Events for February 2023

Ministry to local school blesses congregation

Ministry to local school blesses congregation 600 454 Episcopalians in Connection

by Cathy Bagot

The congregation of Trinity, Newark, has had an active ministry with Ben Franklin Elementary School in Newark for over 20 years. The support of the students and staff in the school, which serves a lower income neighborhood, began when the Rev. Vicki Zust was rector, and continues today. Initially volunteers read with first grade students once a week – helping the students hone their reading and comprehension skills and developing relationships. Over the years, parishioners began providing school supplies and gift cards for teachers to purchase needed things for their classrooms. The staff of the school are amazing – going above and beyond in innumerable ways to provide the students with learning and enrichment opportunities.

The bounty collected for the students on the 2022 Giving Tree. Photo by Diane Clinton.

Trinity members also have responded to specific requests for household needs (e.g. grandparents who suddenly find themselves caring for grandchildren who need beds, linens, clothes, etc.). For many years, the parish has collected things for the children on the annual Christmas Giving Tree, such as warm coats, hats/gloves/scarves, undies, socks, shirts, pants, boots, books … and anything else we can think of. For the third year, the congregation delivered 47 hand-tied fleece blankets to be distributed to students in need.

Trinity is blessed to have this relationship and to be able to continue this ministry. Those who participate often say that they get more from it than the staff and students do.