Outreach and Help
Outreach and Help for Those in Need
"I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the afflictedand executes justice for the needy."
As part of its Christian witness, St. Paul United Church of Christ has long been active in service to the community. The Penrickton Center for the Blind, now located on Eureka Road in Taylor, originally began at St. Paul United Church as a cooperative nursery for blind children. In more recent years, St. Paul members have been instrumental in launching and sustaining the ChristNet Shelter for the homeless, which rotates among approximately 50 Protestant and Catholic churches. Besides providing an administrative address for the shelter, our congregation serves as a week-long host for up to thirty homeless men, women, and children every October, providing three meals per day, plus safe and secure overnight housing. St. Paul United Church has also helped lead the way in the founding of the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry which distributes two million pounds of food annually to Downriver and Dearborn Heights families in need. Our senior pastor, who co-founded ChristNet, serves as president of the Board of Directors for Fish & Loaves. At least one hundred church members get involved in hosting our ChristNet week. More than a dozen church members volunteer 8-40 hours on site per week at the Fish & Loaves Pantry. The entire congregation is encouraged to donate food and household products to ChristNet and Fish & Loaves, making use of a collection bin in the church narthex.
Our church school gets involved with such varied mission and outreach efforts as the Heifer Project, world Vision Famine Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, the Salvation Army, and the Wayne Family Center, which shelters homeless families on a longer-term basis. In conjunction with Downriver ARC our youth also host an annual Valentine’s dance for the developmentally challenged. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Dorcas Society, one of our congregation’s women’s groups, supports First Step, a domestic violence shelter, while the Sew and Sews Sewing Guild participate in the Linus Project for AIDS-infected children, knit caps for preemies through Oakwood Hospital, and crochet out of ordinary grocery bags colorful plastic sleeping mats for the homeless. On the recommendation of individual church members, our congregation often adopts new mission projects.
Of course, as a “5 for 5” congregation of the United Church of Christ, the members of St. Paul financially support many different specialized ministries organized and coordinated by the national and state offices of our denominational family. At the national and international level these specialized ministries include hospitals, retirement communities, colleges, special education schools, and a wide variety of overseas mission projects. More locally, our assistance to the Detroit Metropolitan Association and Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ lends help to the Evangelical Homes, serving the young and elderly, and Olivet College, a historic church-related school in Olivet, Michigan.