This week marks a critical step toward launching a single, diocesan-wide outreach mission. The Social Justice and Outreach Committee is hoping to secure a commitment from every parish to help in a home restoration project with Habitat for Humanity.

A letter with a commitment form was e-mailed late last week by the Rev. Nate Rugh on behalf of the committee. It asks parishes to "pledge" how many volunteers and work days they can provide, and how much financial support the parish can contribute.

The letter invites parish liaisons to meet this Thursday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside.

As many as 18 parishes have expressed an interest in taking part.

The project involves assisting Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh in renovating a house for a family in Sharpsburg over a series of days beginning in May. Organizers hope to have a work schedule ready for the April 15th meeting, so that parishes can begin to commit to specific days.

Participants will help with patching and smoothing dry wall, interior painting and the necessary prep work, installing carpeting in the attic, and fixing up the basement.

Material needs include:

   ♦  Paint supplies: brushes, rollers, paint pans, etc.
   ♦  1500 square feet of drop cloths or floor protectors
   ♦  Two steel doors with storm doors
   ♦  30 sheets of plywood
   ♦  Washer & Dryer
   ♦  Hot water heater
   ♦  Furnace

Parishes will be responsible for enlisting and scheduling their volunteers, assisting with meals, raising funds, and keeping their congregations informed. The diocese will provide coordinators and committees to assist.

For its part, Habitat provides an on-site construction director and three AmeriCorps/VISTA coordinators, along with support staff that works with the recipient family.

For more information, contact Nancy Lapp at

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