The mission of the Social Concerns commission is to continue Christ’s ministry on earth through outreach programs and activities within the parish, the City of Columbia and globally, when possible.
Banquet for the Poor and the Easter Banquet
For this event we invite the poor to our house (Sacred heart Activity Building) so that we can see and interact with the poor. The Wednesday before Easter was chosen to closely follow Jesus who gave us the servant example by washing the feet of the Apostles. Those helping with this event invite Columbia restaurants to supply a dish. Some members of the committee pick up the food, while others bring covered dishes. The tables in the Activity Building are covered with table linens, Easter decorations and candies. Members of the committee help serve the food and mingle with the guests.
The annual Christmas Bazaar is presently the most lucrative fundraiser in the parish and its proceeds are used for the parish. This is achieved by inviting all parishioners to participate in various ways as organized by the co-coordinators and the core group of this committee. Workshops are schedules for those who wish to work on projects on the mezzanine of the Activity Building. Others work at home. All parishioners – male and female – are encouraged to offer their creative ideas for woodworking, crafting, quilting and baking. A Silent Auction is also held as part of the bazaar activities. Parishioners can donate items or services to be auctioned at the bazaar, or participate by helping to solicit donations from local businesses during the year.
Coffee and Doughnuts
This is a ministry of community-building. Between the Sunday Masses, parishioners can come and converse in a relaxed environment over a cup of coffee and pastry. Two people assigned to serve as hosts prepare the coffee, lemonade, and water for tea and hot chocolate and display the doughnuts and bagels. After everyone has been served, they clean up all utensils and wipe the tables. The present rotation is a three-month interval.
Fall Parish Picnic
Coordinators for this event secure a time and place where all parishioners can meet informally to chat, play and eat together. The picnic is an opportunity for people of all ages to mingle with fellow parishioners whom they may know well and become acquainted with new members. Everyone is asked to bring a main or side dish to share.
Every month we collect canned/packaged food to help the Central Missouri Food Bank, the organization supplying the local food pantries, as well as those outside the City of Columbia. Volunteers place two food carts at the church entrance on the fourth Sunday of the month as a public reminder of the needs of the poor. The coordinator designates a particular item for the month, but it is only a suggestion. Any packaged food is appreciated. We are averaging 500 pounds of food and several monetary donations per collection. The food bank picks up the collection on Monday.
This activity invites parishioners to accept an unknown poor person from the community and gift him/her with a selected Christmas gift or food certificate. Co-coordinators visit with personnel at the Voluntary Action Center for names and suggested Christmas gifts. The committee then prepares tags with individual names to offer parishioners on the first Sunday of Advent. The parishioner purchases the gift, wraps it and returns it to the church. At an appointed time, the gifts are gathered and sacked according to families. They are then delivered to the Voluntary Action Center for distribution to the assigned families. Food certificates are included.
Through this ministry we raise awareness of the needs in various parts of the world, pray for people and financially support them when possible. Activities include supplementing the parish collection for Peru missions with an annual activity (Spaghetti Supper) and acting in solidarity with victims of natural disaster – such as the earthquakes in El Salvador and India. In the past we have sponsored a collection of salt as well as a collection of gently used stuffed animals for children in the Republic of Georgia.
Help with Funeral Dinners
As compassionate people, volunteers in this ministry ease the pain of the bereaved family of any parishioner at the time of the funeral or memorial Mass at the parish. The co-coordinator telephones those who signed up in Time and Talent to bring food, with the number of people called depending on the estimated count given by the family. Volunteers also work in the kitchen and prepare the tables in the Activity Building. The activity is graciously given and sincerely appreciated.
Help with Parish Socials
This activity involves organizing designated parish socials to fit the festive needs of the occasion. Volunteers select menus, purchase food, or call parishioners to prepare a dish, decorate and clean up. Workers are called from those who signed up on Time and Talent.
Saturday Breakfast Café is a chance for Sacred Heart to nourish the local homeless. Sacred Heart Social Concerns sponsors the Saturday Breakfast Café each week of November in the Activity Building. In addition to providing a meal the homeless are give some non food items that are donated by parishioners. These items range from clothes to hygiene products.