Episcopalian convention includes service project on Welfare Square

Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI

More than 10,000 members of the Episcopal Church gathered for the faith's 78th annual General Convention in Salt Lake City from June 25 to July 3. It was the first time the convention, held for Episcopalian Church leaders and their spouses, has been held in Utah. As part of the convention, attendees participated in an interfaith service project at Welfare Square with Latter-day Saints to package cheddar cheese, bag and slice bread, and bottle salsa on June 29.

“I think we’ve done a good job,” said Rebecca Thompson of New Orleans, Louisiana, who volunteered to package cheese. “This is an amazingly clean, fresh environment with kindness and hospitality.”

“The experience at Welfare Square has been a real eye-opener for [the convention attendees],” said Amy O’Donnell, wife of the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi of the Salt Lake Episcopal Church. “They’ve learned more about the Mormon Church by visiting Temple Square and the Family History Library.”

On June 30, Welfare Square delivered about $20,000 worth of cheese, bread and salsa, as well as additional items such as peanut butter and jam, to Hildegarde’s Pantry, a food bank and distribution center operated by St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City, which serves around 300 people each day.

Pantry manager Lydia Herrera said, “When I come here [Hildegarde’s Pantry], I always try to see if I can make a difference every day with the people. … We are doing God’s work together with other faiths to get something done.”

The Episcopal General Convention also held an interfaith concert in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on July 1.

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