Social Justice & Outreach
The Social Justice and Outreach Commission extends the radical welcome practiced at St. Paul’s into the community, by creating awareness of social issues and by providing opportunities for parishioners to put the gospel message into practice through social justice and charity work.
A major partnership St. Paul’s has is with the Norwalk International Academy at Brien McMahon and Norwalk High Schools that serves the needs of incoming refugee students. Fleeing the consequences of life in drug cartel, war-torn countries like Guatemala and Honduras, the teens we encounter have risked their lives to reach safety. Many have witnessed or been the victims of incredible violence. St. Paul’s members serve as tutors and companions as students learn English and develop math skills. Volunteers need not speak Spanish; nor do they need to have a formal teaching background.
Listen to a recent WPKN radio interview about St. Paul’s participation.
For more information about this partnership or other aspects of St. Paul’s Social Justice and Outreach Team, email Bob Giolitto
Programs and Events
- Episcopal Relief and Development & Through Our Diocese
Through its members and collectively as a parish, St. Paul’s responds to needs in the wider United States and around the world. We team with agencies such as Episcopal Relief and Development, and the Diocese of Connecticut, to help when situations — such as an earthquake in Haiti or typhoon in the Philippines — arise.
- Doing Christmas Differently
An alternative way to give gifts that make a real difference in our world! During past seasons, there have been occasions to help sponsor a refugee family through our partnership with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (I.R.I.S.). by providing items — coats, hats, gloves, scarves, household items etc. – that would be used to help resettle a refugee or immigrant family. Parishioners have also had the opportunity to sponsor a needy child or family with backpacks with school supplies for the children in Bogota, Colombia through Rise and Walk Foundation Inc.
- Doing Lent Differently
During Lent 2015, St. Paul’s began an ongoing partnership with the Norwalk International Academy, a component of the Public School System. Each week, parishioners donated specific school and other supplies to support a growing immigrant and refugee population. Additionally, weekly tutoring is underway at Norwalk High School. Students being served are primarily refugees fleeing drug wars in Central America. You can read more about the “what” and “why” of our work here.
During Lent 2014, more than 50 adults and children packaged 10,000 soy, rice, and protein meals in partnership with Stop Hunger Now. The parish collected more than $2,500 in coins to sponsor this packaging event. The meals were shared in developing nations around the world.
More recently, St. Paul’s has also partnered with other churches in the Southwest Region as well as Triangle Community Center and Open Doors shelter to bring Laundry Love to the area. What started as Doing Lent Differently has turned into an ongoing project. Read more about this mission here.
- Service Projects
Honoring its commitment to people in need, parishioners participate in different community service opportunities, like the painting and gardening project at the families homeless shelter in Bridgeport operated by Alpha Community Services YMCA.
- Food Collection (Person-to-Person)
Offerings of nonperishable food are collected each week at the entrance to the Church. Volunteers deliver the food to Person to Person’s pantry, which operates five mornings a week to serve the needy of South Norwalk. Our weekly contributions have increased to several hundred bags of food each year.
- Support to other organizations
St. Paul’s on the Green makes its facilities available for several AA Meetings.
- Social Justice Issues
Our Social Justice Commission works to bring awareness of injustices in our society.
What Social Issues would you like to address?
- Millennium Development Goals and the 5 Marks of Mission
At the beginning of this new millennium, 191 nations, including the United States, agreed to a plan to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015. Together they created the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). St. Paul’s wants to join the efforts in order to achieve these goals. Click on the link to read about the Millennium Development Goals and the Five Marks of Mission.