Our Community

AARP Tax Service: We host the AARP tax service in our parish hall three days a week, from February 1st to April 15th of each year, making it possible for hundreds of citizens to file federal tax returns at no cost.

Animal Blessing: On the Saturday closest to the Feast of St. Francis our Daughters of the King chapter hosts an animal blessing, which usually attracts some people from the larger community, one of whom will be confirmed in the fall as a result of this program. We also receive an offering which supports the work of the Heifer Project.

Brown Bag Bunch: This is a group of seniors, snowbirds and their friends who meet twice a month from October to April for a brown bag lunch, followed by speakers from the community. The group also visits places of interest in Polk County.

Care Center Stay-at-Home Work Camp: The local Christian social services agency, funded in part by the local churches, sponsors several one-week work camps for middle and high school students to do a variety of community service projects like painting, roofing, handicap-accessible ramps. Our students participate and we provide a meal for the 100+ campers twice each summer in our parish hall.

Golf Outing: For the past ten years the parish has sponsored a golf outing to raise funds for our mission in Honduras, to provide student scholarships, to support a local community garden and sewing co-op, and to build a church and community center in Santa Maria, Honduras.

Kairos: The rector and several laymen serve on the teams of this prison ministry program at  nearby Avon Park Correctional Institution, modeled on the Cursillo movement. Parishioners lend financial and prayer support and donate thousands of cookies for the team and 36 inmates who have attended the past 42 bi-annual weekends. 

Outreach Committee: The Vestry budgets $10,000 each year, in addition to many thousands of dollars in individual donations, for a variety of outreach programs, including scholarships to our church camp and coats for our local students who would not otherwise be able to afford one when it gets cold in the winter.

Polk Avenue Elementary School Partnership: Our parish provides a backpack of food for twelve homeless students each weekend during the school year. Several people also volunteer as mentors to a student. Other volunteers provide a meal to the teachers during orientation and testing periods. 

Stephen Ministry: Six parishioners provide weekly active listening in a confidential, supervised environment for parishioners and their friends who are facing a crisis in their lives.

Thrift Shop: Over thirty volunteers, both inside and outside the parish, run the oldest thrift shop in town, serving the fourth generation of citizens who depend on the high-quality donations of clothing, shoes, purses, books, toys, games, sporting equipment and small household items at a very low cost, raising over $50,000 per year to fund outreach and other programs of the parish.

Vacation Bible School: Over fifty children, kindergarten through fifth grade, many of whom are not members of our parish, participate in our annual Vacation Bible School, whose production quality rivals Disney World.

Women's Tea: A group of women host a tea each year for parishioners and their guests, the proceeds of which provide scholarships for students in Honduras who would otherwise not be able to afford an education beyond the sixth grade.