St. Paul’s Vestry articulated and adopted the following goal in 2016:
“Project our mission outside our walls in ways that will help build partnerships
grow our footprint in the larger community, make a difference in people’s
lives and open new opportunities.”
Below is a listing of Mission and Outreach projects that, in 2018, helped us to continue to
achieve this goal.
Windham Area Interfaith Ministry
St. Paul’s participates in WAIM’s Back to School Clothing program, the Steeplechase Bike Tour, the Saturday work day program for faith communities, the Walk for Warmth, the Adopt-a-Family Program, and the other December holiday programs.
Murphy Sewall serves as our delegate to WAIM.
Covenant Soup Kitchen
St. Paul’s has put emphasis on support of the
Soup Kitchen. Individuals have made monetary donations, and parishioners have been encouraged to bring in food donations for delivery to the Soup Kitchen. Joining with The Chronicle and other organizations, support of the Soup Kitchen continues to be a focus of our parish.
Windham Region No Freeze Hospitality Program
This is a special program for our parish. This program has evolved from being a place for homeless people to get in out of the cold to a program where help can also be found to access programs, seek employment and find permanent housing. A program initiated in 2017 to provide services to homeless youth continues and has funding from ECCT.
Monica Marsh organizes St. Paul’s people to provide Saturday night dinner for shelter residents on fourth Saturdays during the winter months.
Steeplechase Bike Tour
This annual event of many years now splits its proceeds three ways to WAIM, Perception Programs and the No Freeze Shelter. In 2018, St. Paul’s people managed our premier rest stop and help with registration and the myriad tasks on the day of the event. Donovan Reinwald and Kurt Mott rode for St. Paul’s, and Murphy Sewall managed the fundraising appeal.
Community Meals at the First Baptist Church, Willimantic
St. Paul's buys, prepares and serves dinner to an average of 60 people in need on the 4th Sunday of every month. Our neighbor Susan Cacchiotti in November is the coordinator of volunteers and food planning/ordering.
Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement Program (QCRR)
In May, 2018, the family who came through this program started their second year in Willimantic. They came to us from Aleppo, Syria and had spent almost three years in a refugee settlement in Turkey awaiting completion of the process that allowed them to come to the US. Our parish had been vitally involved in setting up their home prior to their arrival. Various parishioners have served as volunteers, providing child care, transportation and language tutoring to the family, now numbering six, after the birth of their fourth child in September.
Windham Area Interfaith Working Group
This is a group of lay people and clergy of Jewish, Muslim and Christian persuasions who function under this Mission Statement: "Our mission is to promote broader understanding of the richness and diversity of the people in our communities. Our motivation to come together was spurred by the toxicity of the current political climate and our desire to foster a different message that embraced our different traditions and beliefs."
In 2018, those activities included planning, for a third year, the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, scripture sharing evenings, and participation in the Boombox Parade. Marion Beausoleil and Virginia Fulton represent St. Paul’s to this group.
Daughters of Abraham
Women from St. Paul’s continue to meet monthly with this group, which uses relevant books to get to know each other, become friends and learn about each other’s faith traditions. Daughters of Abraham is a national organization, started in Boston just after 9/11. While it is not a social action group per se, it is a mechanism by which cultural and religious barriers dissolve, replaced by deep friendships and understanding that holds members in good stead as they do their individual work in the world.
Marion Beausoleil is the contact should you be interested.