by The Rev. Deacon Diane Panting
St. Matthew’s-Maryland Community Ministry (StMMCM) marked its 43rd year in 2015 serving the community of the West Central area of Winnipeg, encompassing some of the most vulnerable people in our city. The Ministry’s goal focuses on “loving our westend neighbours”. This is done by offering a number of tangible programs and services including:
- Food Supplement Program in partnership with Winnipeg Harvest
- Drop-In Centre offering a safe place for food and conversation afternoons four days a week. All are welcome and a pastoral care and referral team are present
- Sacred Circle and Soup
- Growing Kids program which is a new 11 week session providing parenting support for women who are raising pre-school age children
- Nutrition Bingo
- Artist’s Circle
- Emergency Food Cupboard
- Summer Recreation activities
- A Christmas Store
- Tax Help
StMMCM is led by our Community Minister Caryn Douglas, a United Church Diaconal Minister, who is committed and passionate about the Ministry. She is supported by a volunteer community where volunteers commit the equivalent of 5 full time staff.
We rely on donations from our Partners in Mission, parishes and congregations in our community, individuals and groups committed to loving our neighbours in real ways. We hold fund raising events including the popular Urban Gardens Tour every year and the Prairie Stone Soup initiative. We invite you to find out more by visiting our website at http://stmatthewsmaryland.ca/
A brief note on our roots and structure. The ministry began as a cooperative venture of the Anglican and United Churches. Today, along with United Church representation, five Anglican parishes from the Diocese of Rupert’s Land form part of the StMMCM Consortium – St. Paul’s (Fort Garry), St. Peter’s Anglican Church, St. Mary Magdalene Church, St. Mary’s (Charleswood) Anglican Church and St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. These Partners in Mission provide support in a number of ways. They raise awareness about the Ministry and our needs and contribute generously thought gifts of time, energy, talent, prayers and financially. The Ministry is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors and is also a member of 1Just City, a sustaining social justice network in Winnipeg.
Our parish of St. Peter’s is committed to ongoing financial, prayerful and volunteer support of this vital community ministry. You have probably seen our colourful food box in the Narthex where food donations are welcomed, collected and provided to the Ministry on an ongoing basis – this is all sincerely appreciated. We are blessed by your continuing prayers, your volunteer time and financial support which are vital to sustaining our dedication to “loving our westend neighbours”.
“For the generosity of our donors, for the gifts given with love by our volunteers, for the labour of hearts and hands which bring compassion to life in this place, we offer thanks to God, Creator and Sustainer, to Jesus, who models service and welcome, and to the Holy Spirit, who comforts, encourages and blows gentleness among us all. Meegwetch ---Thank you”
(from StMMCM 2014 Annual Report)