Saint Paul Episcopal Church
A Jubilee Ministry Center
340 Locust Street / P.O. Box 96 / Columbia, PA 717-684-8496 / 717- 684-2560 (fax)
The parish family of Saint Paul understands that coming together for prayer and worship, actively participating in the educational and social programs of the parish, and supporting the parish through time, talent and treasure is one way that we attempt to live the Gospel in today's world. However, we fully recognize that the Gospel demands that we reach out to our community and, in some cases, to the world to preach the Gospel through concrete actions of ministry. Our guiding principle comes from Matthew's Gospel when Jesus says, "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me." We know that everytime we feed the hungry, cloth the naked, house the homeless, comfort the afflicted, visit those in prison, we feed, cloth, house, comfort and visit Jesus. At Saint Paul's outreach ministry has been an integral part of our Gospel life since the beginning of our existence. We have a number of outreach programs that address needs in our community, our diocese, our country, and around the world.
In October 2005, the Episcopal Church designated Saint Paul's a Jubilee Ministry Center. This honor is given to those parishes that demonstate a high level of community ministry and outreach. This has always been a hallmark of Saint Paul's but at least now the rest of the church knows about it. Jubilee Ministry is about knowing your community and responding to its needs. We are very proud of this designation and continue to care for all of God's people.
If you would like to volunteer to help us with any of our outreach programs (you do not need to be a member of Saint Paul's in order to help us - just a willingness to put the Gospel into action), please call us at 717-684-8496 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Toys for Tots
The parish in partnership with The Columbia Presbyterian Church is a collection station for Toys for Tots and both congregations collected over 170 toys for this program in 2011.
Advent Angel Tree
During November and December2011 the parish's Advent Angel Tree Project collected over 200 pairs of new men's and women's socks and underwear and oveer 30 blankets for The Columbia Presbyterian Church's Clothing Bank and the Emergency Winter Shelter residents.
For over 33 years Saint Paul's has been feeding people. We began with a daily hot lunch program which over time developed into a food bank that currently provides sufficient food for individuals and families to last 7- 10 days. Screening takes place each Monday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at Saint Paul's. Food is distributed to those with food vouchers on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. We have volunteers from many religious denominations and food and monetary donations are received from churches, social and fraternal organizations, schools, businesses and individuals. Our service area includes the Boroughs of Columbia and Mountville and the townships of Manor and West Hempfield. Between January 1 and December 31, 2011 the Saint Paul food bank fed 1,726 individuals which represents 928 families. Approved individuals and families can use the food bank once a month.
The Food Bank is open for screening each Monday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Food is picked up by those who are eligible on Tuesday or Wednesday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
In 2011 the Food Bank fed 928 families which represents 1,726 people. In addition, 46,705 pounds of food and $27,411 was donated by individuals, businesses, and organizations of the local area.
for additional Information - click here www.columbiafoodbank.org
FREE COMMUNITY BREAKFAST
On the second Saturday of each month, Saint Paul offers a community-wide free hot breakfast from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. All are invited to attend and share a home-made hot breakfast of ham, eggs, pancakes, toast, coffee and juice. Volunteers primarily come from Saint Paul's however there are some from other churches. In addition to this monthly breakfast, the parish also offers a free Christmas morning breakfast from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. In months that there are five Saturdays, the Impact Christian Ministries offers a free breakfast on the fourth Saturday of the month at Saint Paul's and on the first Saturday of the month, the Columbia Christian Fellowship serves breakfast. Both Impact Christian Ministries and the Columbia Christian Fellowship use St Paul's kitchen and parish hall for their breakfast. Between January 1 and December 31, 2011 these breakfasts combined have fed a total of 2,056 people.
In 201 the three churches fed 2,056 people.
Free Community Breakfast
Every First Saturday - 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Sponsored by Columbia Christian Fellowship
Every Second Saturday - 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Sponsored by Saint Paul Episcopal Church
Each Fourth Saturday (when there are 5 Saturdays in a month) - 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Sponsored by Impact Christian Ministries
Saint Paul's is exploring new ways to be involved in the transitional housing ministry in the Columbia area. We are looking for one or more homes that we can use to continue this ministry in our community. Please contact Father Patrick if you are aware of an available home (or homes) that can be used (684-8496).
EMERGENCY WINTER HOMELESS SHELTER
This program has been in existence for four years. Saint Paul's is a founding sponsor of this program and worked closely with The Columbia Presbyterian Church (the coordinating church) and other churches to identify space, get needed supplies, and raise money for this emergency winter shelter. There are six churches who have provided space (Columbia Church of God, Columbia Presbyterian, Saint Peter Roman Catholic Church, Saint John Lutheran, Vision Columbia (Mennonite), and Salem United Church of Christ). Each church takes two to three weeks during the winter (December 1 through March 31) and provides a place for people to sleep during the coldest months of the year. At least five addtional churches who do not have space provide volunteers. In additon, in 2012, we opened a Day Shelter located at Salem United Church of Christ which operates from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. during the same time of the year that the Emergency Winter Shelter operates.
The Shelter is open from December 1 through March 31 each year
Guests arrive around 8:00 p.m. each evening and leave about 6:30 a.m. the next morning.
Celebrate Recovery, a recovery ministry is an outreach ministry to those men and women who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse or from severe trauma, use the Mary Elizabeth Bair Parish Hall each Friday evening for a light meal, prayer, and recovery sessions.
Each Friday - 6:00 p.m. - Sponsored by New Visions Christian Ministry
The Columbia Ministerium is the organization of the churches in Columbia that enables the different denominations to work together to help identify, alleviate, and solve a number of problems in the community. The Ministerium works in partnership with the government of Columbia, businesses, and other service organizations to address community needs. A major undertaking of the Ministerium is the Community Life Network of Columbia which brings together a diverse group (governmental, social and medical service providers, non-profit organizations, businesses, and others) to provide a coordinated response to the social needs of the community. This focus is not only on emergency needs but also on the long-term solutions to problems. An emergency program that the ministerium addresses directly is emergency housing assistance for women and families (the men use the emergency homeless winter shelter) primarily during the winter months.
Meets each month on the First Monday of the month - 9:00 p.m.
Jesus said that whatever we do the least of our brothers and sisters - we do to him. This is a statment that cannot be ignored. In addition to living out the Gosepl message, our outreach ministries improve the quality of life for many in our community. Come help us!
WIDER CHURCH OUTREACH
Saint Paul's participates in and supports Operation Understanding (OU). OU is a program of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania that provides grants to parishes in the diocese that support outreach ministry. This includes food banks, clothing banks, emergency heat / rent assistance, vacations bible schools, after school programs, etc. Each year members of the parish are asked to support this program and the Outreach Ministry Committee of the parish also provides assistance. Each year, during the Easter Season, Operation Understanding conducts the Alleluia Fund drive that raises money to support many projects around the diocese.
United Thank Offering
The United Thank Offering is a program of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) throughout the Episcopal Church. Twice a year members of the parish are asked to support this organization through direct donations (blue boxes and blue envelopes). The national ECW then makes grants to parishes for a wide variety of things. This can include social outreach programs, seed money for start-up programs, building code compliance, etc.
The primary way that the the members of Saint Paul's reach out to the world is through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). The international arm of the Episcopal Church provides relef and development money around the world. When a disater strikes (tsunami in the far east or a hurricane on the Gulf coast of the United States), ERD is there. They also provide money for development projects (e.g., new villages in hurricane ravaged Honduras, water filtration systems for villages in Africa, etc.) that allow people to become self-sustaining. Saint Paul's participates with ERD both as diasters occur and annually during Lent with the ERD "Hope Chest" program.
There are two specific programs that the parish is involved in. The first is the support of a young child in India by the parish's Episcopal Church Women (ECW). For over 20 years the women of the parish have supported various young people through a direct montly contribution that helps them and their family provide food, shelter, clothing, and education. This is done through Children International. The current young girl, Krishna Bag is 12 years old and lives with her parents and an older brother and a younger sister.
The Outreach Ministry Committee supports the annual tuition of two high school students in Uganda through the Bishop Masereka Christian Foundation. Ruth Namara Tuhiriwe (18) and Emmanuel Bwambale (14) are orphans (whose parents died of HIV / AIDS) and who otherwise could not afford an education. Ruth attends the Kisinga Vocational School and Emmanuel attends the Ndughutu Standard Academy. The Outreach Ministry Committe believes that education is key to development and growth of both the individual and society. Both of these young people are committed to completing their secondary education
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The United Nations, countries, churches, and other agencies throughout the world have committed themselves to the Millenium Development Goals (providing sufficient food, shelter, education, opportunity, etc.) by contributing .7% of their resources to the attainment of these goals both here in our communities and throughout the world. The Episcopal Church as well as our local diocese have committed themselves in dedicating at least .7% of their resources to these goals. Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefforts Schoiri has made these goals a hallmark of her work. With all this in mind, Saint Paul's is committed to commiting .7% of its resources to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. Our annual operating budget is approximately $200,000. In 2009, the parish, through a variety of sources, dedicated over $30,000 to programs designed to help achieve the Milleium Development Goals. This $20,000 (or in excess of 10% of our resources) does not include the time and talent contributions dedicated to these goals.
If you are looking for a church that knows how to touch the lives of the people in its community, then Saint Paul's is the place you need to be. Join us with your own time, talents, and treasure to help bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is often in pain, hurting, angry, and / or at war with one another.