Youth Mission Trip to Appalachia

22 01 2009


– by Mark Klinski

Seeking respite from the hot noonday Appalachian sun, a group of teens and adult leaders lunch on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while chugging down water in the shade. In June 2007, this group of unskilled volunteers set out from St. Joseph’s Church in Wheaton, IL, heading south to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to assist with house repair work and serving Christ by serving “the least of the brethren.” Working with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) organization, the St. Joe’s group spent a week working on a re-roofing project at one house and on a bathroom re-flooring project at another home. ASP provides essential housing services to low-income families living in Appalachia—as well as providing life-changing opportunities for volunteers—both of which were accomplished in this exhausting and exciting week. Read the rest of this entry »


One Parish’s Engagement with its Homeless Neighbors

20 01 2009


by Jill Wallerstedt

The morning begins as most do: friends coming for breakfast. A table spread with toast, peanut butter, jelly, butter, honey, bagels, cereal and milk makes you want to fill your belly, then have a cup of coffee or tea and chat about what’s going on around our small town.

We are part of St. Brigid Fellowship, an outreach to the homeless here in Isla Vista, California. To be homeless is to be nameless, avoided, shunned, blamed, hungry and exposed to the elements. Each morning that St. Brigid’s opens its door, every visitor is known by name, has a place to belong, and finds friends, acceptance, food, clothing and help getting out of any situations they wish to leave. Read the rest of this entry »