Building and supporting community
Sharing a meal is a very basic, very biblical way of building a community. That means planning, preparing, eating and cleaning up together. It's something we take seriously at St. Paul's with a once a month breakfast, a once a month brunch, and food at every opportunity that comes up! The rules are simple: no us/them or server/guest; never a charge – but donations (cash, food, labor...) gratefully accepted!
At this point St. Paul's is facing a very real financial challenge. As our mostly poor community expands our expenses go up a lot faster than our income! Like our neighbors – and like a lot of our family – we once had enough income to pay our bills, build and support programs like the Soup Kitchen and even have a little left over. That time ended some years ago! From a financial standpoint, we're poor. Like lots of our neighbors, our space costs are too high, our space use too restricted, and our income doesn't cover our expense ….cue.... “donations gratefully accepted”...
Willimantic once was a prosperous mill town. Then the mills closed.. Now jobs are scarce, poverty levels are high. With ECSU in town, and UConn just up the road, there’s enough housing pressure to keep rents high. The hill overlooks downtown. ECSU is on top and the beautiful, mostly well kept “Victorian Ladies,” where the mill bosses once lived, occupy the upper portion. Below Prospect Street the houses still are big but they’re closer together, not as ornate – or well kept – and most have been converted to multifamily rental.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
220 Valley Street
Willimantic CT 06226
Rev. Jaci Sheldon, Priest-in-charge
Sunday, 9am: Communion (Morning Prayer when Rev. Jaci is away)
10:30am: Soup Kitchen Bible Study
1:30pm: Healing Prayer
2pm: Family meeting
1st Sunday of the month: Healing Service followed by Vestry Meeting
2nd Sunday of the month: Morning Service followed by Neighborhood Brunch
3rd Sunday of the month: Morning Service and Sandwich Making/Distribution
4th Sunday of the month: Morning Service followed by 4th Sunday Breakfast
5th Sundays: Service held in the Community Room
In Holy Communion we have Christ under the appearance of bread.
In our work we find him under the appearance of flesh and blood.
It is the same Christ.
"I was hungry,
I was naked,
I was sick,
I was homeless."
Mother Teresa of Calcutta