Outreach and Mission
As Episcopalians, we believe that heeding Christ's call to discipleship requires that we strive to love our world as God does. We are called into a life of mission to our neighbors, whether they be right next door, in another part of our state or country, or on the other side of the world. Certainly, we are called because, through God's Grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, we witness to our experiences of the life-giving power of Christ's resurrection. But we also enter the world in mission and service as followers of Christ in the truest sense – more often than not, we do not serve in order to take Christ into the world, but rather to find humility as we discover that Christ has gone ahead of us and is already present in the actions, thoughts, lives, and stories of our neighbors.
In other words, we love, because He first loved us.
Below are a number of the ministries that the Episcopal Church in South Dakota, as a Diocese, supports. Beyond this list, individual congregations and missions also support a wide variety of local, national, and international ministries. If you are interested in the work of a particular congregation or mission in the Diocese of South Dakota, you can find a list of the appropriate contacts here. Some of these congregations and missions have their own websites that detail the work to which they have committed themselves.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Living our faith for a better world
Working in partnership with the worldwide Church, ecumenical agencies and local organizations, Episcopal Relief & Development saves lives and strengthens communities around the world. Our programs work toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which aimed to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015 and continues to work toward this purpose.
ERD's programs focus on the following areas:
- Alleviating Hunger and Improving Food Supply
- Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Communities
- Promoting Health and Fighting Disease
- Responding to Disasters and Rebuilding Communities
Rebuilding South Sudan through Education
The project “Rebuilding South Sudan Through Education” created by Moses Joknhial II, is a project designed to bring educational opportunities to the people in Moses’ home village in South Sudan. Because of civil war, he was forced to flee from his village and country at age 9 and lived in refugee camps as one of the “Lost Boys of the Sudan” until he came to the United States in 2001. He has received his education here in the United States and desires giving back to his community.
The project’s main goal to construct a permanent school building in his home community of Panyang, South Sudan, Africa, helps rebuild lives through education and nurtures peace after 21 years of Civil War which killed 2 million people, displaced 4 million more, and virtually destroyed the country’s infrastructure and economy.
Sudan’s Civil War ended in 2005. With peace, people are returning to their destroyed villages. With peace, the opportunity is now for these people to rebuild their lives and communities. Through his own experience, Moses believes education is of utmost importance in helping his people in this process.
Other project priorities have included drilling WATER WELLS to provide a clean, reliable source of drinking water and installing FOOD GRINDING MILLS to open the door for girls to attend school. Less than 1% of girls finish primary school in south Sudan. Collecting water and grinding food grains are time-consuming and two major factors keeping girls from school.
While the school itself is complete, the job of keeping it running continues, and the program still has need of such things as school supplies, books, and computers; school uniforms; scholarships; funds for teachers’ wages; desks for students and administrators; additional water wells; additional food grinding mills
New projects include the following:
- the G.O.A.T.S. Project (Giving Others the Ability To Survive), which gives widows and their children a female goat, which gradually increases to a herd and provides meat and milk and a micro-business;
- Plans for other micro businesses, including developing vegetable gardens, and providing sewing machines and soap making supply;
- Construction of the first medical clinic in the Panyang community;
- Birthing centers, which will provide clean, protected environments in which women can give birth;
- Women's Health Centers, which provide education and resources related to routine hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, pre- and post-natal care, and economic development.
Creation Care Network
The Creation Care Network is an informal group of about a dozen Parishes and Missions in the Diocese. Our main goal is to have a “communion” of Creation Care events across the State on Earth Day Sunday, but there are several other good, upcoming opportunities to awaken congregations to a Creation Care ethic.
We are seeking individuals who identify with this mission, who are interested in learning more, and who would consider working to integrate the Creation Care perspective into expressions of religious life at your church through education, reflection and action.