The popular "Sunday Cabaret" program, a collaboration between Community Missions and the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, begins its third season this Sunday afternoon. The project is designed to offer a unique time of food, fellowship, entertainment and cultural experiences that may not typically be available to those the mission serves, as well as to the public.
This month's dinner begins at 5 p.m. in the community soup kitchen. It will be provided by the United Baptist Christian Church of Lewiston. Following the meal, a concert by the Gospel Groove Band from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of Burt is slated to begin at 6 p.m. in the mission's community room.
"Sunday Cabaret" is a partnership opportunity between local churches and Community Missions. The program runs throughout the school year on the last Sunday of each month (in November it will be on the 23). The dinner and entertainment are provided by separate churches, fostering a unique collaboration experience for all involved.
"The mission is so pleased that Niagara County churches are eager to work together to serve individuals and families that are struggling and in need," said Mark Breese, agency pastor at Community Missions. "The creativity that these churches have brought over the past two years is amazing. We have had bands, bell choirs, magicians, movie nights, trivia games, bingo, crafts - the people who come to the events are always excited to do something different."
The program was developed through the Mustard Seed Project, an initiative of Bishop R. William Franklin of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. Its seeds began in the spring of 2012, as the Niagara Deanery received funding to initiate a cooperative outreach project by eight Episcopal churches in Niagara County, Community Missions, and the community. This coincided with Breese's "Faith Partnerships Initiative," which builds projects with churches and faith-based organizations in the region that strengthen shared ministries.
The Episcopal Deanery of Niagara County plays an important role in the program's ongoing operation.
"When we stared two years ago, we quickly realized that this was an initiative that was made for partners in ministry," said the Very Rev. Judith Lee, dean of the Niagara Deanery. "The long-range goal is for the 'Sunday Cabaret' to be a truly collaborative effort with churches that have a heart for serving and being in solidarity with those in need."
For more information on the "Sunday Cabaret" project, or if you are interested in participating for the upcoming year, contact either Breese at 716-285-3403, ext. 2259, or [email protected], or Lee at 716-778-7633 or at [email protected].
Since its founding in 1925, Community Missions has provided a unique blend of referral, crisis, community support and residential services for youth and adults. In 2013, CMI's crisis services programs served more than 75,000 meals and provided nearly 11,000 nights of care to neglected or abused children and homeless adults. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-oriented settings.