Ministries to the Community
- Peanut butter
- Canned items like stew, meat, pasta sauce, salmon, tuna, vegetables, fruit, beans, pasta (beefaroni, etc)
- Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni)
- Baby food
- Fresh fruit and vegetables from your garden
- Cash to purchase perishable items (like milk, bread, eggs, margarine, baby formula, fresh fruit, etc) and other staples when food donations are not sufficient to cover our needs
Nationally our parish also supports national church programs through our contribution to the Diocese of Ontario, Common Mission and Ministry. Find details about the Council of the North at http://www.anglican.ca/cn/
Internationally, we support the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). For more information visit http://pwrdf.org/. Please click on this link the latest news: /photos/custom/03_2018_voh_uganda.pdf
We are also members of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives which unites Canadian churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). https://www.kairoscanada.org/
Loaves and Fishes
The Social Justice group continues to grow in membership and expand its areas of interest. We added three new members in 2021, bringing our total to ten. A summary of our activities follows:
Before the onset of the pandemic our Agape partnership with St. Lawrence Parish, St. Francis Xavier, and Leeds Anglican successfully sponsored four families to settle in Brockville. A separate report on Agape’s current status is below.
A presentation by Katie Forrester of Victim Services of Leeds Grenville shed light on the extent of trafficking in our area. Most victims are Canadian, the majority are young women and underage girls. Victim Services plans to set up training for folk who wish to support such victims locally, and we have asked to be included in the training.
Three members of our congregation have been representing our parish in the Brockville Housing Partnership which was established in 2019 with leadership by St. Lawrence Parish and support from the Diocese of Ontario. About ten community institutions or agencies are represented in the Partnership, including the United Counties, Brockville City Council, and Brockville Police. The original vision, to support development of Affordable Housing in Brockville was derailed by the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Under lockdown, the usual places where homeless people might stay warm shut their doors, so the BHP changed course to address the urgent need to provide shelter. A warming/cooling centre was set up and operated at Wall Street United Church until April 2021, when a new location was found in the former Tri-county Addiction Services building on Oxford Avenue at King Street. The project, now named Cooperative Care Centre, is open year-round from 4 pm until 8 am, with admissions closing at 11 pm. It receives generous funding from the United Counties and other sources, including community donations. The BHP now plans to return to its original mission to build affordable housing.
We set up this new group following the media revelation of unmarked graves at the former residential school in Kelowna, and subsequent similar discoveries at sites elsewhere, which sparked a new public awareness of historic injustice. The SJC resolved to make an in-depth study of indigenous issues, with a view to achieving a degree of Reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters. Six of our members, plus two other members of our congregation, have been meeting weekly on Zoom to discuss a twelve-module course of Indigenous Studies, published online by the University of Alberta. It is eye-opening, and a valuable source of information.
The climate crisis has increased the suffering of marginalized populations, thus environmental issues have a place under the umbrella of Social Justice. Each one of us has a responsibility to learn how to reduce our carbon footprint. The Diocesan Green Group has been providing inspiration and ideas for us to bring to the parish. Many members of the parish tuned in to webinars such as “Greening Your Church”, which suggested ways to make our church more environmentally friendly and efficient, and “Electric Cars: Dispelling the Myth”.
Agape hopes to welcome new refugees this year. During the pandemic refugee arrivals in Canada slowed to a trickle. When our borders opened, priority was given to escaping Afghanis and to those who were travel-ready before the pandemic began. In the year ahead we hope that the families we are waiting for will arrive. The Canadian government cannot tell us when, but their applications went in before Covid. They are now stuck in Lebanon, where they are unwelcome, and in war-torn Ethiopia. A third family is in a refugee camp in Sudan. As a result, Agape is starting to fund-raise in earnest, so that when the families arrive, we will be able to support them. We are responsible for their financial support for one year. If you would like to see pictures of the families or to have a zoom presentation about Agape’s work, please contact Julie Case. Although we cannot publish pictures for reasons of privacy, Julie is happy to show them to you. Refugee Studies Centre report on camps in the Dollo Ado area where our Somali family waits. Over 200,000 Somali refugees live in the camps there.
The outreach ministries group seeks to serve local needs in our community through loving service.
In the early days of 2021 we donated 26 blessing bags to the warming center for the homeless. With the generosity of parishioners and community we were able to collect many comfort items for the blessing bags. The bags included warm mitts, hats, scarves, socks, masks, deodorant, Orajel, bras, underwear, mouthwash, flashlights, batteries snack packs, trail mix, baby wipes, hand warmers, Chapstick, lotion, hand sanitizer, wash cloths, bandages, feminine hygiene products, Kleenex, cough drops and charging cords. Donna and Neil prepared an inspiring message for the bags letting the recipients know they were not forgotten. Beth handwrote the cards included in the bags.
Community Food Pantries (Blessing Boxes)
These community food sharing boxes were built and installed in three locations. They can be found outside the home of Rev. Ted & Jane Guthrie, Virginia Glover and outside the church. You can find the boxes at: 101 Hartley St., Ormond St. just south of the 401 overpass, 12 Pine St. The idea is to contribute what you can for the homeless and vulnerable people in our community and they are invited to take what is needed. We are partners with Brockville Street friends in this ministry of food distribution to those in need. All are welcome to contribute to this ministry of food and comfort item sharing. It has been an extremely busy time during the pandemic and the boxes are used frequently each day. If you would like to contribute to any of these pantries please do! Some ideas for food items are sandwiches, trail mix, cookies, muffins, fruit cups, water, juice boxes, soup, boiled eggs, cheese and crackers, pudding, yogurt, tuna and crackers, cut up veggies or anything you can think of that doesn’t need any preparation. Some ideas of comfort items are warm mitts, hats, scarves, socks, underwear, hand warmers, masks, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, pocket packs of Kleenex and cough drops. If you have any further questions or would like to knit any scarves, hats or socks please feel free to call Patricia at 613-349-6389. Alternatively you may drop off items at Limestone & Ivy, 39 King Street West Brockville.
Soup for Souls
We continued to offer homemade soups and casseroles from our freezer, contributed by parishioners and distributed wherever needed. Thank you to everyone who shares food.
Rector's Discretionary Fund
Following a December meeting with the folks at First Presbyterian and First Baptist churches, we have agreed to take part in an ecumenical initiative to provide a hot meal on the 4th Sunday of each month. A few volunteers from each church will be present each time and we will be responsible for providing the food and cooking once every three months.
Together with Outreach and Justice, Evangelism is one of three “branches” that we reach out into the world around us with. We are all called to share the Good News about what God is doing in our community in and our lives, both with words and actions. Most appreciated, this year, were the folks who enthusiastically took part in on-line worship and reached out to say hello to newcomers. Our on-line reach is growing and we ended the year with over 400 followers of our Facebook Page, where most of our worship can be found. There are people out there who are looking for the peace, love, and challenge that come from following Jesus. Thank you for all you are doing to represent your St Paul’s community as a place where this can happen.