St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Giving the Gift of Clean Water
Julia Johnson and Erin Ryan teach the 4th and 5th grade “Faith and Friends” Sunday School Class at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, SC. This year, the teachers and their six students focused on the theme of water. They studied different aspects of water in the Bible, in the church, in their lives and in the world.
In addition to their lessons on water, they learned about Episcopal Relief & Development’s programs that provide clean water to communities around the world. Historically, St. Peter’s has been active in building well and water systems in Cange, Haiti. Alan Yarborough, an active member of the Young Adult Service Core, and several parishioners shared, with the children, their experiences working in Haiti .
The students were inspired to do something to support the water projects of Episcopal Relief & Development.
“Our students made posters, decorated water jugs and asked parishioners to donate their small change to help collect money to provide clean water for people,” said Ms. Johnson.
The two teachers expected a small, but respectable donation, hoping to raise enough to provide clean water for one family for a year.
Ms. Johnson said, “Imagine our excitement as we counted the first week’s donations of more than $100!”
With each successive Sunday, the children’s enthusiasm grew. A few weeks later, a generous donor offered to match the children’s donation, and the excitement spread to the congregation. As a result, the 4th and 5th graders led a campaign that raised more than $500, more than half in pocket change, to provide clean water to those in need.
“With the help of Episcopal Relief & Development’s GiftsforLife program, the children were able to envision making a real change in the work through their efforts, said Ms. Johnson, “We have planted deep seeds of discipleship, stewardship, and confidence in these future leaders of the church.”
Perhaps while these children helped to change the lives of those needing access to clean water, they changed their own lives as well.
The gateway to global citizenship starts with awareness and compassion. This fall your parish, school or group can use the Gifts For Life to start the journey by raising money for Episcopal Relief & Development.