Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Training for disaster work - a message from The Rev. Tim Ervolina

We tend to think of mission work as development: sowing the seeds, water properly, carefully pulling out the weeds, just like the farmer in Jesus' Parable of the Sower.

The mission work of Episcopal Relief and Development around the world is grounded in Asset-Based Community Development methodology, an approach that catalyzes change and development by using the existing gifts and capacities of people and their communities. It works. Just look at what's happening in Honduras or in the 40 other countries where Episcopal Relief & Development is working to change lives.

But what happens when a disaster strikes? Episcopal Relief & Development uses ABCD to its fullest after a disaster, when sometimes the only gifts available to respond to it are the gifts of the people themselves.


Mission and Outreach

Our diocese has a focused approach to mission and outreach. Our congregations offer outreach both locally and internationally at the parish level, as well as contribute to our corporate mission in Cange, Haiti.

Please see the menu items in the left sidebar for more information.

Matthew 25

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Matthew 25 Committee
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Commission on Mission and International Concerns

The Matthew 25 Committee draws its name and vision from the words of our Lord in the Gospel of Matthew 25:40: "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

The committee, on behalf of their bishop, along with the lay wardens of each diocesan convocation, has several functions:

  • to evaluate the effectiveness of outreach ministries that receive diocesan funds and recommend funding levels;
  • to evaluate funding requests and make recommendations for the funding of all new requests for diocesan mission funds;
  • to maintain a database of outreach "best practices" from around the diocese and from the larger Church which can be used by congregationsto launch or expand their community outreach;
  • to develop and recommend policy statements that "interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world" and "to make Christ and his redemptive love known" to the world.

The vision of the Matthew 25 Committee is to see every congregation in the diocese planting ministries of compassion and justice; every ministry seeking God's transformation for the poor and those at risk; and every congregation finding renewal as it reaches out with the love of Christ to the "least" of his family.


 Grants and Guidelines

Matthew 25 grants support ministries of compassion and justice; congregations may decide which under category their ministry falls. Compassion ministries work to help hurting people. Justice ministries work to end that which hurts people. Compassion addresses the needs of people and alleviates suffering. Justice works to right wrongs, or for advocacy. Transformation also becomes our own story as we extend ourselves in the love and power of Jesus. Our vision for ministry expects that God will bring revitalization and renewal to our congregations as we become faithful to ministering with "the least, the last, and the lost."  Therefore, Matthew 25 grants are given with a priority on increasing relationships between people in our congregations with poor and at risk people in the communities around us.

Basic Grant Information

  • Due to limited resources through the diocesan Statement of Mission, we recommend that you request no more than $2,000 from Matthew 25.
  • Grants are available to help start or expand compassion and/or justice ministries through convocations and congregations for transformational ministry to poor or at risk people.    
  • These are one-time grants, but the ministry should be planned as a long term effort.  All proposals should exhibit clear plans to sustain their ministry beyond the grant year.
  •  Approval for funding includes a visit from a Matthew 25 representative sometime during the year.
  • Matthew 25 also offers consultant services to assist in the ministry. A consultant may visit with you at your request of the rector, vicar or priest-in-charge.
  • Funds will be sent to individual congregations/convocations selected to receive grants. The funds are intended to mobilize congregations toward servant ministry and are not intended for individuals, other not-for-profit organizations, or agencies.
  • Congregations or Convocations that receive grants will receive a report form that is to be completed and returned to the Diocesan office. These reports are critical for evaluation.

Requirement of both grant types (1 year and 3 year)

  • All questions in the grant application must be addressed.
  • Reports submitted in a timely manner. Especially important for 3 year grants to be eligible for the next year funding.
  • Reports of grant activities should include what worked and what did not. The Matthew 25 committee wants to know about your successes and your failures. Please tell us the number of people served, dollars spent, and number of people helping with the Ministry. These reports will be used for future grants.

Please click here for the most recent Matthew 25 Grant application.

Past Awards

Past awards to parishes have gone to fund ministries such as backpack programs, food pantries, music lessons for underpriviledged children, school partnerships, after-school support programs, community gardens, mentoring programs for students and more.

Hispanic Ministries

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The rationale for this Committee is as follows:
•    As of 2009, the total population of the 22 counties which comprise the Diocese had grown by only 15% during the period since the 2000 Census, but the Hispanic population in this area had grown by 130%, nearly nine times as fast.  As a result, there are now several counties in which Hispanics represent an important proportion of the population, including Saluda (16%), Newberry (10%) and Greenville (8%).
•    At the national level, The Episcopal Church has recognized the growing importance of Hispanic ministry (the United States is the world’s second-biggest Hispanic “country), and has developed a strategic vision for reaching Latinos/Hispanics (published in 2009).
•    In the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, we have been responding to these realities by sponsoring two Hispanic missioners for several years, working in Columbia and Greenville, primarily.  Unfortunately, over at least the past two years, the Statement of Mission has not provided the support which our Hispanic missioners feel they need.

The fundamental purpose of the Committee for Hispanic Ministry would be to provide guidance and direction to Diocesan efforts in this area.  Given population growth trends, there is clearly opportunity for evangelism among Latinos/Hispanics in Upper South Carolina. In addition, it is likely that the committee could provide input of importance for discernment related to future selection of clergy and staff.

Episcopal Relief and Development

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of The Episcopal Church and is guided by the principles of compassion, dignity, and generosity. In working to heal a hurting world ERD takes its mandate from the words of Jesus that call us to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and welcome the stranger. Episcopal Relief and Development is addressing the Millennium Development Goals in countries around the world. Read ERD success stories here.

Here's how you can help ERD change lives around the world.

92% of all contributions to Episcopal Relief and Development go to those in need. For additional financial information click here.

The Episcopal Relief and Development diocesan coordinator:

Serves on the Commission on Mission and International Concerns 
Shares ERD information with congregational reps, our bishop, and the Canon for Communications
Offers two ERD Training Days for congregational reps and others
Has a goal of having an ERD rep for each church. Most churches have an ERD rep.
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the current ERD diocesan coordinators, with questions.

February 2015 - A video playlist from ERD, including one called Celebrating Our Shared History. A great way to learn more about ERD!

  • Bishop Waldo Calls to Order
  • Bishop Greg Rickel on Stewardship
  • Leadership Day
  • Dean Timothy Jones of Trinity Cathedral
  • The Rev. Dr. James Farwell
  • Ms. Terri Mathes
  • Closing Plenary Before Evensong
  • Bill Hunter of the Advent Shoppe
  • Christ Church Before Evensong
  • Gravatt Booth
  • Thompson Booth
  • Canterbury Booth
  • Sewanee Booth
  • Business Day
  • Cursillo 130 1
  • Cursillo 130 2
  • Cursillo 130 3
  • Cursillo 130 4
  • Cursillo 130 5
  • Cursillo 130 6
  • Cursillo 130 7
  • Cursillo 130 8
  • Cursillo 130 9
  • Cursillo 130 10
  • Cursillo 130 11