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St. Paul's
Episcopal Church

Sharing the Love of Jesus with a Broken and Hurting World

As important as our life of prayer is to us as a community of Christian believers, we are also keenly aware of God's call to heal brokenness around us and to be instruments of reconciliation and grace in the wider world. To that end, we are regularly engaged in a variety of activities which seek to bring Christ's healing love to the hurting world around us. Some of these actions are ongoing, while others are annual or occasional events.

Community Outreach Group

St. Paul’s Community Outreach Group (C.O.G.) is a group of lay people who are actively involved in supporting those in need in the local community. They regularly collect both necessities and niceties for distribution to, for example, residents of the local domestic violence shelter. Through its monthly meetings, bake sales, pancake breakfasts, seeking donations from both parishioners and the community, it seeks to serve Christ in those most in need around us.

As part of it commitment to those less fortunate than we beyond our borders, C.O.G. sponsors a child through the Christian Children's Fund. SaioSaio is a Muslim member of the Yalunka tribe who lives with his parents in a small village in the Deindemben area of Sierra Leone. His family runs a small farm which nets them about $140 per year, most of which is spent on food. He and his relatives live in a small hut that lacks basic facilities.

P.I.N. Ministry

St. Paul’s is an active member of the Plainfield ecumenical community’s food pantry, known as Project P.I.N. - People In Need. Members of the council continue to look for ways beyond the food pantry to assist people who are in financial crises. In addition to our year-round service of giving two weeks of groceries to families in need, the pantry last year gave out 80 Thanksgiving baskets containing a 16lb turkey and all the traditional foods to complete the feast. Members of Saint Paul’s remember the poor by placing non-perishable food items in the P.I.N. box in the church narthex.

Faith In Action Team (FIAT)
A group of parishioners meets about monthly to discuss various ways and issues related to living out their ministry in the world. In addition to these meetings supporting the individual members in their everyday ministries, the Holy Spirit has led to the group to organize a
parish-wide late summer Annual Backpack Drive which provides fully stocked school backpacks to local elementary school students who need them. In 2013, the parish provided 80 backpacks, fully stocked with all the necessary tools and equipment for local children returning to school. 

Blessing of the Bikes
Each Spring, the parish conducts a "Blessing of the Bikes" at the beginning of the motorcycle riding season. Offered at no cost to the community, it is a manner of outreach to the large group of motorcycle riders in eastern Connecticut, providing an opportunity for fellowship and to invite God's blessing for a safe riding season.

Each Spring the parish opens its doors and hearts to a group of college-aged bicycle riders who are making their way from Providence to San Francisco to raise money and awareness of the need for affordable housing in the United States. In addition to providing them with a place to sleep and access to showers, we also provide them with a very much appreciated picnic on our lawn and breakfast before they leave on their first night of their trip. It is also an opportunity for fellowship with them and among parishioners (who have also been known to enjoy a good picnic!). This stop on their trip consistently rates among the most enjoyable among riders.

Blessing of the Animals
In early October each year, around the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the parish offers the community a traditional "Blessing of the Animals" in recognition of Francis' love for animals and, indeed, all of God's Creation. Recognizing how important our pets and other animals are to us, we take time to give thanks to God for their presence in our lives.

Hospice of NE Connecticut "Tree of Life"
Each December, Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeaster Connecticut offers a multi-site fundraiser and remembrance of those who have died in the past year. The parish is one such site offering its facility to this wonderful program and helping the community to grieve its loved ones who have died in the months prior.

Advent Giving Tree
The members of the parish join together to provide gifts and necessities for those struggling with providing Christmas presents to their children. Many of these are women and their children in residence at the local domestic violence shelter, but the generosity of the parish has exceeded the need in recent years. Accordingly, the list of recipients has expanded to families identified by local school social workers or pediatricians.

Blue Christmas
In recognition of the fact that the "Holiday Season" is not always the happy time for some
members of the community, we offer a special non-denominational service during Advent, close to Christmas. We are usually assisted in this service by the Plainfield High School chorus, contributing to the involvement by the wider community.


Fundraising Activities

We regularly hold events which serve to provide financial, material, and spiritual support to other organizations. The parish has a policy which forbids the use of outside fundraisers to support its own operating expenses; ALL of the proceeds from these events, such as our well-known Spaghetti Suppers and Craft Fair, goes to outside organizations. In recent years, the parish has made significant contributions to the Access Agency, the Bishop's Fund for Children, the local Domestic Violence Program, and Episcopal Relief & Development among other worthy causes.

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