St. Francis by the Lake has been an Episcopal presence at Canyon Lake since the 1970s. Fr. David came to St. Francis in 2010. He had been searching for a parish that was highly involved in outreach ministry. When he found St. Francis, he found what he was looking for. Presently, they have 70 different outreach ministries; some are one-person ministries, while others involve a whole team. A few of those ministries are international.
A few of St. Francis’ parishioners first learned about Family Promise through Marie and Pastor Paul Miller of St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Canyon Lake. St. Andrew was hosting families, and upon learning about the program, St. Francis volunteers offered support to St. Andrew during the week they were hosting families. Fr David and the parish felt called to be even more involved. This became a very important detail to factor in as they made plans to build what they call their Ministry and Outreach Center. They’ve continued to support St. Andrew, but they are very glad to be able to host families now.
From a biblical and theological standpoint, Fr. David and his parish believe that caring for those in need is one of the primary tasks of the church. The first leaders of the church directed that some believers be tasked with caring for those who had no one else to care for them. (Acts 6.1-6) This and other mandates have been their inspiration and guidance, and especially:
...Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14.16 (NKJV)
This call, however, goes deeper. One of the reasons why Fr David and St. Francis feel so strongly about supporting Family Promise is, they see its ministry implications: Family Promise not only feeds the hungry, but also embraces the families, gives them shelter, walks with them through their hardships, and offers appropriate support to break the cycle of homelessness. Meeting people where they are and helping them in ways that encourage empowerment is something about which Fr. David is passionate.
We are so grateful that Fr. David and the entire St. Francis by the Lake parish have joined the Family Promise family.