It’s a funny thing about horizons … you never know what’s waiting just over the edge. Viewed through hope, the dawn brings unexpected opportunities … even within a pandemic. Like many, Saint Francis Ministries found ourselves inspired to find fresh ways of collaborating with clients, stakeholders, and each other. We’ve also sought new ways to build community, strengthen relationships, and safeguard the children and families we serve. Their care will always be our highest priority. Throughout the process, we’ve discovered much about ourselves and explored exciting possibilities of service. And that’s the other thing about horizons … possibility. Even as we continue to adapt and innovate, new vistas are revealed – from Texas and Nebraska, where we have begun significant expansions of services, to our hometown, where we will soon be moving our corporate office to the campus of the former St. John’s Military School, now known as St. John’s Ministry and School. Each move and each change promises more possibilities – to learn, to grow, to serve.
Like pieces of a puzzle, our interlocking relationships define us, guide us, and present us with a view to the world that we could never discover alone. Relationship is foundational to the work of Saint Francis Ministries, and this is especially apparent in our 2019 Annual Report. Everywhere you look, Saint Francis is expanding by building relationships, especially in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mississippi, and now Arkansas. Like the puzzle, each piece is essential to the big picture. You are part of that picture, and without you we have a hole, a gap in our connection. Your relationship with Saint Francis makes everything possible.
Change is the one constant of the universe. Life is motion. Nothing happens in stasis – no growth, no healing. We present to you our most recent snapshot of the programs and services we provide to the children and families in our care. As you can see, Saint Francis Ministries is anything but static. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, we expanded, rebranded, and redefined what it means to minister to the marginalized. Ever adaptable, Saint Francis is always moving, proactively looking for opportunities to serve, to guide, to guard, to heal. Life is motion, and your friendship with Saint Francis makes it possible for us to provide healing in motion.
Our vision calls us to transform lives and systems, which is an ambitious endeavor. Yet, it’s not nearly as daunting as it seems. Our task is simply to serve when we can, offer help where we see need, and do good at every opportunity. Saint Francis has long been an agent of transformation in the lives of those we serve. Through our widening work internationally, we also seek to transform systems by helping change policies and structures that negatively affect children and families.
No one is an island. Like a carefully cultivated garden, we grow and thrive within a web of relationships, each of us necessary and vital to the health of the whole. Over the last year, Saint Francis Community Services has begun strengthening and expanding those relationships, reaching out and forming friendships with those we hope will help grow the garden of this life-affirming ministry.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” We agree. Learn how the Episcopal Church’s Five Marks of Mission guides Saint Francis Community Services and our response to a widening set of challenges to the health, security, and dignity of marginalized children and families.
Since our founding in 1945, Saint Francis Community Services continues to answer the gospel call to love our neighbor. We honor the lives of children and families through our work, including a partnership with the people of the Diocese of El Salvador. It embodies our ministry roots and delivers tangible testimony to our missional identity.