend. We see these weekend retreats as an example of God’s special time to work in the hearts of men in need. Kairos weekends are also held in women’s units and juvenile units as well. A program known as Kairos Outside is designed to help women who have loved ones in prison deal with the issues that incarceration causes for the entire family.

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ANGEL FOOD

St. James participates with the Family Resource Center in promoting One Harvest Ministries food boxes in our local area by providing boxes to families who need assistance.  Each month boxes are purchased with outreach funds and designated donations of parishioners. Special donations of congregation members, as well as boxes ordered and paid for by other area residents through St. James, and purchase boxes at Thanksgiving. Some families are supported on a regular basis and others on an emergency basis. At the end of the year a team evaluates the status of the families, and adjustments in the amount of aid are made.

loading food boxes

The cost of a box is $30.  Each month’s menu is different than the prior month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $75.  The food is the same high quality one could purchase in a grocery store; there are no second-hand items and no damaged or out-dated goods.  This is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States.  Once a month we purchase food boxes from this local ministry for families in our community whose names have been given to us by our parishioners and the Family Resource Center.  These families are currently having a difficult time financially, and need assistance in providing food for the family.  Our members go to the staging area one Saturday a month, pack the boxes and deliver them to the families thus giving them an opportunity to offer encouragement and prayer.

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COMMUNITY GARDEN

GardenThis project was begun in the Spring of 2009. A fish fry was held to raise funds to pay for getting water to the garden and materials and soil to construct it. This is a totally organic garden. The garden is divided into large and small individual plots. Members of the church “bought” a plot for a small fee. They are responsible for planting and maintaining their plot. The produce is harvested not only for the “owner’s” table, but used to supplement our Angel Food boxes with fresh produce. In 2010 we added fruit trees and a vinyard.

 

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ONE MAN’S TREASURE CLOTHES CLOSET

Preparing clothes

The mission of this faith based organization is to assist men recently released from prison who come to the Dallas area, including Henderson and Kaufman counties, by providing them with clothing appropriate for job interviews and employment.  The recidivism rate for those being helped by this program is 52% lower than the norm. The closet is supported by donations of gently used or new clothes, cash, and fundraisers throughout the year.

St. James supports and assists with a fish fry to provide financial support to the organization. The Daughters of the King have addressed prayer cards which are included with each set of clothing.

St. James is now partnering with St. Jude Catholic Church In Gun Barrel City by collecting women’s clothing for their Women’s Crisis Center project, and they, in turn, collect men’s clothing for One Man’s Treasure.

 

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Honor guard

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual and physical disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

 

 

 

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BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

two schnauzers

The Cedar Creek Country Club community surrounding the church is invited, along with St. James members and families, to participate in the blessing of the animals and hot dog dinner following the blessing.  Notices are placed in mailboxes and posted at the club. These folks are invited to bring their friends.  We have a good turnout from the neighborhood each year and it is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the fun, fellowship and Christ’s love present at St. James. It is held in October on the weekend closest to the day of St. Francis of Assisi.

 

 

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FOOD BANK

Non-perishable food is donated by church members.  When the basket is full, it is delivered to the local food bank.

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CARTER BLOOD CARE

giving blood

St. James has sponsored an annual blood drive since 2003.  Members participate by donating blood or serving as a host for the morning or afternoon.  In addition to our own people who faithfully support this event, there are a number of people from the neighborhood and community who participate.  This is one more opportunity we have to be a visible presence in the community, serve our fellow man with life saving blood, and welcome people to our church. 

 

 

 

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FOOD 4 KIDS

This is St. James’ newest outreach program. It is organized and sponsored by the Daughters of the King. It is a program of the North Texas Food Bank that provides backpacks full of nonperishable, kid-friendly, nutritious food to chronically hungry children in the Kemp primary and intermediate schools. The children pick up the backpacks on Friday afternoon. There is enough food to last through the weekend until they are served breakfast on Monday morning. Members of the congregation pick up the food on Monday morning and deliver it to the schools. In the near future, the DOK will begin the next phase of the program by assisting the school with packing the food in the backpacks.

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