Learn about the various ministries at work at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church
Contact us if you're interested in helping us with any of the below!
Bernice’s Community Cupboard – Food Pantry
In 2017, Bernice’s Community Cupboard served 53 families in Sutton and bordering towns. This past year 146 visits were made to our pantry. We are energized by the talent and commitment of our staff and FABULOUS volunteers who distribute, hold food drives, stock shelves and assist in our Community dinners. These efforts were overseen by Mary McGehee, Steve and Karen McQueen (who coordinate Food Drives, Thanksgiving Baskets and Community Dinners).
For those of you who are new to the Parish, the pantry inventory is gathered through “monetary’ donations by parishioners and individuals outside the parish, and regular supermarket food drives. These generous acts allow us to respond to the increasing number of our hungry neighbors, more of whom are vulnerable children, seniors and families.
In addition to the 2 supermarket food drives, we want to thank Robin Colon for coordinated a very successful food drive at her work this year. There were over 40 Thanksgiving Baskets given out due to the generosity of our parish. We would also like to acknowledge the generosity of Goretti’s Supermarket for their contributions of food given to Community Cupboard during this past year.
Volunteers are very important in helping us in our mission to end hunger. Without our dedicated volunteers, Bernice’s Community Cupboard could not function and your support extends a helping hand to so many people. On behalf of our clients and Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, we thank you all for your participation and service. Together we can make a difference!
Also, thank you to all the volunteers who help coordinate the volunteers, make appointments for our clients, help with food drives, stocking shelves, community dinners, thanksgiving baskets and distribute food at the community cupboard. This is a ministry that would but not be possible if it weren’t for the support of our parishioners.
Community Breakfast – First Friday of the Month
Originally referred to as “Senior Breakfast”, this Community focused event has been ongoing for 8 years since May 2012.
Since its inception, this monthly community outreach initiative welcomes neighbors to join us for a fresh hot breakfast ($5 donation). Breakfasts occur the 1st Friday of each month and generally have a have 25-45 attendees. The clients are almost all from the local community, and not from the Parish. Over the past year or so, those dining have been coming earlier and staying beyond the 9:00 time, so are using Holy Spirit to facilitate a social gathering. We love it!
This longstanding initiative is self-sustaining bringing in approximately $50-100 each breakfast.
Currently, the team is hoping to find a new leader and/or new parishioners who can volunteer their time to help out. This is a feel-good activity which offers our guests a window into the heart and soul of Holy Spirit Church.
Connect Africa (www.connect-africa.org)
Founded as a non-profit in 2005, Connect Africa is a grass roots organization that helps villagers in Uganda who are struggling to support children orphaned by AIDS. Their mission is to strengthen families by providing educational sponsorship to orphans and business loans to the guardians of orphans. Connect Africa works in communities that are often overlooked by large charitable organizations.
The AIDS pandemic has left many families with an elderly grandmother, aunt or older sibling as the sole provider for upwards of eight children. The grandmothers subsist on pennies made from the sale of their produce. Aunts and older siblings make do with their meager earnings of less than $1.50 USD per day. Connect Africa provides crucial financial support to orphans who have no other means of obtaining an education and loans to the guardians to help them bring up the children.
Connect Africa is a unique, community-based organization. Our Church has partnered with individuals in the villages in which they work and we are guided by their expertise and knowledge. Our approach allows us to connect the donor and the Ugandan recipient, creating a direct, personal, and long-lasting relationship.
Worcester Fellowship (http://www.worcesterfellowship.org/)
“Worcester Fellowship is outdoor church that reaches out to the homeless and at risk adults, providing Sunday Service and lunch, Thursday Café, worship, bible study and weekday activities. The Church’s message is: “GOD LOVES YOU NOW!” God loves you regardless of your sobriety or cleanness, your sexual preference, your housing status, or whether you have fully committed to non-violence. God loves you now regardless of your mental health status, your prayer life, or lack thereof. God loves you right now if you’re just out of jail or have never had any brush with the law.”
Here at Holy Spirit, our main support for Worcester Fellowship is our contribution to Sunday Service and lunch. Every Sunday, several local churches each provide about 60 bagged lunches, share conversation with WF congregation members and join in the service that is held on Worcester Common. Church members at Holy Spirit regularly respond generously for the monthly request for supplies for the lunches and, frequently, white socks, and they enthusiastically make sandwiches and fill the brown lunch bags. Lunches are taken to Worcester Common for the 1:00 pm lunch which is followed by the service.
We further support WF with hats and scarves for the winter, knitted by our parishioners, donations of toiletries and, occasionally, supplies for Thursday Café. Each Thursday afternoon from early September through the end of June, volunteers and WF members gather at All Saints Church in Worcester to provide food, companionship, rest, hot coffee, cold drinks, socks and underwear to homeless adults in the city. At Thursday Café, guests can sleep on air mattresses in warmth and safety for a few hours without fear that they will lose their few precious possessions. The number of guests to Thursday Café has been creeping up over the last year and now it is usual to have more than 100 visitors on a Thursday afternoon.
If you would like to know more about Worcester Fellowship you can check the website: http://www.worcesterfellowship.org/ . This website contains links to their Facebook and Twitter pages.