“St. Mark has been doing summer brunches for a while, but earlier this year the Deacons wondered if we could use them for a cause, to help and supplement organizations we already represent within our traditional budget,” said Robin Wade, Deacon at St. Mark Presbyterian. “We’re excited about our new leadership at the church; we’re growing and seeing different ways to make an impact. So we decided to step up the brunches a notch and not just focus on ourselves, but give the congregation another way to be part of our outreach to various organizations.”
“And who doesn’t love food?” Wade continued. “We realized if all the Deacons chip in, help cook and serve, we could do something really exciting. We could help the community while also building community within the church. The brunches are a fun way for church members and visitors to enjoy good food, quality time with each other and the chance to get to know new people. And we also raise extra funds for important ministries. The first one went great.”
Wade was referring to St. Mark’s recent “Brunch for a Cause,” which benefitted both Creative Identity and The Lynn House.
“When we put an organization’s name and a face to it, people see where the funds are going and get excited about it,” she continued. “We are St. Mark, we are the voice of St. Mark, and we represent the church to our communities. We have a passion for social justice and the people in our communities. We get involved and volunteer in our different outreach involvements as much as we can, and this is one of many ways we can make a difference.”
Creative Identity is a 501 (c) (3), nonprofit music and art-based day care program in Anaheim that serves adults, 18 years and older, who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program is based on the
fundamental belief that music and the expressive arts can promote positive change on all levels of human health, well-being, and foster development.
The Lynn House in Costa Mesa is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit home that provides a healing environment for women struggling with drugs and alcohol and who are trying to restore themselves physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially and professionally. Over 5,000 nights of shelter and 15,000 meals are provided to impoverished women each year.
“We had a great turnout for the brunch,” explained Deborah Mayhew, an Elder at St. Mark. “The Deacons all worked hard to make the event a success for these very worthy organizations. A special treat was the jazz music provided by Elena Gilliam and the George Gilliam Trio who had people up dancing!”
“George Gilliam is a music therapist and jazz musician who founded Creative Identity,” Mayhew continued. “A group of Creative Identity singers also provided some of our worship music that morning. It was very moving.”
The next “Brunch for a Cause” will be Sunday August 17 at 10:30 a.m. and will be a fiesta theme featuring breakfast tacos. The cost is $10 for adults and $3 for children.
The brunch will benefit Penny Lane, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that provides care for over 3500 abused and neglected children, youth and families every month. It provides therapeutic residential services, foster family home placements, adoption services, transitional and affordable housing, family preservation, and mental health services for children youth and families through Los Angeles and Orange County.
For more information, go to stmarkpresbyterian.org.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].