The Outreach Council oversees ongoing and short-term programs helping where needed locally, nationally, and worldwide. We make financial disbursements to operate the Outreach programs, and we respond to other requests for financial support from a wide variety of organizations. We also oversee the disbursement of the parish funds for the International Sustainable Development Goals. Each year we re-evaluate what we are doing and consider new ideas to give more people an opportunity to participate. All parishioners are invited and encouraged to join the Council as we make decisions in these areas.
Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC)
St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with the VMC to assist the unhoused and working poor citizens of Knoxville toward a more stable and productive life. Financial support is given, and team members are needed once per month to prepare, transport, and serve lunch at the VMC. Team members are needed once per month to prepare, transport, and serve lunch at the VMC downtown.
Fish Food Pantries
St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with the West Knox FISH Pantry throughout the year to provide food to families in need. St. Elizabeth’s takes calls and delivers food on the second Wednesday of each month. Once a year, we stock the food in the pantry which is used by many congregations. We support FISH financially and also supply essential non-food items.Contact Jenny Miedaner or Helen Den Uyl for more information.
Angel Tree and Gift Bags for the Elderly and Unhoused
The St. Elizabeth’s Angel Tree assists several families each year with gifts, household supplies, and a food gift certificate. While many Angel Trees only serve children ages 12 and under, we serve all family members. Half of the families are from Vine Middle School, and the other families are from Homeward Bound at Community Action Committee, a homeless and homeless prevention program. A commitment to this ministry involves time from early November through mid-December. Jobs include: making tree gift tags, setting up the tree, making and maintaining the gift chart, keeping track of the process, wrapping parent gifts, organizing family gifts, purchasing household supplies and gift certificates, purchasing any gifts not fulfilled by parishioners, and delivering gifts to social service sites for families to pick up. We also offer Christmas treats to teenagers experiencing homelessness, VMC participants, and the elderly through Mobile Meals
Family Promise of Knoxville
St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with Family Promise and First Farragut Methodist to keep homeless and low-income families together and out of shelters as they work to achieve sustainable independence. We offer assistance for one day per quarter. Individuals are needed to make supper for the families, plan entertainment, help with homework, and function as overnight hosts.
Sunday Plate Offering
Each week the cash funds in our offering plate are given to a different organization. This gives us 52 opportunities to help with a wide variety of social services locally, nationally, and internationally. You will find the details of each organization in our weekly emails and bulletins.
Gift of the Month
All members of the St. Elizabeth’s family can easily and inexpensively assist many organizations in our community when they donate needed items through the Gift of The Month program. Each month’s designated items are listed in the Crossties newsletter and weekly bulletin; parishioners purchase the items and leave them in the “Care Basket.” A volunteer is needed to keep the area around the Basket organized and neat. In some months, individuals are needed to help deliver items.
The Bountiful Fibers Guild, The Ties That Bind
St. Elizabeth’s members offer handmade happiness with a variety of needlecraft projects. You can knit or crochet hats, scarves and baby blankets for homeless and low-income individuals. You can make prayer shawls for parishioners who have health or other crises. You can make “magic pillowcases” for patients at Children’s Hospital. Yarn and fabric are available for you. We also have people who will teach the skills needed for these crafts.
This picture was taken from Children’s Hospital of one of the pillowcases donated when members of the Lady Vols basketball team visited kids at the hospital.
Our vegetable garden group members grow fresh produce for distribution to west Knoxville food pantries. Opportunities exist for volunteers to become involved in planting, watering, mulching, harvesting, and distributing the produce. A green thumb is optional.
Farragut Greenway Cleanup
Once a quarter, we assist the City of Farragut in cleaning about a mile of the walking trail beginning in Village Green, going behind Farragut Primary School, and traveling a short distance on the other side of Grigsby Chapel Road. It is a delightful walk as you use gloves and grabber sticks to pick up garbage. Suitable for kids and adults.
Becoming Beloved Community
Our work to become the Beloved Community is to purposefully develop a better understanding of the world around us. Some of the ways we do this are through book discussions, outside speakers, field trips, and working with Vine Middle School.
Vine Middle School
We have an ongoing relationship with Vine Middle School, which serves a diverse, inner-city, low-income population. St. E’s assists by providing school supplies, student personal needs, and incentive gifts. Additionally, volunteers contribute time and resources for teacher appreciation, student activities, and the student incentive store.