The Working Poor

05.12.17 | by Bill Cargill | by Stephen Bodwell

    At Church of the Incarnation, Dick Granger is one of our parish saints.

    He quietly and selflessly reached out to those in the parish neighborhood who needed a hand. He personally provided food, clothing, and funds to countless unnamed neighbors, and his efforts earned him the recognition as “Founder” of Incarnation Outreach. Inspired by the example set by Dick and to continue his work, Stuart Bush and Drew Bradford set about in 2005 to organize a ministry that would serve the working poor in our neighborhood.

    The Dick Granger Neighborhood Ministry (Granger Ministry) is named in Dick’s honor because it carries out the daily vocation that Dick established at Incarnation. The ministry is modeled after the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, the Granger Ministry works closely with the SVDP chapters locally.

    For a large number of families in our neighborhood, it doesn’t take much of a setback for families to find themselves at the edge of hunger and homelessness. We provide episodic financial assistance to the working poor focusing our resources on our local neighborhood (75204 and North Dallas High School’s feeder pattern) and to anyone in our parish family who has a valid need for financial assistance. Additionally, if a parishioner meets someone in the community, who they feel led by God to connect with the Granger Ministry, we will consider the case. We assist through consultation and advocacy, and we also ensure that intercessory prayer is made on behalf of the client in need. We are problem-solvers who make immediate and meaningful contributions to the lives of our clients.

    Granger Ministry touches numerous aspects of the Mission & Outreach Department including the Angel Tree ministry, Day of Service, Incarnation House, the Community Health Fair, and the various North Dallas High School ministries.

    How the Granger Ministry seeks to contribute to achieving our mission as a parish:

    • Serve the Poor – Granger Ministry took its first case in 2006. Since then, we have handled over 500 cases, directly assisting the lives of more than 1,500 people (in particular many children) in our neighborhood and parish, students and their immediate family at North Dallas High School, single parent households, and the elderly. We’ve assisted in numerous ways including cash payments of more than $300,000 for rent, utilities, food, and other essentials, much of it from the unsolicited generosity of numerous parishioners.
    • Grow Disciples of Jesus Christ – Granger Ministry’s mission is to help our volunteers find spiritual growth through personal service in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ calls us to feed, give drink, clothe, and welcome those in need. Our ministry recognizes that service to our brother or sister facing difficulty, is an encounter with Jesus. We seek to provide relief while upholding the dignity and confidentiality of those we assist and, hopefully, we leave our client with the reciprocal impression that they have also encountered Christ in our mutual contact.
    • Raise up Christian Leaders – The work of visiting clients and seeing their cases through to conclusion offers ministers the opportunity to grow and develop a variety of skills in the service of the client. Ministers work collaboratively as members of a team and are always partnered in the case process.
    • Worship in the Great Tradition of the Church – We look for the opportunity to invite clients to worship with us at Incarnation. For ourselves, we meet approximately once per quarter for Evening Prayer.

    Getting Involved:

    Our teams take turns throughout the year handling one or two cases and covering the ministry hotline for two weeks every year. Ministers work in pairs and meet clients face to face most often at the client’s residence. If you are computer and email conversant and want to make a tangible difference in the lives of our neighbors, we would welcome you as a member of our team. Spanish speakers are also particularly valuable for our clients.

    Stuart and Drew faithfully served this ministry for over a decade. During that time, Granger Ministry has become the core of our parish’s Mission 75204 outreach. As new leaders of the ministry, we will seek to meet their example as well as look for new ways to support our shared mission.