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Holy Trinity Church in Nashville Creates Missions & Ministry Program after Partnering With FOCUS For Years
We Asked Presbytera Dana Spiro About Holy Trinity’s Missions & Ministry Program. Here’s What She Had To Share:
This year Father Peter and I have launched a monthly Missions and Ministries program as one additional way for our members to become involved in serving the local community. Each month Missions and Ministries focuses on a social outreach project for various organizations locally, nationally and internationally. The goal is to bring awareness and assistance to the needs of our local community, our national Orthodox Church charity community and some amazing international Orthodox charity programs that we have supported for years!
Local Needs Inspire A New Initiative Every Month
Each month we promote a new initiative for parishioners and families to support in any way that they can. August began with the “Stuff a Backpack” program. In September, we will be working to assist in the efforts to help the victims of the catastrophic floods that devastated the community of Waverly, TN. The torrential rainstorm that took place in Waverly on August 21st, brought about unthinkable horrors for this town that is just about 60 miles outside of Nashville. Within minutes, homes flooded and floated off their foundations. Over 20 people died, including infants and young children, and over 500 homes were destroyed. Holy Trinity’s Missions and Ministries program is partnering with the Community Resource Center in Nashville to provide much needed essentials to the Waverly Response Initiative. In October we will be doing a “One Warm Coat Drive” and collect gently used coats that will be donated to a local homeless shelter. Other programs that we will be providing service to this year are: Nashville Rescue Mission, Safe Haven Family Shelter, St. Basil’s Academy, St. Paraskeva Orphanage in Romania, and Mother to Mother in Nashville. The list goes on as there are so many needs to be filled and so many opportunities to give.
Holy Trinity’s History of Community Outreach
The Missions & Ministries program is in addition to the incredible work that has already been established in Holy Trinity’s community outreach. St. Sampson medical clinic has been running a monthly free medical clinic for nearly 10 years on our church campus. This medical clinic was established by medical professionals within our parish, who provide general medicine, rheumatology, and recently, cardiology care to uninsured adults. The clinic has seen and serviced hundreds of patients who live in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Through the clinic, patients have been approved for over $1.5 million in free medications.
Additionally, the Philoptochos Chapter of the Holy Trinity community provides services to the poor and disadvantaged in their many philanthropic endeavors both locally and nationally and they are always ready to assist with any great need that comes to members of the parish.
Holy Trinity also supports a local Loaves and Fishes program by providing lunches once a month to the hungry and homeless in Nashville.
Simply put, our parishioners actively seek out community needs and address them.
Advice For Getting Started In Your Community
One thing that has been consistent in all of our years in serving the Church is that people will say, “I want to give, but I’m not sure where to start”. Missions and Ministries came as a result of that dilemma. My advice to someone who wants to start an initiative in their own community would be to start with something that comes easily to them and build from there. As a social worker by profession, finding needs within the community and seeking ways to fill them was a continuation of the work that I was trained to do and is something that I love doing. The St Sampson clinic was an extension of the work that doctors in our community were doing in their profession. For some, cooking comes effortlessly and easily, so locking into a food outreach program for the hungry or for the shut-in population would be natural. Fr Peter has even taught guitar lessons at a local homeless shelter with guitars that were donated by the parish. Being creative is essential! Every talent given to us by God can be used to help others!