For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Good Shepherd’s outreach has grown out of a strong tradition of service. Our parishioners were founders of Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Newton many years ago. We cooked and served a quarterly supper at the homeless shelter Rosie’s Place for over 25 years. We have supported ministries for AIDS patients, the homeless, and abused women and children.
The outreach process at Good Shepherd is simple. The vestry sets aside a major budget item for outreach each year, and a committee of parishioners meets throughout the year to discuss distributing those funds and to decide on grants. The committee also organizes service opportunities and collections for worthy causes.
In deciding which programs to support, we have followed the passions of our parishioners. We support the underprivileged children of the inner city through St. Stephen’s Youth Programs and Epiphany School, where we have longtime volunteers. A group serves monthly suppers at Epiphany, and we turn out, as a parish, to support St. Stephen’s B-SAFE summer program.
We have followed parishioners into international ministries, including IDE (International Development Enterprises), a project helping subsistence farmers, where a parishioner is board chair. We have also given to a small project to help the Batwa people of Burundi; again, a parishioner chairs that board.
Our young people have also led us. The youth group completed environmental service work in New Orleans this spring, and is already raising funds to repeat the trip. Christian Ed classes have organized collecting supplies for the Centre Street Food Pantry.
Whether we are making monetary grants or giving time and energy, outreach keeps teaching us how to love our neighbors. Anyone who would like to join the Outreach Committee or get involved in an ongoing or new project should contact Pia Bertelli, chair of the committee, through the parish office, (617) 244-4028.