Our fourth mission objective at Heavenly Rest is “To be a church that does God’s work outside our doors in partnership with our neighbors.” Our outreach ministries reflect our commitment to that mission.
Church of the Heavenly Rest was founded in 1865 as a place for reconciliation following the divisive agony of the Civil War. Our outreach work, which began in our earliest days with a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, is informed by our dedication to ongoing reconciliation with our neighbors.
“Do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the laws of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
In our outreach work we strive to go beyond giving; when we care for and be with each other, the distinction between those serving and those being served blurs; bridges are built, and communities are strengthened.
Come and join us! Learn about our ministries, explore new paths to discipleship, and experience the personal and communal transformation that occurs when we act as reconcilers to each other and to the world. We invite you to sign up and participate in as many outreach activities as your time allows.
Please take a few moments to provide your interests and availability, by clicking here.
Prison & Reentry- New York has more people returning home from prison each year than any other state. In the United States, East Harlem is sometimes referred to as a “reentry corridor”. The difficulties faced by the formerly incarcerated, their spouses, their children, their families, and their neighbors, are daunting. Dedicated and focused reentry education, services, and support groups can profoundly reduce otherwise unacceptably high rates of recidivism.
Our P&RE Ministry is dedicated to helping those returning, and their families, to gain traction in society and lead productive lives. To find out more about our wide range of meaningful outreach activities and opportunities to participate, please click here.
Hunger and Nourishment- For the last 40 years, Heavenly Rest has been at the forefront of New York City’s efforts to combat hunger by forming and volunteering at food pantries, and by preparing and serving warm meals. In recent years, as the incidence of hunger remains stubbornly high and healthy food alternatives are too limited, we have taken a more expansive view of how our outreach ministries can have an impact.
Nourishment goes beyond satisfying the physical hunger for food; it includes feeding the mind and soul, as well as the body. People feel empowered when they are nourished. To that end, our programs aim to address the realities of those experiencing hunger today, to disrupt cycles of poverty, and to connect existing channels of support. Our outreach programs and partners focus on healthy food, and healthy food education, targeting those with acute hunger. Click here to learn how you can participate in our Hunger and Nourishment programs.
MetroCause – CHR’s MetroCard program provides the gift of free public transportation to our friends and neighbors in need. With the rising cost of public transportation, many New Yorkers struggle to get around. Whether it’s a formerly incarcerated person trying to get to a job interview or a senior trying to get to a doctor’s appointment, the gift of public transportation is transformative. New and partly used MetroCards can be placed into the donation boxes, as well as cash and checks. Donation boxes are located at the 5th Avenue entrance of Heavenly Rest (90th Street and 5th Avenue) The church’s select Outreach partners will be distributing the MetroCards. Donate online here.
Harlem Grown –Church of the Heavenly Rest’s nourishment efforts have recently expanded to a new partner, Harlem Grown. Harlem Grown provides mentoring to inner city youth through urban farming experience. Currently, they are working with 6 schools in Central and East Harlem. Tony Hillery, the founder of Harlem Grown, spoke on January 29th during the Rector’s Forum; click here to see a video about Harlem Grown.