Outreach @ St. Bernard's Church
When we renew our Baptismal Covenant we promise, trusting in God’s help, that we will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves. And we promise that we will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. Therefore, outreach is a primary way that we live out the Good News of God in Christ. Together as a parish we reach out to help neighbors and strangers alike in Bernardsville and beyond through ongoing, monthly, and seasonal activities that extend God’s love to the world.
St. Bernard’s Church enjoys a long legacy of community outreach. Over the years, its parish ministries have developed into programs that have taken on a life of their own in the wider world. Some of the regional services flourishing today that had their start in St. Bernard’s parish include The Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills, Gill St. Bernard's School, and the Career Forum of the YMCA.
We celebrate the time, energy, and initiative that parishioners offer to the world in God’s name.
Grace’s Kitchen is a community feeding program in Plainfield, New Jersey, that offers meals to area residents. It is housed in Grace Episcopal Church, a member parish of the Watchung Convocation.
Anyone, including local youth and parishioners of St. Bernard’s, is encouraged to sign up each month and join our lay leadership for this service opportunity. Community Service verification documentation is available for students who wish to serve and satisfy school volunteer requirements.
On the last Saturday of each month a group of parishioners offer their time in Grace’s Kitchen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the supervision of the kitchen’s director. Families can work together and parents bring children to help with food preparation and distribution.
Grace’s Kitchen also provides dry goods, canned foods and recycled clothing to guests of the program. In October and November each year, we collect warm winter clothing for the guests of Grace’s Kitchen. In December, we host an annual food drive with the support of ShopRite in Bernardsville, bagging the nonperishable donations to distribute to guests at the New Year.
For more details about the program and signing-up, please contact the Parish Office or John Smith.
St. Bernard's Church oversees a relief fund for individuals and families in the wider community. The Community Fund makes one-time grants to applicants living in the Somerset Hills who qualify.
Advocates of cases for application, including area clergy, school counselors, social workers, and case workers, should contact the Parish Office for more information on the application process.
If you are interested in learning more about Outreach, please contact the Parish Office.
Feeding America Backpack Program
Pastoral Care is a ministry of care giving in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is available to those who have been hospitalized, or who are home bound, as well as to others. We offer this ministry to parishioners and friends of the parish who call upon us for support both temporarily and in an on-going way. Clergy or Lay Eucharistic Visitors are available to bring Holy Communion to those who cannot make it to worship on Sunday.
Pastor Beth offers pastoral care to people in time of need, whether or not they are a member of the parish or a person of faith. Pastor Beth is in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You are welcome to drop in or schedule an appointment with her. She is also available for coaching.
Prayer Shawl Group
The St. Bernard's knitters (and crocheters!) meet on the fourth Thursday of every month in the Parish House. The completed prayer shawls are blessed by the clergy, and presented to those in need. Pocket prayer shawls are also blessed and available in the Narthex to take for yourself or someone in need. Colorful hats are knitted, blessed, and shared with children and adults receiving surgery in Guatemala on Cindy McWilliams’ annual Faith in Practice medical mission trip.
Please consider joining this group; it is a great way to learn a new skill and contribute to this great ministry, while enjoying a wonderful evening once a month with members of the group. All skill levels are welcome; lessons, patterns and yarn will be provided. For more information about receiving a unique, handmade shawl, or about this ministry please click here.
PLEASE HELP FEED HUNGRY CHILDREN
IN SOMERSET COUNTY …All We Ask Is One Item A Week!
How can a child focus on schoolwork when she or he is trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger? Across the country, teachers & school nurses have found that in some instances, Monday morning comes and they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students. More than 18 million children qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program, but what happens to these children when they go home over the weekend?
For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need over the course of the weekend. Today, bags of food assembled at more than 150 local food banks are distributed at the end of the week to nearly 230,000 children every year. With your help, we can provide more.
For several years now the Foodbank of Somerset County has been providing food for breakfast and lunch on weekends for hundreds of hungry children in need. Currently they supply bags of food to 12 elementary schools, feeding 400 children. They are in constant need of food items for the program and would like to expand the program to even more schools. Sadly they estimate that up to 2,000 elementary school children in Somerset County could qualify for the program. Suggested nonperishable food items include:
Milk boxes; applesauce cups; Oatmeal packs; Granola bars; Cans of Chef Boyardee Meals, Tuna; Bags of Ramen Noodles; Juice Boxes; Ziploc Bags; etc.
Please consider buying one extra item on this list every week when you shop for food and put it in the collections bins at St Bernard’s Church the Parish Hall. Many items on the list can be purchased for $2.00 or less. If dozens of us make this small contribution we will feed many children. Please Help!
St. Bernard’s Church hosts two weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous recovery groups. These meet on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 pm and Saturday evenings at 6:00 pm in the Hall of our new Parish House.