Community and Outreach
The Kirk and members of its congregation are actively doing God’s work in Charlottetown, our region, and in the wider world. We are committed to sharing our time and resources with our neighbours.
Faith in ACT!ON: Since 2008, we have gone beyond the walls of the Kirk to serve the Charlottetown community through our faith in ACT!ON campaign. Through this campaign we have painted school yard equipment; helped to landscape the playground at St. Jeans Elementary School; renovated a Public school library; planted trees; provided BBQ lunches and snacks for volunteers at Habitat for Humanity work sites; ran a fundraising BBQ at the Habitat for Humanity Mt. Edward Road location to support the purchase of needed building materials; provided and served meals at the Upper Room soup kitchen; adopted a room at Camp Keir and done clean-up and painting at the camp; planted a corner garden in support of Communities in Bloom; planted flowers at two Anderson House locations; helped congregational members with difficult-to-do yard work; and led worship in many of our neighbouring Nursing Homes! By putting our faith into action we have discovered that we not only serve our community but that we are blessed in return. If you have a project that you think would be just right for our Faith in Act!on weekend, please call our church office at: (902) 892-2839.
Community Thanksgiving Dinners: Started in 2008 as an outreach event to those in need of a hot meal within the downtown Charlottetown community in the build-up to Christmas, the event evolved to become the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, originally held in partnership with the downtown branch #1 of the Royal Canadian Legion. It now continues in partnership with the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry, and remains an opportunity for our congregation to directly serve our neighbours in need. With the help of donors, we provide, prepare and serve this very welcome seasonal meal.
Helping Hampers: Another way that we reach out into our community is through our Helping Hampers campaign, which provides the makings for Christmas season meals to those in need. Started in 2010 as a replacement for our White Gifts program, the Helping Hampers campaign is a partnership with the Salvation Army church in downtown Charlottetown and their annual Christmas Hamper program. Held at the beginning of Advent this campaign reminds us that it is indeed better to give than to receive. Also during Advent, we collect items to be placed in necessities gift bags which are provided to patrons of the Upper Room at Christmas.
Each month the Kirk sends volunteers to the Upper Room to help in the preparation and serving of a nutritious meal. To find out more information on the outreach of the Upper Room, visit their website at: http://www.urhm.org/ If you’d like to help out, please contact Rev. Amanda or phone the church office at 902-892-2839.
The Presbyterian Women are active in faith in a variety of ways. They support the Atlantic Mission Society through an annual church service and offering, which supports outreach in our region. They also make donations to the programs of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Synod Hospital Worker in Halifax, and micro-financing projects in South Africa. They are always glad to welcome new members.
Our church frequently hosts workshops for those looking for both fellowship and the acquisition of a new skill. Past workshops have included lessons on basket weaving, rug hooking, rug braiding, making Christmas centerpieces and crafting Easter wreaths. Members of the community are welcome to share these events, which are usually run on an advanced sign-up basis. You are invited to phone the Kirk office at (902) 892-2839 to discover the next available crafting opportunity.
During the past year, the Kirk assisted Central Christian Church in preparing a home for a family of Iraqi refugees by helping to refurbish and furnish a home for them in Charlottetown.
The Kirk supports the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island’s youth camp, Camp Keir, located at Canoe Cove. Camp Keir’s mission is to provide youth with the opportunity “to grow inside by playing outside.”
The church also supports the many domestic and international mission projects of the Presbyterian World Service and Development, both with individual donations and through special Sunday School collections. It further supports the work of the Presbyterian Church in Canada by making annual donations to Presbyterians Sharing.
The Kirk regularly hosts various meetings of the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island on the premises.
Three evenings a week, the Kirk of St. James hosts meetings of the Charlottetown chapter of Narcotics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization. They offer recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle.
Twice a month, the Kirk hosts the Freeing the Words Support Group. It offers a confidential place for women, men and couples whom are barren (i.e. unable to conceive or successfully produce their children), to be heard with respect, empathy and dignity. The group is non-denominational.
The Kirk is a member of the Charlottetown and Area Christian Council, providing a unified Christian voice on issues of concern in our area.
The Kirk of St. James nominates two members for the Board of the Stamper and Charlotte Residences, which are located on Fitzroy Street and All Soul’s Lane, respectively. These homes provide lady residents with full scale community care.
The Kirk also appoints one member of the congregation to sit on the Old Protestant Cemetery Committee, which works to maintain this historic cemetery on University Avenue.
Each year the Kirk hosts two events which invite the participation and support of the wider community, its Mother’s Day Lobster Plate Take-Out and the Kirk Ceilidh.
Each May, the Kirk prepares and sells a lobster plate for take-out, featuring cold lobster, salads, roll, and carrot cake dessert. This is usually the first lobster dinner sale in the Charlottetown region, and is much anticipated. Sales are usually limited to 500 tickets, and are in good demand, thanks to the Island tradition of eating lobster to celebrate Mother’s Day. This is the Kirk’s largest fund raiser of the year.
On the last Saturday in October, the Kirk hosts its annual Ceilidh. This sale provides a wealth of goodies for the shopper, from a range of baked goods to home-made preserves and deli items, including offerings that are gluten-free. The sale also includes used treasures, jewellery, books and many handcrafted items made by the members of the Kirk. A plant and dried flowers table rounds out the offerings. The ladies of the Kirk also put on a soup or chowder and desserts lunch in connection with the Ceilidh.