For much of its history, Trinity Cathedral has embraced a mission of service to the last, the lost and the least. From the Trinity Lunch Room for working women in the Downtown area in the early 1900s to its partnering with other downtown churches in the establishing of the Bethlehem Haven’s Women’s Shelter and through it’s participation in the Walk-In Ministry of the Downtown Ministerium today, Trinity’s clergy and people have recognized that the mission of the Church is to serve the needs of the whole person, both spiritual and material.
Trinity is a popular place for prayer and reflection for the Downtown residential and business community and this includes many of the area’s homeless residents, particularly when the weather is exceptionally cold. On Sunday mornings, Trinity has extended hospitality and welcome to the homeless during regular worship hours. Many, though by no means all, are looking for a safe environment (shelters frequently cannot be so characterized) for a few hours of slumber and not necessarily to participate in regular congregational worship.
Listed below are a few of the ministries that Trinity actively supports. We provide that support financially, by praying for them regularly, and by sending them cards or emails. We as a church will highlight our missionaries when they are in town, share updates in our services, and keep the several missions prayer groups aware of up-to-the-minute prayer needs
In January 2007, Trinity Cathedral initiated a partnership with Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship in Pittsburgh’s uptown district. Shepherd’s Heart was launched as a ministry of pastoral care to the homeless residents of Oakland in 1993 and moved to its current location, just a few blocks from Mercy Hospital, in 2006. Nearly every Sunday, once the cold weather sets in, from November through April, Shepherd’s Heart provides shelter, a delicious breakfast and worship from approximately 7:30 a.m. to noon. Once or twice during the colder months, Trinity Cathedral volunteers make to make large batches of egg casseroles for Shepherd’s Heart volunteers to serve as a hot breakfast after the worship service. For more information on Shepherd’s Heart and their hours of operations, please refer to their web site at:
Bethlehem Haven Shelter for Women
Bethlehem Haven is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing a number of services including emergency shelter; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; meals; medical, dental, obstetrics and mental health services; as well as employment services to women in the Pittsburgh area. The Haven also provides some medical, mental health and employment services to non-residents, including men. Trinity volunteers prepare and serve (only women are allowed to serve) a dinner meal to the shelter residents four times a year (every fifth Wednesday of the month).
Since its modest beginning in the basement of the Smithfield United Church to its current three uptown locations, Bethlehem Haven has provided shelter to thousands of homeless women in the community for more than 10,000 consecutive nights. For more information on Bethlehem Haven, please refer to their web site at:
We sponsor two children through the World Vision Mission. Their names are Maniraguha Providence and Eric Nsabimana and they live in Rwanda. Sponsoring a child is the most powerful way we can fight poverty. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
We have a recent letter sent to us from Maniraguha Providence and you can read it at the bottom of this page.
World Vision provides hope and assistance to approximately 100 million people in nearly 100 countries. We join with local people in communities around the world to find lasting ways to improve the lives of poor children and families. For more information on World Vision, please refer to their web site at:
Marc and Suzanne Jacobson – Phillipines
Marc and Suzanne are missionaries to Capul, a small island in the Phillippines, being initially sent there by Wycliffe Bible Translators over 25 years ago. They did Bible translation and more. As their journey continued, they saw that their role was starting to look different than first imagined. They found they were not to lead as missionaries, but to facilitate. Their mission was not to bring education, truth, etc., but to be the ones who fertilize what has already been planted by God in advance of their involvement. One of the things that was very clear to them when they went to Capul was that they needed to be working where God was working. “We didn’t need to start another church, we felt we were there to assist a church that wanted translated scripture to get translated scripture.” They began to focus on bringing a retreat center to the island’s Christians. They are working to build housing for the poor and they have a three-phase building plan for a high school youth ministry that includes a library, a computer room, and a residential facility. In 2011 two of their six college students graduated, two continue to study and they are hoping another can enter pre-college. As you can see they are very active in bringing God’s love to this part of the world. Marc is an ordained Episcopal priest who served at Trinity Cathedral during his diaconate in 2005.
The Bernardis – North Africa
The Bernardis have 4 children and live in North Africa. After Frank was ordained an Episcopal priest, they lived and ministered to the homeless community in Pittsburgh. In 2001, they fulfilled a call to be a Christian presence in a Muslim country and moved to North Africa. Their work involves holistically sharing the Gospel in a Muslim context and sensitively working to plant indigenous faith communities.
Drew Schmotzer – Egypt
Serving God in Egypt. In Drew’s words, “’Out of the frying pan into the fire!’ describes what it is like being the chaplain to the President Bishop of 22 countries (Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East). Every day is a new adventure and challenge as Bishop Mouneer Anis has never had a chaplain and I have never been one. However, the grace of God is not only sufficient, it is exceedingly abundant and I walk away each day thankful and blessed to serve God in this place. I am also teaching at AST (Alexandria School of Theology) and I am constantly being challenged to grow and stretch in new ways.” The Rev Drew Schmotzer, aged 29, serves as the chaplain to the Bishop of Egypt and Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Drew is also the Secretary of SOMA International.
QUARTERLY OUTREACH PROJECTS
For each quarter of the calendar year, the Outreach Committee identifies a different project for the focus of the congregation’s outreach efforts. Our most recent quarterly project, targeted primarily as a Lenten discipline, was raising money for Food for the Poor. This involved fasting on Ash Wednesday and each Friday during Lent, and contributing the money that would have been spent on food to Food for the Poor. Through Food for the Poor, the funds raised were used to help feed needy families and to purchase chickens and goats for needy families in Haiti, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Previous quarterly outreach projects have included making “no sew” blankets for Project Linus, supporting several Outreach committee members who participated in the Relay for Life of Quaker Valley to raise money in the fight against cancer, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Allegheny County.
Food For The Poor
Food For The Poor is the largest international relief agency in the United States, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and has contained fundraising and administrative costs to less than 4% of its annual income. This means that more than 96% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor. Trinity Outreach selected Food for the Poor for its first quarter/Lenten project for 2012. We collected over $4700.00 for this worthy cause. For more information on Food for the Poor, please refer to their web site at: