Nov 15, 2016

Orthodox Christians for Life (OCLife)

Orthodox Christians for Life

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Join us for the yearly March for Life in St. Paul

Stop by the Welcome & Information table after Sunday Liturgy for more information on volunteering.

Saint Mary’s Missions and Outreach Ministry supports Orthodox Christians for Life (OCLife).

Why?  This Ministry educates on the sanctity of life and organizes a yearly Pan Orthodox march to honor all lives. People of all faiths come together for a “Prayer Service For Life”, followed by a march to the Minnesota State Capital. Each person, filled with heartfelt emotion for life, thoughtfully and reverently makes their way to stand on the capital steps.

OCLife focuses on traditional Christian values such as the sanctity of marriage, the blessing of children, the holiness of chastity (both in and out of marriage), the honoring of parents, the love of one’s neighbor, and of course, the sanctity of all innocent human life regardless of age or health condition.

OCLife was started in 1986 and is a non-profit religious educational Pro-Life organization. It functions in cooperation with the hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the Orthodox Church regardless of jurisdiction or geographical location, and supports the doctrines and canons of the Church.

Keeping current with new laws regarding when life starts and ends, the vision of OCLife is to “present and support the position of the Orthodox Church on matters of the sanctity of innocent human life to all peoples, Orthodox Christian and non-Orthodox alike. This includes abortion, euthanasia, infanticide (pediatric euthanasia), suicide, and child abuse.”

Please help us hold our banner high, so that we serve our church and community with dedication to “life”.

Orthodox Christian Network

P.O. Box 9658, Washington, DC 20016
888.MYOCN97 (888.696.2697)

Volunteer Opportunities:

Stop by the Welcome & Information table after Sunday Liturgy for more information on volunteering.

It is surprising how often we share the teachings of a podcast. As we listen and learn from OCN podcasts, we are able to share our favorite teachings.  OCN is supported by the Saint Mary’s Missions and Outreach Ministry.

Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) was created as a national, ongoing, and effective media witness for the Orthodox Christian Church in North America.  It is an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.

OCN produces high-quality programs and media tools for local parishes that reach people for Christ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media:  podcasts (streaming video and radio) featuring Sunday Adult Education, children’s lessons and more. OCN presents an overall vision to inspire the faithful everywhere, uplift our children, call back the wayward, and outreach to our cities and towns with the joyful, Christ-centered message of the Orthodox Christian Church.

Coptic Orphans

Coptic Orphans LogoP.O. Box 2881, Merrifield, VA 22116

Saint Mary’s Missions and Outreach Ministry supports Coptic Orphans.

Orphans – Many orphanages in Egypt are filled with children who have families, but their widowed mothers cannot afford to feed them. Coptic Orphans focuses on the children most likely to face the deadly combination of poverty and social injustice, but who have the greatest potential to change their lives and the lives of others. Coptic Orphans makes a covenant, called “Not Alone”, with orphaned families in Egypt to stay with a child until the end of their highest education, as long as they also work hard to make full use of every possible educational opportunity they have.

Transforming generations with Egypt’s fatherless Coptic Orphans is an award-winning international Christian development organization that has touched the lives of over 55,000 children in Egypt since 1988. “Coptic” means Egyptian Christian, and is the fruit of the indigenous Christian community of Egypt with its ancient way of life that goes all the way back to the first century. Coptic Orphans works in close partnership with local bishops, who also guide in areas of local need and nominates new volunteers.

Coptic Orphans is a registered nonprofit in the United States, Canada, Australia, Egypt, and the United Kingdom.

Community Emergency Service

1900 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Interview clients
  • Stock shelves
  • Make deliveries and pick-ups
  • Help in the office
  • Maintenance
  • Fund raising
  • Provide a meal

To volunteer, contact Melanie LaPointe, CES Volunteer Coordinator at 612.870.1125 extension 128 or  Additional volunteer contacts are listed on CES’ website.

Volunteer Reviews:

We didn’t know that so many poor people in neighborhood need our help until today.  CES is doing a great job to help those people, and create many opportunity to volunteers.

Amazing organization, everyone at CES is so friendly and helpful!  They deeply care and help fill the needs of our neighborhood.


Saint Mary’s Missions and Outreach Ministry supports Community Emergency Service.  They are one of the organizations participating in St. Mary’s Share YourShelf, where parishioners make monetary and food donations to support local food shelves.

Community Emergency Service (CES) is a non-profit crisis relief and empowerment ministry founded by Augustana Lutheran Church located in the Phillips Neighborhood. Up to 20% of food shelf clients are veterans and 25% of Meals on Wheels clients are veterans. CES provides food to their hungry neighbors, striving to provide hope, encouragement, and a caring human presence.  CES seeks to serve in a Christ-like manner all that come in need of physical, emotional, or spiritual sustenance.

They provide prayer support, direct aid relief, advocacy, referral, and counseling to low-income people in the neighborhood. Their projects include: rental and mortgage assistance, Kids Care Program, Meals on Wheels, and a new program called “Ani-Meals”, a pet food supplement program primarily for the homebound.

CES’s Objectives include:

  • Foster a faith-based environment throughout the entire organization
  • Assist in meeting the basic physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of clients in a loving and personal manner
  • Maintain positive relationships with neighborhood residents, community organizations, partner congregations, businesses, and local units of government
  • Position CES for the future by ongoing evaluation to ensure quality and efficiency in addressing the most critical needs of the community

Metro Hope Ministries

2739 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis MN, 55407Metro Hope Ministries Logo

Volunteer Opportunities:

Four times a year (May, July, September, November), St. Mary’s visits the women’s shelter to:

  • Cook and serve dinner
  • Lead Bible study
  • Play with the children

Time commitment varies, usually about 2 hours.
Stop by the Welcome & Information table after Sunday Liturgy for more information on volunteering.

Why We Love Metro Hope Ministries:

Healing House, the women’s shelter, allows children to live with their mother’s while recovering from addiction so families can heal together. St. Mary’s visits the women’s shelter four times per year. Children are welcome, making this a great volunteer opportunity for families. We usually cook and serve dinner, lead a Bible study with the adults, and keep the children occupied with games and activities.


Metro Hope is unlike any treatment program because it’s a Discipleship Program.  It’s where your life turns around because you can see God in it.  Lots of freedom too!  I’ve placed lots of clients there through my calling to go after those still in the struggle with Lost Sheep Ministries MN. You will be blessed!

Additional Details:

Healing House is a residential, Christ centered, drug and alcohol recovery program serving women with their children in the Minneapolis area. Healing House helps up to 20 mothers and 24 children in a 7-12 month program. Unique to Healing House is the process of helping mothers work towards recovery from addiction while accompanied by their children.

The process for change includes Biblical parenting classes, on-site individual, group, and family therapy, a weekly Christian 12-step group, and core classes focused on issues of addiction, codependency, self-worth, healing damaged emotions, Bible studies and more.

Aids provide transportation and on-call medical services in addition to the 24/7 on-site staff who help mothers with appropriate discipline, meal, and bed time routines, as well as age-appropriate activities for their children.

Metro Hope, the men’s shelter, is a residential, Christ centered, drug and alcohol recovery program serving men in the Minneapolis area. These programs are designed to empower residents to break the cycle of addiction and homelessness successfully through spiritual, educational, and emotional stability. Metro Hope is for those who are at the end of their options.  Most have exhausted their support systems, lost their homes, and are unable to support themselves or their families. Metro Hope is a restorative recovery ministry providing real help and lasting hope for the entire family in a grace filled environment through Jesus Christ.

Simpson Housing Services

Simpson Housing Services Logo2740 1st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN  55408
(612) 874-0306

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • St. Mary’s prepares and serves dinners 3 – 4 times per year from 6 – 8 PM, usually during the following months:
    • May
    • June
    • October
  • Make sandwiches for guests to bring with them for lunch during the day:
    • Call 612.455.0872 to ensure they have room in their freezer for the sandwiches
  • Additional volunteer opportunities available on their website

Contact Hope Kennedy or stop by the Welcome & Information table after Sunday Liturgy for more information on volunteering.


I loved everyone I worked with at Simpson.  I’m so thankful to the Family Housing program for helping us get to where we are at.


Volunteers from St. Mary’s preparing to serve a meal at Simpson

Simpson Housing Services (Simpson House or Simpson for short) helps thousands of people experiencing homelessness find the housing, support, and shelter they need in a time of personal crisis.  They are a non-profit started in the basement of Simpson United Methodist Church with a mission to “house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness”.

Simpson has an emergency shelter with the capacity for 22 women and 44 men every night.  They provide guests with access to showers, laundry, mail, hot meals, and more.  In addition to the emergency shelter, Simpson also provides long term stable housing for both individuals and families alike.

St. Mary’s offers two main volunteer opportunities with Simpson House.  The first is preparing and serving a hot dinner for around 110 shelter guests.  A small hard working group cooks a hot meal at St. Mary’s and then drives it over to Simpson, where volunteers from our church setup the hall for dinner, serve the meal and dessert, and cleanup afterwards.  The second opportunity is making sandwiches, which at St. Mary’s has been traditionally done by GOYA, but could be done by any ministry.  These sandwiches are given to the overnight guests when they leave the facility so that they have a lunch before returning for the evening meal and shelter.  When St. Mary’s makes sandwiches for them, we usually try and make 100.  If you are interested in making sandwiches, this can be done at any time after calling to ensure they have room in their freezer.

Mission and Outreach Committee at St. Mary’s

Twenty years ago St. Mary’s adopted a “Vision for our Future’ master plan. To paraphrase from “Ministries of Saint Mary’s” booklet: One of the outcomes of this plan was and is the Mission and Outreach Ministry Team.

The Mission and Outreach Ministry team ties together and brings to life the opportunities outlined in our Parish’s Vision; Hear, Pray, Grow. Serve and Share.
St. Mary’s Parish Vision: What is St. Mary’s mission?

Each Sunday bulletin provides a “ Focus on Mission.” For more information, please come to the Welcome and Information Table in the social hall for details on each mission and also help you find a member of St. Mary’s who volunteers with a particular mission.

Mission and Outreach has the privilege of meeting many people who are “New” to St. Mary’s. We offer information to those who are new to St. Mary’s and introduce them to other parish members as well as introduce people to those of similar interests or background.

The following are examples of St. Mary’s mission support. We support family, (Families Moving Forward), families and individuals struggling with addiction (Metro Hope/Healing House), volunteer support for food shelves and meals, IOCC disaster support in Iraq, in Syria, and to Coptic Orphans.