Outreach has long been one of Advent’s highest priorities. We believe that our vision statement, “That Christ’s light be seen in us,” compliments the last two vows of the Baptismal Covenant.
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?”
“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” BCP, page 305
Living out faith requires that we give ourselves to others in acts of service. This includes building relationships with the people we serve, giving money and other tangible donations, but more significantly giving ourselves.
Some of our partners in outreach:
Mary H. Wright Elementary School
For many years, Advent members have worked closely with teachers, administrators, and students at Mary H. Wright Elementary (Spartanburg School District 7). Each school year brings opportunities to serve by helping improve readings skills, assisting teachers, providing supplies, hosting classroom parties, and supporting special initiatives.
”It warms my heart to continue to have your support and prayers as we start the year. As we maneuver through these difficult and uncertain times, it is such a huge blessing to know that the partnership between Mary H. Wright Elementary School and the Episcopal Church of the Advent is stronger than ever.Tammy JordanPrincipal
Spartanburg Interfaith Hospitality Network (SPIHN)
We are a proud member of this network of local churches taking turns hosting homeless families two to three times per year for one-week stays. We also support SPIHN in their efforts to find sustainable employment and permanent housing for the families we serve. Advent parishioners volunteer to prepare, serve, and eat dinner with guest families, while others serve as overnight hosts.
”The unconditional love and personal support the Advent extends to families in transition shows them that they are loved not only by God but also by their Spartanburg neighbors.Steve WymanAdvent Parishioner
Advent Children’s Center
The Advent Children’s Center was established as an outreach to our community. The school provides a quality program designed to promote the spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, and physical growth of the whole child.
”The Advent Children’s Center is more than a preschool, it’s our family. They have been our village while raising our three little ones. The wonderful staff have educated, loved, nurtured, and kept our three children safe.Maren CatolicoAdvent Parishioner
Cumberland Mission Team
Every year, a team of Advent members spends a week in the mountains of Tennessee renovating and building houses. Our partner in this work is Housing Sewanee, an organization modeled after Habitat for Humanity.
”This experience has built relationships with the Sewanee community, the University of the South, homeowners, and has strengthened the community among the mission team.Larry MooreAdvent Parishioner
Ecumenical Blood Donor Program
Three Sundays each year Spartanburg’s local blood bank, the Blood Connection, conducts a blood drive on the Advent’s campus. Established at the parish in 1982, the Advent’s initiative has since grown to become an ecumenical effort, coordinated with other congregations in the community.
”By passionately spreading the message about the importance of blood donation, the Episcopal Church of the Advent and other churches are truly helping us save their neighbors’ lives. We, and the families of those affected by local blood donations, are forever grateful for this congregation and the many others for their continued dedication to keeping a stable blood supply.Allie Van DykeMarketing Manager - The Blood Connection
We support the work of two missionary families living in Quito, Ecuador. Laura and Jorge Estevez work with Casa Gabriel and provide housing and education to boys rescued from life on the streets. Cameron and Roberto Vivanco, through their mission “Education = Hope,” provide educational support for individuals and educational resources for communities that suffer from poverty. Cameron Graham Vivanco previously served as the youth minister at the Advent, while Laura Jennings Estevez grew up in our parish and later served on staff with us. These close personal ties connect us with their day-to-day life and work and create unique opportunities for overseas mission trips.
”The Advent is a community that has always supported incredible ministries. We have felt so blessed to have a strong partnership that connects Spartanburg and Quito, Ecuador through the ministry of Casa Gabriel.Jorge EstevezAdvent Parishioner and Missionary
Other Outreach Partner Organizations the
Advent supports with time, talent, and finances:
Adult Learning Center
Angels Charge Ministries
Big Brothers / Big Sisters
Education = Hope
Children’s Advocacy Center
Free Wheelchair Mission
Hope Center for Children
Mary H. Wright Elementary School
Mental Health America of Spartanburg County
One World (Ecuador Mission)
Safe Home / Rape Crisis
Spartanburg SHARES (Self Help and Resource Exchange)
Spartanburg Soup Kitchen
Spartanburg Interfaith Hospitality Network
St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic