Grace Church, Sandusky is built upon a tradition of community outreach. They expanded upon this tradition in 2000 when parishioners saw a need for the facilitation of familial connections in their community and founded KinShip, an organization that provides supervised visitation and exchange services for families and children who have been separated due to divorce, child custody issues, domestic violence, or other types of family trauma. In the last eighteen years, KinShip and Grace Church have worked together “to engage in a broad range of activities that will benefit children by protecting them from neglect and from physical, mental, and emotional abuse of all kinds."
KinShip House, nestled among the Erie Metroparks, provides a warm atmosphere for families seeking solace in difficult times. The center serves as a safe, neutral space in which non-custodial parents are able to visit with their child. In 2011, KinShip served forty families. By 2017, they were able to provide services to 180 families seeking aid.
Grace Church has continued to support KinShip and its mission as it has grown. Many of the founding trustees of the organization were Grace parishioners. Since then, members of Grace continue to serve on KinShip's board, providing leadership to the mission and ministry of the organization. In addition to the financial support that the parish provides, individual parishioners of Grace also give their time, talent, and treasure through volunteerism, assistance with fundraisers, and promotion of the services throughout the community.
The Rev. Jan Smith Wood, rector of Grace, Sandusky, explains that the parish's partnership is an example "of the community of the Church aimed towards serving, helping, and making a difference... not for spiritual rewards... but simply because it's necessary."
A portion of funds raised from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps support the families and children who seek assistance at KinShip. For more information about the work of Episcopal Community Services or to make a gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, please visit https://dohio. org/givenow or contact Laura Hnat
, Chief Development Officer.