[Episcopal Relief & Development] Congregations around the Episcopal Church are invited to commemorate Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on February 26. At the 2009 General Convention, Lent was designated as a time to remember and support the organization’s work worldwide. Many congregations will do so on the first Sunday in Lent, though the day may be observed on any other Sunday during Lent or throughout the year. Resources and more information are available online through www.er-d.org/Lent/.
“This special Sunday is an opportunity for congregations to connect to Episcopal Relief & Development and its mission,” said Rob Radtke, the agency’s President. “As a compassionate response of the Episcopal Church to suffering worldwide, the organization seeks to empower local communities to overcome poverty, hunger, disaster and disease, build up the Body of Christ, and express Christian solidarity with our global brothers and sisters. Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday is an occasion for all Episcopalians to consider how they can make a positive impact in the lives of others, through supporting life-giving programs and advocating for social justice within the Church.”
During this Lenten season, Episcopal Relief & Development is placing a particular focus on malaria prevention and education through the NetsforLife® program partnership and the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund. Donations made in connection with Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday and the organization’s Lenten resources will benefit these initiatives. The NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund is a grassroots effort to educate, engage and unite Episcopalians to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and join the fight against malaria. The goal of the campaign is to build awareness about the disease and how it can be prevented, and raise $5 million for NetsforLife® by December 2012.
“We are excited and grateful that more than 2,600 churches have become actively engaged in local efforts to support the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund,” said Joy Shigaki, Director of the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund and Church Campaigns for Episcopal Relief & Development. “We hope that the special Lenten focus on malaria and NetsforLife® will help strengthen those efforts and invite other congregations to take part in this important Church-wide campaign.”
Episcopal Relief & Development’s 2012 Lenten Meditations booklets, available online in English and Spanish at www.er-d.org/Lent, encourage readers to reflect on the need for physical healing in the world, and on the opportunity for spiritual healing during Lent. Those wishing to receive daily email meditations in both languages may sign up online. Booklets are also available in print from Episcopal Media Center; regular and expedited shipping options are available. A variety of additional materials to support Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, including hope chests, prayer cards and a bulletin insert, are available on the organization’s website.