In response to our Lord’s teachings in Matthew 25:34-36, this ministry examines the needs of individuals and families in our own parish community (Inreach) and the greater Medford area and beyond (Outreach) and responds in consistent and organized ways. Under the aegis of Father John and the Parish Council, our group meets monthly to determine the current needs and to discuss and plan activities accordingly, whether simple tasks or a major fund-raising appeal. We initiate several appeals throughout the year to help worthy causes so that the neediest in our area are served.
PARISH LEVEL: The priority of this ministry is to serve the needs of Holy Cross parishioners, either directly by Ministry members or by identifying other means/individuals who can provide the necessary assistance.
This may be in the form of:
- Assisting financially (at the priest’s discretion)
- Providing food coupons
- Transporting to doctors’ appointments, picking up prescriptions, making short grocery runs
- Preparing/Providing/Delivering meals to the sick or to their families.
- Preparing/Providing/Delivery mercy meals.
- Visiting the sick at home or in hospitals (when medically permitted).
- Sending cards or making phone calls to the elderly, infirm, and/or parishioners living alone.
- Celebrating and honoring the service of our veterans.
- Offering a community-wide Blessing of the Animals.
LOCAL COMMUNITY LEVEL: We support the greater Medford and local community with the following programs:
- COMMUNITY LUNCHEON: prepares food for the working poor and homeless people in Burlington County as well as our parishioners as needed.
- EMS/FIRE/POLICE/HOSPICE STAFF: prepared lunches during the Covid-19 crisis for those who worked on the front lines.
- CROSSROADS PROGRAM: serves homeless, abandoned, and abused youth.
- COMMUNITY HOPE: helps veterans and their families overcome mental illness, addiction, homelessness, and poverty by providing housing and support services.
- HELPERS OF GOD’S PRECIOUS INFANTS: a pro-life organization that supports the cause of protecting the unborn and the health of pregnant and new mothers and aids them in their choice to keep their babies.
- CHRISTIAN CARING CENTER: provides shelter, groceries, Code Blue resources, daily hot lunches at the center, and delivers lunches to people who are sheltered in area motels and outdoors.
- WAWA HUNGER PROGRAM: donates food to local food banks.
- THANKSGIVING FOOD DRIVE & SOUPER BOWL SUNDAY: food collections to Community Services and St. Vincent de Paul.
- We have also responded to the current relief efforts for Afghan Refugees and Hurricane Ida.
REGIONAL/DIOCESAN LEVEL: We support specific causes of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, particularly those initiated by the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors (DDB) fund set up by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael.
NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL LEVEL: We also support causes at the national and international level:
- CROP WALK HUNGER PROGRAM: a nationwide movement sponsored by Church World Service to end hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities): offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide.
- ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS FOR LIFE: a pro-life organization dedicated to equipping the Orthodox Christian community to strengthen its commitment to the sacredness of human life from conception to death
If the Holy Spirit has moved you to help us out in some way, please consider joining us! We welcome any parishioners who wish to devote their time and talents to further the cause of this ministry. No previous experience of any kind is necessary – only the desire to serve others.
Please contact Father John if interested.