Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday 2014

February 11, 2014

Economic empowerment, especially for women, is Episcopal Relief & Development’s Lenten theme for 2014.  Congregations throughout The Episcopal Church will observe Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on March 9, the first Sunday in Lent, with sermons, prayers, adult forums and children’s activities that focus on sustainable solutions to global poverty.

“Lent gives us an opportunity to reflect on how our actions affect the lives of others, and commit to making mindful choices as consumers and global citizens,” said Sean McConnell, the organization’s Director of Engagement.  “Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday provides an occasion for us to seek healing and reconciliation through supporting economic justice in our own communities and around the world.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s international programs address the root causes of poverty by improving access to supplies, training and financing for small farms and businesses.  Congregations can learn about and support the organization’s work with downloadable bulletin inserts (available in English and Spanish) and other resources available at www.episcopalrelief.org/sunday.  A designated offering for Episcopal Relief & Development’s Global Needs Fund will enable the agency to reach those most in need worldwide.

Lent was officially designated at the 2009 General Convention as a time to encourage dioceses, congregations and individuals to remember and support the life-saving work of Episcopal Relief & Development.  Although the first Sunday in Lent is the official day, congregations may observe Episcopal Relief & Development on any Sunday during the Lenten season.

For creative ideas, read “Small Change May Seem Like Chicken-Scratch, But It Adds Up!” and other Friends of Episcopal Relief & Development features.  Additional online resources include a downloadable checklist to guide planning, and stories, photos and videos to illustrate the organization’s work.  Participating congregations can visit the Facebook event to exchange ideas and success stories.

Printed Episcopal Relief & Development resources, including Lenten Meditations booklets in English and Spanish, should be ordered from Episcopal Marketplace by February 15 to ensure delivery by Ash Wednesday, March 5.  PDF booklets and daily email devotionals are accessible at www.episcopalrelief.org/lent.  

“Particularly during this season of Lent, we are called back to our Baptismal Covenant promise of seeking and serving Christ in all persons, and caring for those most vulnerable around us,” said Rob Radtke, the organization’s President.  “I am grateful to all of the diocesan and church leaders whose participation in Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday helps deepen the Church’s engagement in healing a hurting world.”  

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of The Episcopal Church and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with worldwide Church and ecumenical partners to help rebuild after disasters and to empower local communities to find lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.