Outreach Ministries

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

—Matthew 25:37-40

At the conclusion of worship services, St. Paul’s parishioners are sent out into the world to love and serve the Lord—instructed to reach beyond themselves to bring the compassionate love of God to all people. Through outreach at St. Paul’s, parishioners respond to the needs of the community, region, nation and world through a variety of outreach ministries based at the church and elsewhere.

Parishioners stay overnight at the Samaritan Inn, donate Christmas gifts for incarcerated fathers to give to their children, help build Habitat houses and help children with their homework. St. Paul’s addresses the hunger crisis in the greater Winston-Salem community and across the globe, providing 45,155 meals since October 2015 through its Kids’ Café, Summer Enrichment and Backpack programs and the annual Second Harvest food drive as well as support of H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat) and Stop Hunger Now.

Last year’s blanket drive provided the Winston-Salem Police Department with 300 blankets to distribute to our homeless brothers and sisters during the cold winter months.

As a vital part of this effort, the Outreach Funding Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Vestry, recommending allocations of outreach giving to organizations serving the sick, poor, needy, hungry, strangers and prisoners from the Stedman Fund and the St. Paul’s Fund. Grantees for 2016 included Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries, The Hawley House, Samaritan Inn, Crisis Control, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, Bethesda Center, AIDS Care Services and Community Care Health Clinic.

Crisis Ministry

The goal of the Crisis Ministry at St. Paul’s is to provide financial assistance for residents of Winston-Salem who are experiencing a life-altering health crisis. Assistance is available to St. Paul’s parishioners who find themselves in crisis and to our brothers and sisters in need who “fall through the cracks” of existing social service programs, or for whom the need is greater than existing social service ministries and agencies can provide, including the elderly, the working poor, the unemployed and those on disability or public assistance who are facing short-term financial crises.

St. Paul’s received more than 400 applications for crisis assistance and provided support to approximately 90% of qualified applicants during the past year.

Sharing Space

St. Paul’s shares its space with organizations in the greater Winston-Salem community, making our buildings available throughout the year. Several Twelve-Step groups rely on our meeting space for their weekly gatherings and within the past year, groups including the I-Can House, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, the Mental Health Association, Carolina Adoption Services, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem-Forsyth County Public Library, R.J. Reynolds High School sports teams, CareNet, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, YMCA and many others have held events, meetings and non-profit fund-raisers on the St. Paul’s campus.

Kids’ Café

Through its Kids’ Café Ministry, St. Paul’s is making a difference in the lives of local children. The program has 42 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through high school who come to St. Paul’s Place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings for a nutritious dinner followed by help with homework, projects and preparation for tests. The program is committed to helping students graduate with success and has offered assistance with college expenses through a scholarship fund.

Parishioners participate in school supply drives for Kids’ Café, collecting and distributing Christmas gifts for students and food baskets for the families. Last year the Community Gatherings committee hosted the Thanksgiving dinner celebration and end-of-year celebration. Because of generous parishioners, Kids’ Café is able to provide scholarships for field trips and other school-related expenses.

Summer Enrichment Program

For more than 40 years, St. Paul’s has sponsored its Summer Enrichment Program for children in first through ninth grades who live in the nearby Thurmond Street neighborhood or who are connected to St. Paul’s through Kids’ Café. The primary objective of the program is to provide participants with opportunities that build self-esteem and encourage positive life choices in a spiritual setting in which they can recognize God’s gifts and share them with others. Many parishioners volunteer each summer, leading activities, making lunches, providing field trip experiences and working with the children along with the Summer Enrichment Program staff.

Among the Summer Enrichment Program opportunities, children are invited to participate at Camp Bob at Kanuga for several days. The camp primarily serves children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend summer camp and encourages children to reach their true potential in a place removed from the everyday routine of life. In addition to providing financial support, St. Paul’s volunteers prepare special “camp bags” so that each child goes to camp provided with a towel, flashlight, insect repellent, personal care items and snacks.

St. Paul’s Backpack Program

Under the leadership of St. Anne’s Circle, St. Paul’s participates in Second Harvest Food Bank’s Backpack Program at South Fork Elementary School, currently serving more than 100 children. Many families rely on school meals provided by the Free and Reduced Lunch Program to feed their children, but these meals are not available on weekends. The Backpack Program provides crucial nutrition during this time to ensure that children return each Monday nourished and ready to learn. Each week parishioners pick up the food at the Food Bank, the kits of food are put together by volunteers at the church, and volunteers deliver the back packs to the school.

ReadWS

As an outreach mission of St. Paul’s, the mission of ReadWS is to reach, teach and advocate for struggling readers by training tutors, educators and parents to use the evidence-based, best practices of a multi-sensory structured literacy approach. The program focuses on students who are at an economic disadvantage. Many other individuals, foundations, schools, faith-based communities and civic organizations join with St. Paul’s as tutors, donors, supporters and advocates.

Crisis Control Ministry’s Gift of the Month

For decades St. Paul’s has been an active participant in this program which helps to stock the food pantry at Crisis Control Ministry. Each month a designated food or household product is announced, and parishioners place their contributions at the statue of St. Paul in the nave or in a basket by the chapel. St. Paul’s volunteers deliver the items to Crisis Control regularly.

Christmas Tidings

Each year at Christmas time, St. Paul’s Outreach Ministry puts together an alternative gift giving program through which parishioners are invited to contribute to charitable organizations in addition to those supported year-round by the church, such as the Heifer Project, Family Services, Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and others. In exchange for a $5 contribution, the donor receives a Christmas card acknowledging their donation to send to a friend or family member in lieu of or in addition to a Christmas gift.

White Gifts

Each Christmas Eve parish families bring gifts such as scarves, gloves, small CD players and other fun and useful items, wrapped in white tissue paper, to the afternoon Family Carol Service to be given to residents of the Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner. Murdoch provides services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, complex behavioral challenges and/or medical conditions whose clinical treatment needs cannot be supported in the community. Murdoch operates four specialty programs including children and adolescents’ programs, available for individuals residing in all regions of the state.

In the Name of the Father

Each year St. Paul’s provides Christmas gifts for the children of more than 65 inmates of the Cherry Street Prison and the entire parish is invited to participate in a gift bagging and stocking stuffing party during Sunday morning formation time.

St. Paul’s parish also partners with Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries to offer worship services at the local jail and Cherry Street prison unit.

Other Outreach

In the past year, St. Paul’s outreach efforts have also included hosting a poverty simulation, providing support for medical missionaries and underwriting projects that have helped hundreds affected by human tragedy and natural disasters such as the Syrian refugee crisis, the flooding in West Virginia and most recently hurricane Matthew relief efforts in North Carolina and Haiti.

Representatives from our non-profit partners participate in our Good Friday liturgy and often speak to various groups of St. Paul’s parishioners.

If you are interested in learning more about St. Paul’s outreach ministries and the many volunteer opportunities available, please contact Sally Dudley, Director of Stewardship and Outreach Ministries at (336) 723-4391, ext. 1502, or sdudley@stpauls-ws.org

Your Pledge Makes All Our Ministries Possible

To pledge to the 2017 annual giving campaign, Faithful Stewards of God’s Bounty, contact Director of Stewardship and Outreach Ministries Sally Dudley at (336) 723-4391, ext. 1502, or sdudley@stpauls-ws.org.