St. Joseph Catholic Church

Missions Committee Ministry

The primary role of the Missions Committee Ministry is to create and maintain missionary service opportunities for parishioners.  The “new evangelization” calls each of us to be Christ’s eyes, ears, hands and feet; serving, evangelizing, and ministering to our brothers and sisters in most need.  The approach is to form long-term partnerships with existing organizations that meet certain criteria for Christian service.  A “menu” of local, regional, and international missionary service options are made available for individuals, couples, youth, and families to share their time, talent, and treasure.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The 2019 Missions Committee Report to the Parish is available here.

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St. Joseph Catholic Church is partnering with St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on our first ever mission trip to Guatemala. The dates of the trip are Sat, Feb 15th – Sunday, Feb 23rd. Nurses (especially those with surgical experience), a pharmacist, and a team to do construction work are needed. The cost of the trip is $2,000 which is (tax deductible) and partial scholarships are available. If interested please contact Theresa Gerard at 501.514.0706 for more information . The deadline to lock in the airline tickets for the trip is the first week of November. Click here for mission trip details.

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 9th, 4-8pm at Saint Peter’ Episcopal Church for GEMM Fest to support the Guatemala Mission Trip. They are having Live Blues Music, Bar-B-Que and Beer, to fund raise for our upcoming joint mission trip to Guatemala. This will also feature a Guatemala style market and art gallery. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased at GEMMFEST.COM. Hope you can join us for an evening of fun.

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The next St. Joseph Church Men of Faith Appalachia Mission Trip will be on Tuesday, June 2 through Saturday, June 6, 2020. Details will become available in March 2020.

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Adopt A Meal at Bethlehem House; consider preparing and serving a meal at Bethlehem House in 2020. The Missions Committee is looking for volunteers to prepare and serve a meal at Bethlehem House on behalf of St. Joseph's Church for the upcoming year.  This is a great volunteer opportunity for parish families and friends. Bethlehem House, a homeless shelter in Conway, feeds up to 60 people nightly. Anyone who is hungry is invited into this caring home for dinner. Menu ideas include:

Six- 9x13 casserole dishes of: lasagna, spaghetti, chicken or beef fajitas, burritos, meatloaf; or 4-6 large pots of: chicken or/and vegetable soup, chili; any heavy meat/protein dish.

Additional items (nice but not required): breads (rolls, wraps, muffins, crackers); sides (salad, green beans, or corn); desserts (ice-cream, cookies, pies, cakes).

If you are interested in becoming a Team Leader for a group of your family members or friends to adopt a meal, please contact Celeste Bailey at 501-327-5528 or [email protected] for the available dates and additional information.


OUR MISSION OUTREACH:

Missions for Transitions:  Parish volunteers collect, deliver, and setup households (furniture/furnishings) for individuals and families transitioning from Conway area shelters into their new homes. These clients are referred by local shelters, charitable organizations, and from members of the parish. This mission work is usually performed on Saturday mornings, and is a great opportunity for families and students to volunteer and serve our community. Photos of this work can be viewed here.

Handyman Services:  Parish volunteers provide home maintenance, repairs, and disaster response for parishioners and others who need help in the Conway area. Consideration is given to clients who submit Handymen Evangelizing Local Parishioners (HELP) requests (click here), and to referrals submitted by local  charitable organizations and parishioners. Projects include refurbishing “recycled” Habitat for Humanity houses; in return, the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Conway donates furniture for our Missions for Transition clients. Handyman projects are normally performed on Saturdays and some weekdays in the Conway area. This mission offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, students and retirees who enjoy working with their hands. Photos of previous projects can be viewed here.

Pack the Pantry:  More than 4 tons of food are collected and distributed each year to Conway area food pantries such as the Soul Food Café Mission, Bethlehem House, and Last Chance Ministries.  These ministries feed over 500 hungry people each week, and our parish's food and cash donations help keep their food pantries stocked throughout the year. Food donations are requested from parish families during the first weekend Masses each month.

Community Assistance Program: The Missions Committee provides financial support for local families to help pay for utility bills, rent, medical expenses, and other needs.  Potential clients are referred by local agencies and our parishioners. 

Bethlehem House Meals:  Monthly evening meals are scheduled at the Bethlehem House in Conway.  These meals are prepared and served by parish families, friends and organizations. Each year about 800 homeless and hungry in our community are served by this mission.

Depressed Parish Support: Inspired by the Diocese of Little Rock’s in-state mission initiative call One Church, the St. Joseph Church Mission Committee, under its own Depressed Parish Support Mission, performs repairs and maintenance tasks on church facilities in depressed communities in Arkansas. Work is normally performed on Saturdays. This mission is a good opportunity for individuals, families, students and retirees to help other parishes in other parts of our state. Photos of past Depressed Parish Support missions can be viewed here.

Men of Faith Appalachia Mission TripEach June, men of the parish travel to one of the poorest counties in the United States, Floyd County, Kentucky, to perform 3 days of home repair and maintenance projects which are arranged by Hand-in-Hand Ministries. Projects include replacing roofs, rebuilding porches, building wheel chair ramps, repairing interior floors and walls, plumbing and electrical work. This is an excellent opportunity for fellowship, to make new friends, and to learn new home repair skills. The next trip is June 2-6, 2020; details for this trip will be available in March 2020. Photos from the 2019 trip can be viewed here.  2018 trip photos can be viewed here.

Project Encounter:  The Missions Committee subsidizes supplies for Blessing Bags for the homeless. Mission volunteers assist our parish's youth with organizing and assembling these bags with contents donated by parishioners. Parish families distribute about 400 bags each year to the needy on Conway area streets.

Lending Library:  Religious books & CDs are available to parishioners free of charge at the kiosk located in the chapel vestibule. These are updated regularly during liturgical seasons. 

Family Mission Trip: The Missions Committee subsidizes the Family Mission Trip. During Spring break, parish families with kids work on projects at the St. Joseph's Home in North Little Rock.

City of Hope Outreach (CoHO) Hope Home for Men: This transition house for men in Conway receives monthly donations from the Missions Committee to support their operations.

Harbor Home for Women: This Conway residential community for women in crisis receives monthly donations, as well as donations of household supplies, from the Missions Committee.

Local Partnerships: The Missions Committee has partnered with local organizations and businesses for supporting non-profit events, and for obtaining donations for our parish's missions. These include:

  • Hosting the Empty Bowls Dinner at St. Joseph Church benefiting the Bethlehem House
  • Supporting CAPCA’s Project Homeless Connect event, and Holiday Food Box & Book Drive
  • Supporting CoHO’s Gala and Thanksgiving Meal events
  • Providing volunteers for refurbishing “recycled” Habitat for Humanity houses
  • Habitat for Humanity Restore donates used furniture for Missions for Transitions clients
  • Purchases furniture from the St. Joseph’s Flea Market for Missions for Transitions
  • Catholic Financial Life matches cash donations for Pack the Pantry & obtains furniture for Missions for Transitions

 Interested in volunteering? Check the table below to determine if a specific mission or outreach program is suitable for you, and send us a Missions Volunteer Interest Form.

ACTIVITY ADULTS COUPLES FAMILIES STUDENTS
Missions for Transitions X X X X
Pack the Pantry X X X X
Handyman Services X X X X
Bethlehem House Meals X X X X
HELP Requests X      
Community Assistance Program X      
Assist with Partner Events X X X X
Project Encounter X X X X
Empty Bowls Event X X X X
Men of Faith Appalachia Mission Trip X     X
Family Mission Trip     X  
International Mission Trip X X X X
Lending Library X X X X
Missions Committee X X    


The Missions Committee also performs other administrative functions related to missions on behalf of the parish.

Missionary Cooperation Plan:  Members of the Missions Committee accept and vet applications from organizations outside of the Diocese of Little Rock that wish to make an appeal to the parish concerning missions. Approved applicants are then coordinated and scheduled on the parish calendar.

Confirmation Service Days:  In cooperation with the Confirmation coordinator, committee members create and schedule opportunities with partner organizations for parish youth preparing for Confirmation to fulfill their “Service Days” requirements.

POVERTY AWARENESS PRESENTATION (PDF)
Presented January 12, 2016

Volunteer opportunities abound; serving on the Missions Committee, subcommittees, and established missionary programs. Contact: Don Greenland, 501-329-2321