This blog was written and contributed by The Rev. Laura Sheridan-Campbell, Vicar of St. Martin’s in Shady Cove.
When the global pandemic hit in March 2020, St. Martin’s Shady Cove had been offering a monthly, indoor, no-barrier food pantry to the community for over ten years. Through this outreach ministry, we were known as the little church with a big heart that serves all. Then when a global pandemic emerged, we were forced to adapt to a drive-thru model.
Coordinators Bill and MaryEllen Mower led our stalwart volunteers to set up canopies and tables, sort food indoors and carry it outdoors, and give it all away. As families and individuals lost jobs and faced hardship, they came in droves. More volunteers came to help. So we offered two pantries a month. Then last Fall, two wildfires displaced over 5,000 persons in the Rogue River Valley. More community partners came to the fore. St. Martin’s responded by holding five food pantries in September, and three every month after that.
In 2020, the Diocesan Commission on Poverty and Homelessness awarded St. Martin’s a grant. It came at a critical time. Not only did this generous gift help us to feed more hungry neighbors with more healthy food. It was a vote of confidence when we needed it that furthered the mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon in Shady Cove. We are so thankful.
As do many of our churches, St. Martin’s faces the threat of wildfires again, and unprecedented cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the Delta variant. The needs are greater than ever. Like Jesus multiplied a few loaves and fish to feed thousands, God takes the grant we received, and other generous gifts, and showed us how much more we can offer a hurting world in Jesus’ Name.
Amidst multiple challenges, in a deeply polarized world, there’s a little stretch in Shady Cove where the good news is being proclaimed in humility with every loaf of bread and box of fruit given and received. With deep gratitude, St. Martin’s looks forward to supporting the Diocesan Commission on Poverty and Homelessness in their “Baskets of Plenty” Virtual Auction in October. We hope you will, too.
Baskets of Plenty Virtual Auction – October 9, 2021
Join the Commission on Poverty and Homelessness for their upcoming online silent auction, beginning October 2, and their online live auction on October 6. You can sign-up to participate by visiting: https://cphfundraiser.schoolauction.net/auction2021/. Download the flyer here and share it with your congregation and community.