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Outreach around the Diocese: St. Paul's, Watertown and Mary's Room

The expectant mom texted a message to Mary’s Room Facebook page: “I am a single mom, expecting any day now, and I have nothing for the baby. Can you help?” The response was immediate as this is what we do at St Paul’s. We were able to help her with baby furniture and equipment, clothes and diapers and our stash of new blankets and quilts made with love and donated from members of the parish and the Watertown community. Forty-five minutes later she was prepared for the new arrival!

This was not an unusual circumstance for our outreach program. We have a lot of moms and dads who visit us for diapers, clothes and baby equipment on a routine basis, but we often deal with emergency needs and coordinate community resources as they arise.

Mary’s Room is supported by the parish and the entire community. Many area churches have fundraisers and collections for us, and secular organizations give to us regularly. We collaborate with other outreach programs such as the food pantry, the free laundry service, and family services, creating a community safety net for families. In addition, we have received substantial support from the Watertown Health Foundation and Watertown Public Health to create a safety net for families in the greater Watertown area. We also have a trusted relationship with Jefferson County Human Services, and they accept referrals from us for families needing help with employment, housing, and child care.

We're proud that the Mary’s Room model has been adopted by the Methodist Church in Fort Atkinson, and St. Paul’s donated clothing items and equipment to get them started. It’s good to have a sister agency in southern Jefferson County as the need continues to grow. We have no geographic limits at Mary’s Room, and we are willing to serve anyone even if they are just passing through!

We are blessed with dedicated volunteers both from the parish and from the community. It is interesting to note that two of our regular volunteers joined the parish family after volunteering in Mary’s Room as community members.

If you would like to donate to Mary’s Room there is a donate button on our St. Paul’s website under outreach/Mary’s Room. Or, you can send a check directly to St. Paul’s with Mary’s Room in the memo line. If you are interested in setting up a similar outreach program in your community or with your parish, you can contact Alice Mirk, St. Paul’s Outreach Coordinator, at or 920-219-0427.

Alice Mirk
Outreach Coordinator, St. Paul's, Watertown

Posted by Alice Mirk

Update from the Commission on Creation Care: March 2022

The Commission on Creation Care has met for three months and meets again Thursday, April 14, at 1 pm via Zoom. We are moving forward in two ways:

  • By studying with Rev. Dr. Collin Cornell of the Center for Religion and Environment   
  • By forming small groups to establish resources to use throughout the parishes of the diocese.

 The group has many subcommittees which focus on caring for creation and reducing our carbon footprint AND which need members:  

  • Worship and Theology  
  • Environment (land, water, or air)
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Church Buildings - taking advantage of energy savings
  • Church Grounds - preparing our grounds to care for human and non-human neighbors
  • Alternative Energy (including solar)
  • Advocacy 

If you would be interested in joining this mission, please let us know by emailing .

Deacon Gregg Schneider (Beloit) is convener. Jane Stenson (Mineral Point) is clerk. Susan Adams (Beloit) and Susan Gillespie (Beloit) serve as librarians. The librarians will maintain the commission's materials and resources.

Resources for Lent 2022

Resources for Lent 2022

  1. "In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). This Lent, the United Thank Offering is offering a 40-day Lenten gratitude journal. Each week we ’ll look at an area of your life and world and take time to notice all the ways that god shows up through the people or places you encounter.
  2. The United Thank Offering has also created a guide for at-home Lenten practices for children. While children clearly can grasp right from wrong, the idea of repentance can be challenging. One of the things that we can help children focus on is noticing the good things that happen and seeing God amid our daily lives. Lenten Gratitude Practices for Children and Families: UTO and Growing Gratefulness offers lessons about gratitude, discussion questions and crafts to do at home.
  3. This Lenten season Living Compass is offering a daily email devotional, Living Well Through Lent 2022: Letting Go With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. "Lent is a time for introspection and self-reflection, a time to reflect on the core of what it means to live a Christian life in the midst of great change and uncertainty. When facing change and uncertainty, few practices are more central to that life than letting go so that we are freer to receive the gifts God has to offer us" (Scott Stoner). The emails will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022. You can sign up to receive the devotions on their website: https://www.livingcompass.org/lent-signup.
  4. Preparing to Become the Beloved Community: Organized around the four sections of the Becoming Beloved Community labyrinth (telling the truth, repairing the breach, practicing the way, proclaiming the dream), this Lent curriculum can help your small group or congregation to engage in racial reconciliation and reflect on Jesus’ coming among us. 
  5. For Creation Care: Climate Church, Climate World is a compelling book to engage people and congregations in the imperative of why churches need to lead on climate care. The Rev. Jim Antal has devoted his ministry to this challenge and opportunity to learn why, how, and where we can make a difference in caring for our earthly home. The book has nine chapters with discussion questions at the end of each. It’s an effective tool for getting people engaged in the movement of climate justice and climate care.
  6. From Episcopal Migration Ministries: Join us for the Lenten Virtual Borderlands Experience series, staring March 10 and continuing on Thursday evenings, at 6 pm CT. This is an opportunity to participate in a Lenten journey that brings you face to face with the injustices experienced by individuals and families who are seeking refuge as they attempt to enter the US with hope for a better life. Our presenters include individuals involved in immigration ministry and advocacy, as well as the immigrants themselves who have personally experienced the impact and trauma of our national immigration policies. Free registration here: https://zoom.us/.../tJAqcuiurz4uGtY43hJDbc3PYt7B3ddeaGva
  7. Zion, Oconomowoc has two offerings available that are open to anyone in the diocese. The Anglican Rosary for Lent is offered Monday through Friday, at 8 a.m. To join the prayer: https://bit.ly/RosaryZoom. For prayer sheet handouts: https://bit.ly/ZionLentRosary2022. Secondly, you are welcome to participate in the Online Stations of the Cross on Fridays at noon. To join online: https://bit.ly/StationsAtNoon. For a copy of the handouts: https://bit.ly/ZionStationsHandouts




 

Posted by Sara Bitner

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