Parish Outreach

The people of the Church of the Annunciation parish give wholehearted support for special outreach concerns of the congregation. Each Sunday an "absent guest" plate is placed in the chancel during the Eucharist, to receive a special offering designated for a rotating group of outreach recipients. These include Bergen County Habitat for Humanity, the Center for Food Action (a local food bank), and the Bergen County Inter-religious Fellowship for the Homeless. Locally, Annunciation also provides financial support for Shelter Our Sisters (a battered women's shelter), and STARFISH (an ecumenical group that provides transportation to elderly and disabled area residents). We also contribute to several international agencies as well. These include Compassion International, through which we support and correspond with a foster child in Haiti, and Mephibosheth Ministry, a religious and health agency performing services for the disabled in Ghana.

Ways We Serve

We are a small parish, but taken as a whole, our individual service contributions to our community make up a vibrant ministry. Here, in their own words, are some ways our members serve in the wider community:

"I take part in the annual food drive promoted by my union at work (the National Association of Letter Carriers). Every year in the month of May we pick up non-perishable food items donated by our customers and then deliver them to a local food bank, which in turn distributes the food to needy local families."

"I became a volunteer on the construction crew when Habitat for Humanity organized a Bergen County branch in 1994. I have traveled to Glivice, Poland, and to Lafayette,Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to build affordable housing for the people of God.

"We regularly donate blood and platelets to the Bergen County Community Blood Center."

"I am a member of the Executive Board of the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America."

"With three other "grey heads", I was an early-responder volunteer at the World Trade Center in 2001."

"I have been a Rotarian for a decade. Our motto is 'Service above Self'."

"I have hosted 'Gift of Life' children in need of life-saving surgery from Italy, Brazil, and Germany. On a local level, we raise funds which are used to benefit community needs."

"I teach ESL (English as a second language) at my local public library through Literacy Volunteers of Pascack Valley. My students are dedicated, hard-working, wonderful people from around the globe who are seeking a better life in the U.S.A. Learning English this way is part of the process of becoming American for many immigrant families. It is very moving to share this part of their lives, and to help them create a community of allies and friends with their fellow students."

"I have served as facilitator of a Pregnancy Loss Support Group since 1982."

"We volunteer at fundraising events for Tomorrow's Children's Fund."

"As part of 'Mary's Dream', I help raise funds for Englewood Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. We volunteer as emergency medical technicians in the River Edge Ambulance corps, which serves Oradell, River Edge, and New Milford. We provide basic first aid, administer oxygen, dispense nitroglycerin, and transport people to our local hospitals in emergencies."

"I began playing in Teaneck Community Band the summer after seventh grade. I met my husband there decades ago (he's now deceased), and I still play in the band each summer."

"I have been a Girl Scout leader for nine years now. I have three troops; my Mondays are always full through the school year!"

"We take the altar flowers after church on Sunday and arrange them into small bouquets, which we give to residents at a local nursing home."

We would be pleased to add your ministry to this list—and so would God! As the blessed Apostle Paul has written, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all." We may always not live up to this charge, but we strive to do our best. Join us, won't you?

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