JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION MINISTRIES – TRANSFORMING THE WORLD
St. Bart’s has a long and storied history of creating just and compassionate communities in each neighborhood it has called home since it first opened in 1835 in the Bowery in Manhattan. Beginning with housing and education assistance for the waves of new immigrants to this country in the mid 19th century and continuing today with programs that meet needs for food security and shelter, dignity and hope, St. Bart’s is answering God’s call to transform its corner of the world—working to realize God’s dream for justice and compassion on earth as it is in heaven.
We discover our lives transformed by community and worship, spiritual practices and theological inquiry, and then we are sent out into the world—a world in deep need of healing and transformation—to create new life and possibilities. St. Bart’s offers several opportunities for parishioners to put their faith in action to transform the world.
Crossroads Community Services, Inc.
St. Bart’s hosts and supports this vital 501(c)3 that works to meet immediate needs of food security and safe haven through its soup kitchen, pantry, women’s shelter, volunteer, and food rescue programs. More than that, Crossroads builds live-giving, transforming human connections that foster capacity, dignity, agency, and hope. In 2019, more than 100,000 people enjoyed over 220,000 meals prepared and served by over 350 volunteers. Its annual signature event, Fare Share Friday, gathers people from all walks of life to sit together and enjoy an elegant meal the Friday after Thanksgiving, and gives all in attendance a glimpse of a world where everybody has a place at the table, and homelessness and hunger are no more.
Creation Care Task Force
Deeply concerned about the climate crisis and inspired by the “Resurrecting Earth” Sunday Forum series, several parishioners inaugurated the St. Bart’s Creation Care Task Force to continue learning about ways to honor, care for and sustain all of God’s creation. Offering weekly “Eco Tips” to reduce our carbon footprint, working with St. Bart’s Bookstore to stock eco-conscious merchandise, and joining the Global Youth Climate Strike to march in solidarity with courageous youth are just a few of the ways parishioners have discovered how to live out their passion for climate justice.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF)
St. Bart’s chapter of this national organization connects all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and want to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church, and the world. It holds interfaith worship services, has members who volunteer in school literacy programs, and participates in local and national projects that promote peace and justice. The Peace Book Club that has grown out of the EPF enjoys reading and discussing books each month that inspire and nurture our call to do justice, dismantle violence, and strive to be peacemakers.
For many years, St. Bart’s has taken a leading role in the struggle for full equality of LGBTQ+ persons not only in the Church, but also in the world. St. Bart’s LGBTQ+ folks and allies are interested in seeking and serving Christ in all persons, respecting the dignity of every human being, and creating a church and world where everyone is welcomed and valued. LGBTQ+ members are fully integrated into the life and leadership of the larger parish, and this ministry works to meet the needs of its members and raise awareness in the parish with a variety of speakers, and opportunities for service, social gatherings, friendship and support.
This ministry is composed of St. Bart’s parishioners dedicated to dismantling oppressive and abusive systems that enslave human beings through the use of violence, deception, coercion, and exploitation. Members have attended a panel discussion at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation about legislation aimed at decriminalizing the sex trade and what is at stake in doing that. Support of and collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of New York Task Force Against Human Trafficking has also been a part of the work done by this group.
St. Tabitha’s Guild
Parishioners who have a love for knitting and crocheting, for community, and for compassion and justice formed a guild for women and men that combines all three. This unique ministry has organized a variety of crocheting and knitting projects: afghans and shawls for Crossroads Community, hats and scarves for the Seamen’s Institute, and baby garments and blankets for a young mothers’ shelter in Brooklyn.