St. Agnes House

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A Home Away From Home When You Or A Loved One Needs Medical Care.

A Jubilee Ministry of The Episcopal Church

Check out the tabs to learn more about the St. Agnes House!

St Agnes’ House provides physical, emotional, spiritual and economic respite during a difficult time in the lives of our guests. While we always appreciate donations, the $10 per person per night fee we ask for is not required and can be waived or even sponsored by some of the donations the house receives.

We are called to help those in great need and provide for them the emotional and spiritual support of a home during their period of recovery  or moments of worry for their loved ones. Our staff and volunteers are pleased to assist guests with their needs.

DONATE TODAY!
See the Get Involved page for all of the ways you can contribute to St. Agnes’ House.  

Do you have a Kroger PLUS Card?  Link your card to St. Agnes’ House and every purchase provides a donation to St. Agnes’ House!  St. Agnes’ House Kroger number is 10910.  Go to our Get Involved Page for detailed instructions.

Our budget for 2014 is $107,112.  In addition, we rely upon in-kind donations of cleaning and office supplies.

Help Close the Funding Gap Today! Donate online!

Help close our funding gap of $43,512.75 by December 31, 2014.  Donate today!

Help close our funding gap of $43,512.75 by December 31, 2014. Donate today!

QR Code 2014 Kentucky Gives April 9  St. Agnes’ House Kentucky Gives Profile Page.

Check out our Good Giving Profile Page!  You can donate and also find out more about our operations.

A View from the Porch (October 15, 2014)

This week, I’m at St. Agnes’ House.  Upon arriving Sunday evening, I found 50 donations that had arrived in the past two weeks.  I dutifully recorded them and prepared them for deposit.  Tuesday evening, I prepared the thank-you notes.  Then I started signing them.

There’s something about that many at one time…that many names to record…that many people to thank.  As I signed my name to each one, I found myself wondering who all of you were.  So many of you are total strangers to me.   In so many cases, I’m not even familiar with where you live.  We’ve never met.  Many of you have given again and again.  “Oh, I recognize this name,” I think.

And I wonder about you.  I wonder about how you look, trying to think if your signature somehow describes your face.  I wonder what your life story is.  I wonder what generosity of nature compels you to sit down and write out a check and give to St. Agnes’ House.  What is your connection to the people who stay here?  What is it that motivates you to give of your treasure to help total strangers?

In three weeks, you’ve given nearly $9,000, an amount that operates the House for a month.  Some of you give when you receive our letters.  Some of you give each month.  Some of you give online.  Some of you give once a year.

Maybe one day I’ll get to meet you.  Maybe one day I’ll get to thank you in person.  Maybe one day, you can tell me your story.  For now, please know as I signed my name to thank you, I said a prayer of thanks for you!

Enjoy our view from the porch!  I’ve also included some photos of our red doors!  Donnie has been busy once again and painted all of the exterior doors.  We bought red paint and explained that red doors are characteristic of Episcopalians and are a sign of welcome.

Love, Rebecca+

In-Kind donations always help!

Recently, we’ve received in-kind donations of toilet paper and cleaning wipes from Bluegrass United Church of Christ.  If you’d like to donate, here’s what we need most right now:

Bleach
Fabric dryer sheets
lysol spray
Shower Cleaner
Trash bags – tall kitchen
Laundry Soap

Donate to St. Agnes’ House through Kroger Rewards Card
Our organization number is 10910. For more information on linking your card, go here.

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to take the time to thank those of you who run, and volunteer here at St. Agnes.  I don’t know what my family and I would have done if not for this place.  Because of your generosity I am able to spend time with my babies every single day.  Something I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.  For that, I am forever grateful.  Having two premature babies in the NICU is stressful enough without having to wonder where you’re going to lay your head down at night.  If there were more places like this, and more people like those who keep this place running, the world would be so much better.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and will forever be in your debt.  There simply aren’t enough words for me to even begin to express my gratitude.  From a recent guest.

View of the porch today.  Had to take the flag down yesterday because the wind was bending it!  And notice the mums still blooming.

View of the porch today. Had to take the flag down yesterday because the wind was bending it! And notice the mums still blooming.

It's fall and all of the plants are inside rather than on the porch.

It’s fall and all of the plants are inside rather than on the porch.

A gray fall day.

A gray fall day.

Front Door

Front Door

Door from the patio to the Front House

Door from the patio to the Front House

Door from the patio into the back house.  See the concrete repairs to the cracks, too.

Door from the patio into the back house. See the concrete repairs to the cracks, too.

A View from the Porch, Sort of (October 9)

This week I attended the Diocesan Clergy Days at the Cathedral Domain.  Each year Bishop Hahn gathers us together.  We enjoy each other’s company, hear what’s happening around the Diocese and also explore important issues.  This year was no exception.

Yet, whenever I’m away from St. Agnes’ House, I’m still in touch.  Our phone system sends every voice mail message to me (and to Mary) in an email.  My email is full of voice mail messages and at a certain point in the day, I listen to them…one after another.

I hear the voices of each person as they leave their name, the dates they need lodging and for how many people.  I hear how they’re at the hospital right now and need a place to stay tonight.  I hear about their loved ones in the hospital and how they don’t really know how long they’ll need a room.  I hear from the social workers, who now are well known to us, about another family who desperately needs a place to stay.

And I know Mary is taking notes on each person, working her magic to put them in a room if she can or placing them on a waiting list in case a room becomes available.  Hearing the desperate pleas in the voicemails and not having a room is difficult, yet it is a common reality.

So, Mary and Reynold, assisted by a host of volunteers, clean bathrooms and kitchens, change beds and vacuum floors, doing what we can.  And the calls continue to come….

Kroger Rewards Card

If you haven’t done so already, consider linking your Kroger Rewards Care to St. Agnes’ House.  Our number is 10910.

Enjoy this fall view of the Cathedral Domain….

This was my view from the porch this week as I attended the Clergy Conference at the Cathedral Domain.

This was my view from the porch this week as I attended the Clergy Conference at the Cathedral Domain.

 

A View From the Porch (October 1, 2014)

Recently, St. Agnes’ House received a beautiful certificate designating us as a Jubilee Ministry of The Episcopal Church.  

Our Jubilee Ministry Certificate!

Our Jubilee Ministry Certificate!

A Jubilee Ministry is a “ministry of joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people, wherever they are found, to meet basic human needs and to build a just society.”

The year of Jubilee is mentioned in Leviticus as occurring every 50 years.  At that time all slaves and prisoners were to be set free, debts were forgiven and the special mercies of God were thought to be especially given.  January 1, is known as a Day of Jubilee in African-American history, because the Emanicipation Proclamation was effective on that day.

Freedom, especially for people who are poor and oppressed.  That’s at the heart of St. Agnes’ House.  Because the truth is, when you can’t afford the health care you need or don’t have access to the health care you need, your freedom is curtailed.

We are proud to be a Jubilee Ministry of The Episcopal Church, working for freedom from poverty and freedom from oppression!

Enjoy our view from the porch!

Rebecca+

An Abundance of Jubilee!

Over the past couple of days, I’ve felt an abundance of Jubilee!

  • Nineteen people responded to our fundraising mailing within a week, raising nearly $3,500 or enough money to operate St. Agnes’ House for 12 days! Thanks for your rapid and generous response.  By December 31, we must raise close to $45,000 to meet our 2014 budget.  The $3,500 is a great start!  It’s not too late to donate.
  • The ECW of Trinity Church, Georgetown stopped by to donate numerous sets of sheets!  Resurrection also collected plenty of supplies for the House.
  • Emanuel, Winchester, and the ECW of the Church of the Nativity made generous donations.  St. Patrick’s, Somerset and the ECW of St. Raphael’s continued their monthly generous donations.
  • Good Shepherd quilters dropped off some lovely quilts for our guests to take home!
  • Donnie and Reynold continued the renovation of the back entrance, especially in our traditional “welcome” red.
  • Students started painting Room 2.
  • Student volunteers are coming regularly, enjoying their time at the House.

Freedom, love and joy abound in the midst of very difficult times for families.  Thank you!

Thanks to Good Shepherd Quilters for these lovely lap robes

Thanks to Good Shepherd Quilters for these lovely lap robes

Doesn't our back porch look fabulous!  Donnie and Reynold were at it again, painting the door and railing Episcopal red.

Doesn’t our back porch look fabulous! Donnie and Reynold were at it again, painting the door and railing Episcopal red.

Link your Kroger Rewards Card to St. Agnes’ House!  Do you have a Kroger PLUS Card?  Link your card to St. Agnes’ House and every purchase provides a donation to St. Agnes’ House!  St. Agnes’ House Kroger number is 10910.  Go to our Get Involved Page for detailed instructions.

A Kentucky fog morning.

A Kentucky fog morning.

The tree across the street heralds fall.

The tree across the street heralds fall.

Foggy morning.  Leaves just starting to change.

Foggy morning. Leaves just starting to change.

A View from the Porch (September 24, 2014)

This week I’m attending the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College.  Berea College Appalachian Fund has been generous in their contributions to St. Agnes’ House and encourages grantees to attend this institute.  There are keynote speakers and attendees from Eastern Kentucky and surrounding states.  There are a number of intensive learning tracks amounting to 12 hours of subject matter.  Last year, I had a refresher course on fund development and fundraising.

This year, I’m taking a course on strengthening communication.  I can be a little jaded about learning new things, but I’m finding this course interesting, because it’s putting together knowledge in a new way for me…a way that will strengthen relationships and working together.

While it feels tough to be away from St. Agnes’ House for two days, it’s good to hear different perspectives, to gain new skills, and to meet people who are working hard to make our communities great places to live.

Enjoy this view from the Berea College porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Have you linked your Kroger Plus Card to St. Agnes’ House, 10910?

Link your Kroger Plus Card to St. Agnes’ House, number 10910, and your purchases will benefit us.  For detailed instructions, see our “Get Involved” Page.

Fall Fundraising Request in the Mail.  $42,000 needed by December 31 to meet the 2014 budget.

You should have received our Fall fund request by now.  At the end of August, we needed to raise $42,000 to meet our 2014 budget.  Any contribution is welcome and $105 will pay for three rooms (1/3 of our rooms) for one day.

Around this fountain is inscribed the "motto" for Berea College.  Says a lot about their history.

Around this fountain is inscribed the “motto” for Berea College. Says a lot about their history.

God has made of one blood...

God has made of one blood…

...All Peoples of the Earth

…All Peoples of the Earth

The History of Berea College

The History of Berea College

Historic Boone Tavern famous for its Spoonbread.

Historic Boone Tavern famous for its Spoonbread.

A View From The Porch (September 18, 2014)

This week I’m in Corbin.  Yesterday, Mary sent me some exciting photos.  Now, you may not think they are as exciting as I do.  They are photos of the back steps to the “back house.”

The steps are concrete and who knows how long they’ve carried the many feet in and out of the house.  They are right by the parking lot.  They’re heavily used, in other words.  Well, their age, coupled with the harsh winter snows and ice just about did them in.  The concrete had “melted” away in places, leaving only stones.  The metal bars that strengthened the steps were exposed and tinging the surrounding concrete with red.

We’d gotten quotes to fix them, but didn’t have it in our budget to do this year.  So, I put the cost in a grant proposal and prayed the steps could last another winter.

But Donnie and Reynold had other plans!  Donnie, in his late 40s, tall and thin with dark brown hair, is staying at St. Agnes’ House with his wife.  They have a little baby in the NICU.  Donnie knows construction and he knows concrete.  He insisted he could fix up the stairs, including strengthening the hand railing, which had eroded at its base.

Last week Donnie and I went to Home Depot.  Interestingly enough (a God thing?), there was a salesman demonstrating a special concrete product.  It was much more expensive, but had properties that regular cement doesn’t have.  After further discussions, Donnie decided to try it out.

Even though the day wasn’t the best, Donnie couldn’t wait and had to begin.  His son had come by to drop off some concrete fixing tools for him, so he was all set. He fixed the worst step and it looked great.  He was pleased with the results.  We agreed we should use this product to coat the entire staircase.

Over the weekend, Reynold contacted me that more supplies were needed and off they went.  The result is what you see in the photos below.

I’m not sure if Donnie signed his handiwork and the many feet who will safely use those stairs will never know of his gift and craftmanship.  Donnie is an example to all of us to use our God-given talents and skills wherever they are needed and to use them generously and cheerfully.  Thanks! Donnie.

Enjoy this view from the back porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Link your Kroger PLUS Card to St. Agnes’ House, organization 10910

Kroger has changed their donation process to nonprofit organizations.  Now you can link our Rewards card to your favorite charity, if that charity has signed up to receive donations.  St. Agnes’ House is organization 10910.

For detailed instructions, see our Get Involved Page

Fundraising Letter in the Mail Soon!

Our next funding appeal will be in the mail to you soon.  Best practice in fund development is to mail at least four times a year and we are following that best practice.  You’ll learn about one of our recent guests and be asked to close our funding gap for the year.  A similar letter is being mailed to nearly 1300 churches in Eastern Kentucky letting them know about this important ministry and asking for their support.

What beautiful looking stairs to greet our guests.

What beautiful looking stairs to greet our guests.

Notice the concrete forms on the hand railing, molded from soda cups!

Notice the concrete forms on the hand railing, molded from soda cups!

A View From the Porch (September 10, 2013)

Today I am thinking of my brother, Rob.  He is 56 years old!  Unfortunately, Rob has a chronic disease and has spent the last 3 years hospitalized and finally living in a nursing home.  This may be Rob’s last birthday; I really don’t know.

I visit Rob when I can and try to get to the home at lunchtime so I can feed him.  Then I’ll sit with him and listen to some of his favorite music.  Often he will hold my hand.  I write to him every week and send flowers occasionally.  The nursing home staff do a good job caring for him and hospice comes by to provide extra services, especially chaplain visits.  The nursing home now has capability for Skyping and I hope to do that with him soon.

Rob can no longer have a conversation.  I don’t know for sure if he recognizes me.  The staff says he eats more when I’m there.  That close bond of sharing life together, at least in our case, is deep and strong.

Rob reminds me how precious each day of life is.  Yes, I can make plans for the future, but today is all I have and today may be the best day I have.  There is no “getting better” for Rob.  Rob reminds me to accept and focus on today…to be content with the life I’ve lived and am living.

Rob reminds me of how important having family close by is when you’re ill:  how important those visits and connections are; how  lifegiving the closeness of family can be.  How, even if there’s no chance of “getting better,” being in each other’s presence together is healing.

In Joshua 1:9, God seeks to assure Joshua that God will not forsake him.  Joshua is succeeding Moses as the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ Death.  Joshua will take the people into the land God promised to them.  God says to Joshua:  “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’”

In our very presence with each other.  In the silence of feeding a loved one, in the holding of hands, listening to music, we assure each other that God is with us, no matter what.

Thank you for your support of St. Agnes’ House, providing a safe, comfortable place so people can be with their loved ones, hold their hands, feed them, sit in silence and let them know  to “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Enjoy our view from the porch!  Fall is in the air and the mums are blooming!

Love, Rebecca+

The mums are blooming.  Thanks to Mary and Reynold for donating them and planting them.

The mums are blooming. Thanks to Mary and Reynold for donating them and planting them.

The wind is blowing today.

The wind is blowing today.

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A View From the Porch (September 4, 2014)

My schedule has changed and I’m adjusting.  I now spend 50% of my work time at St. Agnes’ House and 50% of my time at St. John’s Corbin.  I’ve decided to try a schedule of one week in Corbin and one week at St. Agnes’ House.  Work doesn’t occur that neatly, so of course, no matter where I am, I tend to do work for both places.

I’m still getting used to the change.  I enjoyed having a Sunday where I wasn’t focused on all of the things I needed to do to go to Lexington.  Each time I leave, I need to make sure my laundry is done, the trash is emptied, the dishes are all done, the AC and/or heat is adjusted and everything I’ll need is in the car.

I’m enjoying having a larger chunk of time in each place, but also realize I need to think about what is due in the next two weeks.  There are a number of important grants due in October and lots of activities I’m required to attend during September and October, so getting everything done and in on time is a challenge.

One activity that helps me is the Network.  I am a Network priest, which means I am provided with monthly face-to-face group supervision, learning activities, a mentor, and other supports.  Today was our first meeting of the Network participants for the program year.  Last year, we decided to end each of our meetings with a Eucharist and today was my day to celebrate.  So, enjoy my view from the porch of this wonderful and supportive group that is important in helping me give my best to St. Agnes’ House.

Love, Rebecca+

The Network celebrates together.

The Network celebrates together.

 

A View from the Porch (August 27, 2014)

Tuesday evening was so exciting.  One of the Women’s Bible Study groups from Northeast Christian Church decided to meet at St. Agnes’ House.  They toured the house and made a wonderful and plenteous dinner.  All of the house guests were invited and there were plenty of leftovers to share.  The evening was warm, but still nice for eating outside on the patio, shaded by the table umbrellas.  Everyone had a great time.

And can you believe, that in this day and age with cameras everywhere, we didn’t take any photos!

Well, the guests are still talking about how good the food was and how much they enjoyed talking to everyone.  What a blessing to have someone prepare a good meal and share in fellowship with you, especially when life is challenging.

Enjoy our View from the Porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Order from smile.amazon.com

If you order from Amazon, try ordering from the Amazon Smile page.  If you choose to support the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Amazon contributes .05% of your purchase is contributed to the ministries of the Diocese.

 

Looking East on a sunny late August morning

Looking East on a sunny late August morning

Early morning.  Can you glimpse the newly painted porch steps?

Early morning. Can you glimpse the newly painted porch steps?

 

Thanks #UKFusion volunteers!

Today, nine UK students and a staff member volunteered at the House.  It’s part of the Annual UK Fusion Volunteer Day.  The students gave our common areas a thorough cleaning, added some rocks to the landscaping in the front of the house, and painted the front steps.  Welcome Back UK Students and thank you for volunteering at St. Agnes’ House!

A fresh coat of paint on the steps to the front of the house!

A fresh coat of paint on the steps to the front of the house!

They placed these river rocks donated by Buddy Lewis along the front flower bed.

They placed these river rocks donated by Buddy Lewis along the front flower bed.

UK Fusion Volunteer Service Day Students who worked at St. Agnes' House.

UK Fusion Volunteer Service Day Students who worked at St. Agnes’ House.

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A View from the Porch – August 20, 2014

Today I’m grateful for passionate Board of Oversight members.  The Board of Oversight is nominated by the Bishop and approved at the Diocese of Lexington Annual Convention.  They provide ongoing leadership for St. Agnes’ House.  The current Board includes Sharon Holbrook, Chair; Justin Cline, Donna Goff, Flo Mayer, and The Rev. Anisa Willis.  They meet at least four times a year and take on a variety of tasks important for the ministry.

We met by conference call last night.  Everyone was on the call, showing their commitment to the ministry.  We had good discussions regarding how the board needs to operate, including the expectation that members of the Board now and in the future would be expected to make financial contributions to the ministry, kind of like having a pledge drive.  The discussion was important, especially in understanding that some people may have few financial resources, but have other resources of time, commitment and passion that would be important to the ministry and the Board.

We discussed spiritual issues.  We already receive donations of Guideposts magazines. Could we make Bibles and Books of Common Prayer available to our guests who would find them helpful?  Someone recommended trying to get Forward Day by Day meditation books.  Before the call was over, we’d secured those booklets.

We started and ended with prayer and discussed things that we could pray for for the ministry.  Ideas and information for fundraising were presented and discussed.

The meeting was energizing and uplifting.  Today, I’m feeling gratitude for this Board and hope you join me in thanking them for the service they perform.

Enjoy our view from the porch!

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