One of my favorite annual events is the Sheltering Arms Grantee Luncheon. It’s a wonderful gathering that brings together the Sheltering Arms Board (made up of Episcopal Women from across the state) and grant recipients from all parts of Minnesota.
If you are not familiar with Sheltering Arms, here is their Mission Statement and History:
The Sheltering Arms Foundation invests in the lives of Minnesota’s children to help them reach their full potential. We fund non-profit organizations and support policies that benefit children and their families who have the least access to resources.
Sheltering Arms, founded in 1882 by Deaconess Annette Relf, is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of women members of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota. In response to the changing needs of children Sheltering Arms successively operated an orphanage, a hospital for children with polio, and a day school for special needs children. In 1983, Sheltering Arms was reincorporated as The Sheltering Arms Foundation. Consistent with the beliefs of the founders, the Foundation continues to be committed to the well being of children.
There are three things, besides the fabulous lunch, that I particularly appreciate about this gathering. First and foremost, it is an incredible witness to the number of agencies, organizations, and Episcopal Churches that are doing phenomenal work with children in our state.
Second, the format of the event is focused on storytelling. Over and over again you hear powerful testimonies of how a particular group is changing the lives of people who find themselves in particularly challenging situations.
Finally, at its core, the work of Sheltering Arms is providing a multitude of Missional Innovative Partnerships. They continually work with a wide variety of groups to make a real and significant impact in neighborhoods across our great state.
Sheltering Arms Sunday is taking place this Sunday, February 7. This year’s theme is Take Action for Our Children. On this Sunday, we are calling on our faith communities to consider what can be done to nurture and protect vulnerable children, and what roles they can play in making this happen.
I would also encourage you to visit the Sheltering Arms Foundation’s website to learn more about this event.
We are truly blessed in ECMN for the longstanding and important ministry of Sheltering Arms.