By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s Episcopal Churches are committing $1 million in support of Wyoming relief efforts for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming held an emergency meeting, where members of the board of directors of diocese’s foundation agreed to the donation.
Guidelines for the distribution of relief dollars haven’t yet been drafted. But the board unanimously voted to allocate funding, citing Jesus’ teaching to love one’s neighbors.
Wyoming Episcopalians are currently busy serving their communities by checking in on their neighbors, providing food and financial resources to local food banks and other agencies, as well as holding virtual prayer services. The virus has halted weekly worship across the state.
“The Diocese of Wyoming is committed to serving the people of this state and beyond,” the Rev. John Smylie, Bishop of the Diocese of Wyoming, said in a news release. “We’ve been providing nurture and care in the name of a loving God across the region for more than 100 years. It’s our duty and privilege now to step up in this way.”
The board plans to host weekly meetings to determine the needs of the community. The last conversation touched on support for front line workers, health care professionals and support staff, those who have lost their jobs because of the illness, issues related to hunger and support for local parishes and missions.
“Episcopalians in Wyoming are Monday-Saturday followers of Jesus who happen to get together on Sundays,” said the Rev. Jimmy Bartz, board member and rector of St. John’s in Jackson. “We’re already working hard seven days a week to dream of ways we can make a love-spreading difference in the lives of those negatively impacted by this crisis. It’s our hope that other dioceses across the country will create ways to generously and faithfully support their communities.”
Those wishing to add to this support effort may make a gift to the Episcopal Foundation for the Diocese of Wyoming designated for coronavirus relief.