First Sundays Outreach Project

“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The First Sundays Outreach Project is a monthly outreach activity for adults, youth, and children that takes place on the first Sundays of the month from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

The activities and the community organizations they benefit are specifically chosen to tie to the themes of the liturgical season, as well as liturgical readings and sermons throughout that month.

All are welcome and encouraged to come – to listen, learn, help, and share in conversation and fellowship with one another.

Sunday, February 6

Layette Ministry to support Trinity Episcopal Church

Sunday, December 4

Whatever you do for these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.


The Christmas story reminds us of the fact that Jesus and Mary and Joseph were forced to leave their homes several times.  We see Jesus in the faces of all refugees.

In December we will focus on refugees, particularly on recently displaced Afghan evacuees coming to Columbus, the agencies that resettle them, and Saint Mark’s own efforts to help.

We will make welcome bags for our new neighbors.


Sunday, November 7

The Welcome Home Re-Entry Program

As Advent approaches, the lectionary begins to focus on the second coming of Christ and the kingdom of God that will be brought to perfection when Christ comes again.  One part of the fulfillment of God’s will on earth is setting free those who are in prisoned.

Our project for this month focuses on ways we can support people recently released from prison re-enter society in a way that reduces the chances of reoffending.

There will be a brief introduction to the issues facing returning citizens. We’ll be joined by Johnny Turner, the Reentry Coordinator for Franklin County’s Office of Justice Policy & Programs. Johnny has a wealth of knowledge to share about the challenges faced by returning citizens and the resources available for meeting those challenges. More than that, he can relate countless true stories from his own life and work about the experience of families living without an incarcerated parent, and the experience of returning citizens building new lives after release.

The activity is to package supplies for a Welcome Home kit of basic necessities for people who are reentering society after recent incarceration.

The Welcome Home Re-Entry project
The Welcome Home reentry project began with a suggestion by Saint Mark’s Parishioner, Marilyn Smith, after hearing Columbus attorney David Singleton talk with the Sacred Conversations group about his work with Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC). OJPC is a nonprofit law firm that aims to make Ohio’s criminal legal system an instrument of genuine redemption for the thousands of people it touches every year.

You can see the video of the First Sunday presentation here.