Lent is often known as a time to give up an indulgent food or habit. Episcopal churches in Wake County are taking a different approach to Lent this year by giving volunteer support and funding to build a house with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. The 2016 Episcopal Lenten Build officially kicks off Saturday, Feb. 13. Representatives from participating churches will construct the walls of the home Saturday morning at Habitat Wake’s new construction facility at 2728 Capital Blvd, Suite 164.
The Right Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, will join a special ceremony to raise the walls 11:45 a.m. in the construction facility.
"Lent is not just about giving up but also taking on,” said Hodges-Copple. “Lent is a season Christians renew our commitments to helping neighbors build better lives. I am profoundly moved by the demonstration of "love thy neighbor" by these Episcopalians of Wake County."
Churches and organizations participating in the Episcopal Lenten Build are St. Augustine University, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Christ Church, Church of the Good Shepherd, Church of the Nativity, the Episcopal Campus Ministry-Raleigh, and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. This group has pledged volunteer support and a $65,000 commitment to build the home.
“We are grateful that the Episcopal community in Wake County feels called to serve God in this way,” says Rick Beech, vice president of program ministries for Habitat Wake. “This is the largest collaboration of Episcopal churches on a Habitat Wake build, and their collective efforts will transform life for a family and be a powerful demonstration of God’s Kingdom.”
Cheston Dooley, a Wells Fargo employee who has lived in Raleigh since 2011, is buying the home which will be located at 821 Skinner. Dooley will complete 250 sweat equity hours to help build his home, and purchase the home with an affordable mortgage.
The walls will be transported to 821 Skinner Drive next weekend for building to resume construction on site.
Dooley is one of more than 28,000 families in Wake County with an affordable housing need, according to Beech. “Housing is deemed affordable when the total cost , rent or mortgage and utilities, is no more than 30 percent of a household’s income,” says Beech. Habitat Wake partners with families earning 25-60 percent of the area median income to build and buy homes. “Wake County is a thriving community, but there are many essential workers such as bus drivers and certified nursing assistants who cannot afford a traditional mortgage,” Beech adds. “Habitat Wake provides the opportunity to buy a home to these hard-working families in our community.”
The Episcopal Build home is located in Crosstowne in southeast Raleigh. Habitat Wake has built 23 homes in Crosstowne since 2015 and will complete another 22 including Dooley’s by the end of the year.
For more information on volunteering or sponsoring a Habitat Wake home, visit www.habitatwake.org.