Outreach and Social Justice

St. Mark’s is committed to working with God to create a better community and a better world.  God is at work in our world and St. Mark’s parishioners seek opportunities to join God’s mission in their daily lives – at school, at home, at work and through a variety of social justice and outreach initiatives.  Following are just some of the ways in which St. Mark’s is involved in the community in helping to create a better world.

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Wednesday Sack Lunch Program St. Mark’s has partnered with St. Matthew’s to prepare and distribute sack lunches to the homeless in Evanston every Wednesday.  Opportunities to get involved with preparing and packing take place each Tuesday evening.  And opportunities to help serve lunch takes place each Wednesday.  We encourage families, students, existing small groups (choir, vestry, children’s formation teachers, people with brown hair, families with small children, teens with (or without) attitude, young adults with zip – you get the idea) and new small groups from just St. Mark’s or just St. Matthew’s and from combinations of the two will be chomping at the bit to start planning and packing lunches! Any person of any age who wishes to pack and/or serve are welcome. To sign-up for a Tuesday evening, click here.  To sign-up for a Wednesday lunch, click here.

Interfaith Action of Evanston St. Mark’s is a member congregation of this Evanston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together communities of faith and spirit to serve people who are hungry and homeless and to express shared values through action, advocacy, and interfaith dialogue.

  • Interfaith Action Hospitality Center for the Homeless  St. Mark’s donates space to the Hospitality Center which is open mornings Monday through Friday, 52 weeks per year.  The Center provides a warm, nurturing environment for daytime use by the guests who are homeless. The center is open from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Guests may use the services of a job coordinator or case manager, or they may make use of the facilities for grooming or making phone calls regarding jobs or apartments. To volunteer, contact Sue Murphy at (847) 475-1150.
  • Producemobile On the 2nd Tuesday of each month, Interfaith Action of Evanston teams up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to bring free, fresh produce to our neighbors in need. The distribution takes place from 9:30 – 11:30 at the Robert Crown Center. Volunteers are needed from 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. each month. To sign up click here.

Third Sunday Food Collection On the third Sunday of each month, a bright red shopping cart is available at the back of the church for worshipers to place non-perishable food items which are then distributed to Evanston food pantries.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) Congregation St. Mark’s is a Worker Justice Congregation.  We participate in Labor in the Pulpit (on the Sunday closest to Labor Day), we ask contractors about their employment practices, we do not shop at Sam’s Club or Walmart, and we strive to:

  • value and lift up dedicated workers and ethical employers
  • strive to be just employers
  • advocate a society in which all who are able to work have access to family-sustaining jobs
  • support ethical businesses
  • give time and resources to advocate worker justice

To learn more about Interfaith Worker Justice, click here.

Curt’s Café St. Mark’s Social Justice and Outreach Ministry Team encourages everyone to enjoy coffee, sandwiches and more at Curt’s Café, 2922 Central Street, Evanston.  It’s also a great place to hold a meeting – a separate room is available and can be reserved.  Why Curt’s Café?  Curt’s Café is a non-profit organization that provides training in food service and life skills for at-risk youth in Evanston.  Their student-trainees are age 15 through 22, from Evanston, an have already had contact with the judicial system or had been headed in that direction.  Student-trainees learn valuable, employable skills (computer literacy, job readiness, food history, and more) and receive job placement assistance when they’ve completed their training. Our patronage is what Curt’s Café calls “dining with a purpose.” For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.curtscafe.org.

Other Activities

To volunteer or for more information on St. Mark’s Outreach projects, please contact the Social Justice and Outreach Team at outreach@stmarksevanston.org.

Grants Available

Due to the generous legacies provided by beloved parishioners, St. Mark’s has designated monies to be used to provide seed monies for innovative ministries at St. Mark’s.  The Social Justice and Outreach Team invites any parish member (lay or ordained) to make an application for a grant.  To apply for funds, please review the guidelines and complete an application form (disregard the deadlines).

Grant Guidelines

Grant Application Form

 

 

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