Responding to human need by loving service and seeking to transform unjust structures of society are two of the Five Marks of Mission adopted as priorities by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 2009.
St. James offers parishioners a number of opportunities in which to be actively involved supporting these mission priorities. Church missions receive grants, with Vestry approval, based on review of grant proposals, site visits, and opportunities for participation.
A Day to Give Back is an annual event in the fall providing opportunities for all ages to participate in activities that will directly benefit persons in need. This year, we are partnering once again with Rise Against Hunger (see banner image, above) to package inexpensive meals with that are full of protein and grains. These meals have a 2-year shelf-life. Rise Against Hunger sends them out as needed to make a very real difference to people around the world who otherwise do not know when they would eat again.
Our community partners include:
Pontiac-based, the Baldwin Center feeds, clothes, educates and empowers those in need. St. James volunteers serve meals to homeless and low income residents, and collect food and clothing to support the work of the Baldwin Center. The youth of St. James participate in a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. at this community agency to honor his words of inspiration and encouragement.
Caniff Liberty School, Hamtramck
Most of the 500 kindergarten through 8th grade students at Caniff Liberty School were born outside the United States and are brand new to the public school system. Nearly all of the children have limited English speaking skills and have trauma from war-torn countries.
Their families sacrifice everything to improve the lives of their students. The parents typically work at small factories around the Detroit area. Their salaries average around ten dollars per hour and these wages cannot support families very well.
The school provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner to support students attending classes from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. St. James partners with Caniff Liberty to help provide school supplies and food.
Crossroads of Michigan
St. James volunteers prepare and serve meals at the soup kitchen of this Detroit social service agency. They generously support periodic clothing drives for Crossroads also.
Micah 6 Community
Micah 6 is a community in Pontiac working with its neighbors to address local needs such as food, housing, after-school activities, networking, and spiritual connection.
South Oakland Shelter
A rotating emergency program for homeless persons, SOS engages 60 partner congregations from Oakland County churches. St. James volunteers work with the First Baptist Church of Birmingham to prepare meals and provide other services during the week selected.
Parishioners provide food and gifts to families selected from area human service organizations such as LA SED, Lighthouse, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, and the Township of Royal Oak Recreation Center. Our “elves” assemble the generous gifts and load and drive their vehicles to deliver our packages to the various agencies. Close to 200 individuals served by our partner agencies experience the caring of Christmas.