Missions

The generous caring of the members and friends of the Chapel by the Sea is helping to make a difference in our community, our country, and around the world.

 

Please click on the Titles below to learn of our many Mission Outreach Programs.

 

God’s Table

God’s Table outreach is a partnership between Chapel by the Sea and Community Cooperative. While God’s Table is just one of many Chapel outreach ministries, it is the most visible. Originally founded in 2001, it is an ecumenical program that serves needy individuals and families of the Fort Myers Beach area.

About 40% of our participants are homeless. Others are waiters, maids, fishermen, and others whose work is seasonal and who sometimes need short term help. Occasionally we serve vacationers and spring-break students who find themselves in an unexpected crisis. The program provides breakfast, a bag lunch, cans and packages of food for an evening meal, clothing, blankets and personal items.

Showers and haircuts are available, as well as human services from medical volunteers, social workers, Salvation Army and the Veterans’ Association. Crisis intervention is provided by St. Vincent de Paul, which is also housed at the Chapel. Fellowship, encouragement, and community prayer are all important elements of God’s Table. From time to time, God’s Table is able to assist in securing jobs.

Participants help set up and clean up before and after breakfast. Photo IDs are required (although not on the first visit), and if one does not have a photo ID, God’s Table will help a person secure one (as a proper ID will be needed in securing a job). Occasionally, the pastor of Chapel by the Sea officiates at funerals, weddings and baptisms for participants of God’s Table. Special dinners are offered for a Thanksgiving and a Christmas event.

Health Ministries

Chapel by the Sea cares about the spiritual and the physical health of our members and friends. Chapel by the Sea has a Parish Nurse on staff to assist members and friends of Chapel by the Sea.

Chapel’s health ministry includes providing holistic healthcare that integrates the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual. It is a healing ministry with a primary focus on prevention and wellness and does not include procedures or hands-on care.

The Parish Nurse serves on the Chapel Staff and is supported by the Spiritual Services Department of the Lee Memorial Health System.

Related to our God’s Table program, the Veterans Administration, Salvation Army and other organizations have medical professionals meet with those in need to help them secure medical assistance or benefits.

Addiction is one of the major problems in our island community. Chapel offers more AA meetings than there are days in the week – which means that on some days we have more than one meeting during the day.

Habitat for Humanity

Chapel by the Sea introduced Habitat for Humanity to Lee County. In the 1950’s Chapel was part of the Lee County Mission Board, which built 40 homes in the Harlem Heights area to serve the needs of the migrant farmers working in the gladiolus fields that were once in that area.  When this funding ended, Ed Campbell, who was both a member of Chapel and the Lee County Mission Board, and his wife Dorothy, introduced the Board to a three-year old organization known as Habitat for Humanity. Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat, preached at Chapel by the Sea in February of 1980, and within a year the team from Chapel completed the first Habitat Home in Lee County.

In 2009, Habitat completed its 1,000th home.  Chapel’s team continues to work on Habitat projects during the season.

Immigrant Ministries

Chapel by the Sea – Guadeloupe Center

Chapel by the Sea helps feed those who put food on our tables.  The farms in Immokalee are operated with the help of migrant workers, many of whom are living in impoverished conditions. Anyone on Fort Myers Beach is welcome to join Chapel by the Sea in one of its frequent (sometimes weekly) trips to Immokalee to work in the soup kitchen there.

Chapel works with the Beth-El Farm, Guadeloupe Center, Guadeloupe Social Services, Immokalee Friendship House, and many other ministries in Immokalee.

Gladiolus Learning and Development Center

Chapel by the Sea - Baptism Photo

is located in the Harlem Heights community of Lee County.  Previously known as “Brightest Horizons,” this center is committed to a partnership with local families striving to maintain their family’s education, self sufficiency and independence.  Their children’s center tries to meet the social, emotional, economic, and developmental needs of the children and families they serve.  The Chapel contributes through the Mission Committee, with food items, and with volunteers who work directly with the children.

Youth Programs

Chapel by the Sea introduced both Boy Scouts and Girl Scout programs to Fort Myers Beach in the early 1940’s. Chapel remains active as a sponsoring organization of Boy Scout Troop 999.  The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts meet at Chapel by the Sea.  Various youth programs are offered on a monthly basis during season and are designed to be ecumenical so that members of other island churches feel free to attend.

Christmas Gifts for Kids

Chapel offers two opportunities to provide gifts for children during Christmas.  In November we collect shoe boxes filled with appropriate gifts.  These are then distributed through Samaritan’s Purse and sent throughout the world.  In December we collect Toys for Immokalee, which are sent to the children of migrant workers who are in Florida during the holidays.

Other Partnerships

  • ECHO – The Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization is headquartered in Fort Myers. ECHO is dedicated to fighting world hunger through innovative options, agricultural training and networking. Chapel supports ECHO by providing a variety of foods for their annual international Agricultural Conference, and in other ways as the opportunities arise.

  • Presbyterian Mission Agency – The Presbyterian Mission Agency makes gifts of animals, equipment and training people throughout the world with the goal of making a life-changing difference in both their lives and their communities.

  • Medical Benevolence Foundation – The Medical Benevolence Foundation provides medical care for people throughout the world by providing medicines, medical programs, training and funding.

  • Harry Chapin Food Bank – While much of the food we collect serve the needs of our immediate community through God’s Table and St. Vincent dePaul, we also provide occasional support to the Harry Chapin Food Bank when the need or opportunity arises.

  • Guatemala – Chapel has a sister church in Guatemala. Our relationship with the Nueva Jerusalem Church near Guatemala City is one between equals. We have sent several teams to visit and work with this church since 1998.

Special Offerings

  • One Great Hour of Sharing – At Easter we receive the One Great Hour of Sharing which supports the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance programs, the Self-Development of People ministries, and the Presbyterian hunger programs.

  • Christmas Joy Offering – At Christmas we receive the Christmas Joy, of which 65% goes to assist retired church workers and their spouses in need for income assistance, nursing care or other needs, and 35% going toward funding racial and ethnic colleges.

  • Peacemaking Offering – Each October we receive a Peacemaking Offering. Half goes to the national level, and 25% to the regional level of the Presbyterian Church. Chapel keeps 25% for local programs that promote peacemaking in the community or in families.

  • Three Cents A Meal – We encourage all people to set a mere three pennies aside at every meal. This provides awareness of others who suffer, and it serves as a way of building funding for community hunger programs.