During this season of giving, I wanted to share some of the ministries of the West Virginia Council of Churches and to provide an opportunity to join us in mission as we seek to build understanding, create connections, and reach out to those who are most vulnerable in our society.
Your contribution is a vital part of our ministry together.
In 2020, the Council provided mini-grants for 26 foster/kinship closets and outreach across the state; partnered with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to provide opportunities for foster, adoptive and kinship children to be fully supported scouts; and worked with the Highlands Educational Project (HEP), an Episcopal ministry in McDowell County, to hold a foster and kinship “camp-in-a-box” program this past summer, which served approximately 31 children in kinship care.
We established 20 community reentry councils across the state to help those leaving the correctional system. To aid us in this effort, we hired a reentry director, two community reentry coordinators, and a job coach/mentor in Logan County. We also partnered with various organizations to provide transitional housing, employment and educational support, transportation, and rapid transition services.
The Council continued to address substance use disorder by promoting the 2020 Days of Hope: A Celebration of Prevention and Recovery. Our theme this year was “You Can Touch a Life.” We also partnered with the Partnership of African American Churches (PAAC) to provide funding to train a total of 158 persons in Recovery Coaching and a total of 17 individuals in Pathways to and of Recovery.
Our Interfaith Program Unit sponsored an online Interfaith Prayer Service for those affected by the coronavirus, held a press conference to address incidents of racism, and led an Interfaith Thanks and Giving Service.
The Council also released two public service announcements encouraging the use of face masks, handwashing, and physical distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The PSA’s ca be found under the Coronavirus Response tab.
Our Government Concerns Program Unit was active during the West Virginia Legislature and sponsored our third Compassion Calls Us Day. The Council also produced and distributed our 2020 Public Policy issues Priorities booklet.
We held our 139th Annual Assembly of the West Virginia Council of Churches online, beginning with worship. The Annual Assembly held sessions on Community Reentry in the Midst of COVID-19; Faith, Scouting, and Foster Care; Reinhold Neibuhr and the Nature of Evil, and a panel discussion on Dismantling Racism and the Church.
At a time when things seem very uncertain, the West Virginia Council of Churches remains solid in our commitment to provide a model of community founded in the love of God in Jesus Christ. We hope that you will support our ecumenical ministry through your prayers and financial gifts. You can make a contribution here.
Thank you very much for your support of the West Virginia Council of Churches!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Jeff Allen