At St. Peter’s we see it as our sacred duty to convey the radical love of God to a world that so desperately needs it. This happens through the work of our Community Market, which every Friday distributes food and living essentials to over 50 local families. It happens each Christmas when we collect toys and clothes for children in need through Adopt-a-Family. It happens when our youth and adults visit places like Honduras and Costa Rica, serving the needs of people they’ve never even met. In so many ways the people of St. Peter’s work to build God’s Kingdom by seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.
The St. Peter’s Community Market
On August 10, 2012, the St. Peter’s Community Market launched, greatly expanding a 15-year feeding ministry through our food pantry. Taking our cues from The Food Pantry at St. Gregory of Nyssa’s, San Francisco, we set out to create a ministry focused on community-building and relationality through service, as opposed to a transactional ministry. Each week, we transform our parish hall into a market; filling tables with fresh produce, bread, canned goods, household products, and personal items; as well as coolers full of frozen meats and vegetables. On average, over 70 families (280 families registered in total) visit us every Friday afternoon (4-6 pm) to receive free groceries for the week, but this ministry is about more than free food. As we continue to grow we have begun to blur the lines between shoppers and volunteers. Through times of great joy and times of great sadness we’ve gained a new understanding of community, and have set in place a safe space for all members of the community to come, be together, and receive the help they need for the week ahead.
The Community Market has become a central hub for our outreach efforts here at St. Peter’s.
Before school starts in September, we organize a back-to-school drive to help the children of the market start the academic year on the right foot.Back-to-School Drive
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving we hold a special Thanksgiving Market, where every family who signs up in advance receives a turkey and all the traditional fixings.
St. Nicholas Drive
At Christmas time we organize a St. Nicholas Drive, where we adopt the children of our Community Market families and buy them new shoes, coats, and clothes.
As we continue to grow we are always looking for ways to expand our efforts of outreach to our neighbors in need. We welcome your thoughts and ideas. If you have any questions about the Mission and Outreach efforts at St. Peter’s, contact Director of Ministry, John Lord.
Local media coverage of the Community Market:
RI Community Food Bank Spring Newsletter (Spring 2013)
South County Independent (Aug 2, 2012).