November 2008

Media Contact: Annette Montoya or Rochelle Rose
(805) 781-3088 x or (805) 448-8338
annettem@pshhc.org or rocheller@pshhc.org


Four Montecito churches (M-4) are coming together for a joint Thanksgiving worship service on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 1300 East Valley Road (at Hot Springs) in Montecito.

The public and members of “The Community of Montecito Churches” (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal, El Montecito Presbyterian, and Montecito Covenant Churches) will meet to worship and give thanks to the blessing bestowed on the community. Those attending are asked to bring canned goods or monetary donations for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing which provides affordable housing and supportive social services for low-income families in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria.

“The leadership and parishioners of the four churches are truly grateful for this opportunity to once again serve these local lower income families, through Peoples’ Self-Help Housing,” said Lauri Rawlins-Betta, a spokesperson for the Community of Montecito Churches.

The M-4 churches began working together four years ago, partnering with World Vision for global impact in providing AIDS Caregiver Kits to those serving victims afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Africa. In addition, M-4 joined its forces in helping the children of local low-income families at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. For several years they have provided backpacks with new school supplies for over 900 children who live at Peoples’ affordable housing complexes in greater Santa Barbara.

In spring 2007, the Community of Montecito Churches hosted a lecture by speaker and renowned author Jim Wallis at Westmont College. His mission is to motivate others to work within the community against social injustices. Wallis has written Waging Peace: A Handbook for the Struggle to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Peacemakers as Christian Voices from the New Abolitionist Movement, and Crucible of Fire: The Church Confronts Apartheid.

Wallis stated, “Seeing what M-4 is accomplishing is one thing. But for four distinctive denominations to come together in worship and service is quite amazing. I feel the extraordinary bond that these church families share and am very moved by the uniqueness of their coming together.”

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) was founded in 1970 to address the serious affordable housing needs, and its accompanying social problems, on the Central Coast. Its mission is to create self-help home ownership opportunities, develop quality low-income rental housing, as well as supportive services leading to self-sufficiency for its 6,000 residents. To date, PSHH has helped develop 1,100 self-help homes, completed 1,200 affordable rental units for low-income households, seniors, the disabled, and other special needs groups in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer to M-4 projects, contact the Pastor of any M-$ church or call Lauri Rawlins-Betta at (805) 969-5041.