We hold two to three blood drives a year, Advent, Lent, and summer, at St. Philip’s Church. Houchin Blood Bank usually collects 25 pints of blood at each drive. We get a good response from our parishioners, with new donors at each blood drive, and repeat donors. So far we have had only Saturday blood drives, but we may try a Sunday morning blood drive. That seems like a good idea, since so many people are already here for Mass.
“3D” Whole Life - Eating Right, Living Well, Loving God
This is a 12-week program focused on diet, discipline, and discipleship. We have offered this program twice, with an average of four participants per session. Some participants have found great encouragement and success in their pursuit of a healthier life and have finished the 12 weeks. Some have not completed the 12 weeks.
Philippian 50 Plus is a monthly potluck with a speaker for our parishioners who are, as the name suggests, over 50 years of age. The speakers include health education, community resources, entertainment, and more.
In addition, there is a monthly Senior Outreach meeting. This meeting provides social interaction in the form of games, story-telling, and celebrations.
Periodically, trips out of town are planned to sites of interest to our seniors.
Recruiting and training enough volunteers is always a challenge, though I am amazed by the dedication of many of the volunteers, some of which have served for years.
Walking with those with mental illness has proved to be a great challenge. I have sought to educate myself by attending classes taught by NAMI, which have been helpful. I continue to walk with one woman in her illness, often feeling like I am accomplishing nothing, but not wanting to abandon her as so many others have.
Prayer Blanket Ministry
Volunteers knit, crochet, or quilt lap blankets to be given to the sick. Some volunteers meet twice a month to work, fellowship, and pray together. Blankets are taken to a communal anointing service twice a year and blessed by our pastor, Rev. Msgr. Ronald J. Swett. Blankets are then given upon request. Twenty to thirty blankets have been given in the last year. Materials are usually donated, and monetary donations are often made for the blankets.
The purpose of this ministry is two-fold. The primary purpose is to provide a tangible sign of the prayers of the community, in the form of a blanket. Two, as an added benefit, it provides fellowship, prayer, and healing for the volunteers working together to make the blankets.