Hard Times Resources

Congregations and organizations in our diocese are reaching out in a variety of ways to support individuals and families who are struggling in these hard economic times. Send submissions for this page to tjs@diomass.org.

Gather

Our Neighbors’ Table in Amesbury
St. James’s Church in Amesbury collects food for and helps sponsor and serve Wednesday night meals at Our Neighbors’ Table, served 4-6 p.m. at the Main Street Congregational Church.

 

Transitions Group at All Saints Parish, Brookline
The Transitions Group for those who are unemployed or underemployed meets at All Saints Parish (1773 Beacon Street) in Brookline on the first Tuesday of the month.  The group meets from September through June at 7 p.m.  Participants update one another on their current situation and provide resources and suggestions.  Members then participate in reflection on the Gospel for the coming Sunday.  The group has been in existence for four years and helps members keep up their spirits in this often discouraging job environment.  Additionally, a Transitions Group in Needham meets weekly and provides daily opportunities to connect with resources. Meetings are open to all at Needham Presbyterian Church (1458 Great Plain Avenue / 781-444-3728). To receive its newsletter, please e-mail: transitionsneedham@gmail.com.

 

St. Luke’s Soup Kitchen, Chelsea
Formally established on March 30, 2009, this is a partnership of St. Luke’s-San Lucas Church in Chelsea (201 Washington Street / 617-884-4278) and three Mystic Valley congregations:  St. Paul’s Church in Lynnfield, Grace Church in Medford and Trinity Church in Melrose.  The kitchen, which began operations on May 31, 2009, is staffed entirely by volunteers, and opens every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Warm, nutritious breakfast and lunch are served to anyone who comes in, free of charge.  Volunteers and donations are always welcome.  Contact the Rev. Edgar Gutierriez-Duarte at 617-884-3300 or vicarsanlucas@aol.com.

 

Food Pantry at St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester

Staffed by volunteers, the Food Pantry at St. Mary’s Church (14 Cushing Avenue) in Dorchester runs every Tuesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Clients are eligible to receive food once a month. Learn more at www.stmarysdorchester.org. 

 

Transition group for the unemployed through Christ Church, Hamilton
Anyone who has lost a job and is interested in meeting with others in transition for the purpose of mutual support, prayer and networking, is invited to join the Transition Fellowship that meets at 16 Cressy Street in Beverly every other Thursday at 12 p.m. for lunch, discussion of a relevant topic and a time of prayer.  For more information, contact Diane Castro (dpcastro@hotmail.com or 978-697-6990).  The invitation is open to anyone, whether members of a parish or not, who might benefit from this group.  The group is also happy to add names to an e-mail list to receive updates about the group, resources related to the job search and news of possible job openings.

 

Employment support group at St. Andrew’s, Hanover
St. Andrew’s Church (17 Church Street) in Hanover hosts a South Shore Employment Support Group that meets weekly on Thursdays, 9-10:30 a.m., in the parish hall. The goal is to provide a supportive environment for networking and learning new skills. To assure adequate coffee and pastries are on hand, register online at ssesg@standrewshanover.org; participants should bring a resume and business cards if they have them. 

 

Community Supper at St. Luke’s Church, Hudson
St. Luke’s Church
(5 Washington Street) in Hudson serves a community supper on the second and fourth Sundays of every month, 5-6 p.m.  It is a hot, healthy meal, lovingly prepared by parishioners of the church and free of charge (donations welcome).  St. Luke’s is in Wood Square, the town center, at the intersection of Route 85 and Route 62.  For information, call 978-562-2701 or info@stlukeshudson.org. 

 

Angel Food Ministries at St. John’s Church, Jamaica Plain
St. John’s Church (Roanoke Avenue and Revere Street) in Jamaica Plain is now a host site for Angel Food Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational “grocery relief” organization.  St. John’s Church serves as a distribution site for $30-boxes of fresh, frozen and packaged groceries ordered in advance.  Cash, credit card and food stamp payments are accepted, and everyone qualifies.  More information is available here.

 

Thrift Shop, Trinity Church, Melrose
The Trinity Thrift Shop (131 West Emerson Street) began its ministry to the community in 1978 and provides, at low cost, gently used clothing, housewares, books and more.  Hours of operation are Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  For more information call the parish office at 781-665-3890 or go to www.trinitymelrose.org. 

 

Food Pantry at St. Martin's Church in New Bedford
St. Martin's Church (136 Rivet Street) in New Bedford offers a food pantry on three designated days each month.  See www.stmartinsma.org for the schedule. 

 

Working for Work at Grace Church, North Attleboro
Working for Work, a support group for those in the area who are unemployed, meets weekly on Wednesdays in the library at Grace Church (104 North Washington Street) in North Attleboro.  Starting on Jan. 6, 2010, the group will meet at a new time, 6:30-8:30 p.m., to accommodate more participants.  There are two components to the meetings:  time to network, rehearse interviews and critique resumes, with additional time devoted to the need for self care and mutual support so that the natural stresses from unemployment do not themselves become obstacles.  There is no fee.  For information call 617-331-5541.

Additionally, Working for Work hopes to form a second group, aimed at the needs of the families of the unemployed, and is seeking a licensed social worker or mental health counselor to volunteer as a facilitator.   For information contact  Katie Purvis at mamaswan01@verizon.net. 

 

Sunday night community dinner at St. Luke’s Church, Scituate
St. Luke’s Church (465 First Parish Road) in Scituate serves a free dinner on the fourth Sunday of each month, 5-6 p.m., offered for anyone who doesn’t want to cook that night, who wants to eat with others or who needs to stretch end-of-month dollars. There are children’s activities, as well as someone on hand to do blood pressure checks. 

Read and Reflect

 

Video: Reflections on Faith and Giving: An Interview with Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE

Finding Hope in Hard Times: Seven Spiritual Practices: A Faithful Steward’s Guide

Download here or order a hard copy online here.

Faith and Finance: The Rubber and the Road,” (Episcopal Times, Winter 2008-2009) by The Rev. Joyce Caggiano
“…what is the most important, the most loving, the most generous, the most comforting thing that I can do for my family, my church, my country? It is in times of greatest challenge that we need to seek the assurance of God’s power to reconcile all things.”
Read the article.

Commentary:  “The Dow and the Empty Tomb”

Jesus the economist, an opportunity of a lifetime and why, most times, we miss the point.

Pray

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer, page 832)


Other resources

Project Bread’s Summer Food Service Program provides healthy meals to children and youth while school is out.  Sites are located in many Massachusetts cities and towns.  Call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 or visit www.meals4kids.org in July and August.


MassResources.org  is a free online resource for Massachusetts residents in need of housing, food, health care and other basic services.

Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline (M-F 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.): Provides information on food stamp eligibility, school meal programs and emergency food resources in Massachusetts. Call 800-645-8333 (TTY: 800-377-1292).