WMCN Briefs 6/11

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbGrand Rapids ministers decry racism

The Grand Rapids Association of Pastors (G-RAP), a coalition of pastors committed to work towards unity, reconciliation and justice, held a press conference June 4 on the front steps of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 510 Franklin St. SE, to decry the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

"The pain of our community is on display — a pain rooted in the sin of racism," said Dr. Timothy Harris of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. "As ministers, we believe it is the work of the church to pursue justice in the midst of this pain, and we plan to do this work together, across the lines that have divided us."

Pastors from across the denominational, racial, and economic spectrum spoke at the news conference.

A number of Grand Rapids pastors also took part in a peaceful protest on May 30, praying, providing security and adding their voices to the cries for justice. Others took part in the clean up of downtown on May 31.

Grant enables MTM to offer telehealth services

Mel Trotter Ministries has been awarded a grant for an undisclosed amount by the Saint Mary's Foundation that will enable the nonprofit to offer telehealth services to the homeless. The funds make it possible for guests that stay at Mel Trotter to receive accessible medical care onsite by removing barriers that hinder them from receiving care. Services will be billed through insurance and those without insurance will be guided to resources in the community to receive health insurance.

The COVID-19 pandemic made the lack of proper medical care among the homeless population more clear. Implementing telehealth seemed like the right move, but with so many resources going towards COVID-19 response efforts, MTM turned to the Saint Mary's Foundation for assistance.

"We know now more than ever that medical services are being provided in a different way and many providers have moved to seeing patients through telehealth," says Adrienne Goodstal, vice president of community engagement and advocacy. "Those experiencing homelessness might not have the ability to engage with their doctors in this manner due to a lack of technology, understanding how telehealth works and the lack of privacy to conduct a telehealth appointment. Bringing this service onsite is going to allow our guests an opportunity to either become reengaged with their healthcare provider or get connected to a new provider."

Guests at Mel Trotter Ministries can start seeing doctors through telehealth starting June 16. Staff and volunteers at Mel Trotter will assist guests in scheduling their appointments. Appointments can be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held in the medical exam rooms.

Guiding Light maintains Platinum Seal of Transparency

Guiding Light has again been awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, the world's largest source of information on U.S. nonprofits.

Nonprofits ranked by GuideStar can qualify for any one of four designations. Of the nearly two million nonprofits the organization tracks nationally, approximately 10,000 are rated Platinum, which is the highest level bestowed by GuideStar. It is shared by less than two dozen of the more than 2,300 nonprofits GuideStar tracks in the greater Grand Rapids area.

"GuideStar is a highly respected organization for measuring and interpreting nonprofits' progress," said Stuart P. Ray, executive director at Guiding Light. "The organization's decision to continue to recognize our commitment to accountability and transparency with Platinum status is an honor."

In the greater Grand Rapids area, Guiding Light joins 19 other organizations in earning Platinum status, including Acton Institute, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Junior Achievement of the Great Lakes, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Civic Theater and a few others.

Founded more than 90 years ago, Guiding Light works to engage God's spirit in partnering with individuals to fulfill their God-given potential through rescue, recovery and re-engagement in the community.

Episcopal churches raise over $200,000 for Michigan food banks

The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan will award $220,000 to Michigan food banks to help them respond to the growing need for access to food caused by the COVID-19 virus. Inspired by their desire to help feed the millions of Michiganders who now must rely on food pantries, hundreds of Episcopalians throughout Michigan helped the diocese exceed its initial goal to raise $200,000. Just over a month after the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry was consecrated as the 11th bishop, the coronavirus began spreading and Michigan became a national hot spot.

Moved by reports of historically high demand at local food pantries and soup kitchens, Perry called on the people of the diocese of Michigan to respond by putting their faith into action. The diocese combined money from a fund established in 1940 to assist people with tuberculosis, with gifts from All Saints' Episcopal Church in Pontiac and Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills to create a $100,000 fund, and challenged people in the 76 congregations throughout the diocese to match it.
Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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