January 23, 2017
Episcopalians are invited to mark Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on March 5, the first Sunday in Lent, with special prayers, bulletin inserts and a dedicated offering to support the organization’s mission of healing a hurting world. An annual Lenten tradition in The Episcopal Church, Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday is an opportunity for congregations to focus on prayer and action to address global needs.
“On Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, we focus on how we engage life and the world more deeply, to truly heal a hurting world, to truly pray and work for social, economic and environmental justice and to truly respond to acute human suffering,” said The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. “I invite everyone across our Church, as our Prayer Book says, to the observance ‘of a holy Lent by prayer, fasting and self denial,’ and by works of compassion, justice and mercy, like those carried out through Episcopal Relief & Development."
Worship resources and a special planning guide for Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday are available for download at episcopalrelief.org/Sunday.
The organization also offers a special Lenten Toolkit at episcopalrelief.org/Lent, with links to order Lenten Meditations booklets and other materials from Episcopal Marketplace. Orders should be placed by February 15 to ensure delivery by Ash Wednesday, March 1. Lenten Meditations booklets in English and Spanish are available in print, PDF and daily email formats.
Episcopal Relief & Development is usually held on the first Sunday in Lent, though congregations may hold special services at any convenient time during the year. Sunday observances may include special announcements highlighting the importance of the agency’s work in nearly 40 countries worldwide, or showing an inspirational video during or after the service. Pew envelopes and hope chests are available to collect offerings, and the bulletin insert provides other ways for members to show their support.
“I am grateful for Presiding Bishop Curry’s leadership and to all churches and individuals who have made Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday a part of their Lenten practice,” said Rob Radtke, the agency’s President. “It means so much to this organization to be a focus of reflection and action during this season, and to offer our caring community multiple ways to make global mission a part of their spiritual life this Lent and throughout the year.”
For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world. The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters.