Through interest from many parishioners, St. James’ has formed a Racial Justice & Reconciliation Commission to do our part in the community.  This group of active volunteers meets regularly and is committed to sharing important information to St. James’ Family regarding Racial Justice.  This Commission will share resource material here and within the weekly newsletter.  Be sure to check out the “Did you know?” articles in the weekly helping to share facts and insights. And monthly, there are events and programs sponsored to help educate and open our minds!

Shoulder to Shoulder Thursday, June 13 at 3pm in the Conference Room

Shoulder to Shoulder Training is designed to reduce and counter anti-Muslim bias, discrimination and violence in the United States. The topics covered will also be helpful in developing general allyship skills. The June 13th session has been scheduled for RJRC members at this time. If the training is as effective as we hope, we will arrange a larger session for interested members of our congregation. Standing with American Muslims. Advancing American Ideals. 

Our multi-faith coalition was founded on the notion that anti-Muslim discrimination is not just a “Muslim issue” but a problem that impacts us all. If religious communities and people of faith in the United States are connected, equipped, and mobilized to address, counter and prevent anti-Muslim hatred, discrimination, and violence, we will build a more inclusive and pluralistic nation where people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds are treated respectfully, fairly, and with dignity. To learn more: https://www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org/

Witness to Injustice Comes to St. James' April 13

Experiential program to be held at St. James Episcopal Church, Skaneateles

Witness to Injustice, a unique three-hour interactive group educational experience presented by Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation and the Syracuse Peace Council will take place at St. James Episcopal Church, 96 East Genesee St., Skaneateles, Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required as space is limited. The program is sponsored by St. James’ Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission. 

Witness to Injustice uses an experiential, participatory model to share the disturbing history of what Indigenous Peoples have experienced through colonization with a focus on the experience of the Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee Peoples. 

The program seeks to foster truth, understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the part of the world now known as the United States; especially in the territory stewarded by people of the Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee peoples. 

Witness to Injustice was created in collaboration with KAIROS Canada (https://www.kairoscanada.org/) and involves facilitation by Onondaga Nation citizens and non-Indigenous allies. 

KAIROS is a non-profit, ecumenical organization in Canada, working with people of faith or conscience all over the world for ecological justice and human rights. KAIROS unites Canadian churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Please register by April 12 by CLICKING HERE-REGISTER!

Questions: Email Carolyn Legg at carolyn411@verizon.net or call the St. James Parish Office at 315-685-7600. 

 

St. James' Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission joins

Safe & Warm Coalition

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat . . . “ Matthew 25: 35

More than 242 children in Cayuga County were without permanent shelter during the 2022-23 school year, the most recent statistics available from the New York State Department of Education. The numbers reflect only the children whose families self-reported their living situations to the public schools, allowing their children to receive educational services under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.

During the annual count of unsheltered people in January, the Housing and Homeless Coalition of CNY found a 75 percent jump in people sleeping outside in Cayuga and Onondaga counties and a 400 percent jump in the number of people living on the streets in Oswego County. Moreover, hundreds of families and individuals are living in shelters and/or in motels across Central New York due to an acute shortage of affordable, permanent housing.

The St. James’ Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission (RJRC) has joined the efforts of the United Ministry of Aurora, The Quaker Meeting of Poplar Ridge and the Harriet Tubman AME Zion Church of Auburn to offer respite care to people who are homeless in Cayuga County. It’s called Safe and Warm. The project offers safe space every Friday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Harriet Tubman Church where people can grab a hot beverage, snacks or simply hang out.

Safe and Warm also includes an outreach component in which some 100 bag lunches are prepared and delivered to families and individuals living in motels in the Auburn area. The lunches are prepared at St. James. Ten people from St. James church underwent training and are volunteering regularly for this program.

“On a personal level, Safe and Warm has touched me to my core,” says Molly Spalding, a member of St. James’ RJRC. “I have a brother who is homeless and with whom I have no contact, so I cant help him. This program is enabling me to touch others who are in a similar or worse situation.”

Food for the program has been obtained through donations from Wegmans and Apple Acres in Lafayette as well as through monetary donations, including a donation from the St. James Thrift Shop.

“Participating in the Safe and Warm initiative has had a monumental effect on me,” says Kathy Ploufe, a member of St. James’ RJRC.  “My Spiritual growth has intensified.  It has aided my understanding of the reasons behind homelessness. At first I was afraid to engage in this program because of my incorrect impressions of people in our community who are homeless and poverty-stricken. Helping the homeless is not only a compassionate act but also one that can have a profound impact on society. By providing support to those in need, we foster a sense of community and social responsibility.”

YOU CAN HELP

Donate nonperishable food items (bread, creamy peanut butter, jelly, wrapped snacks)
Help make bag lunches at St. James’
Become trained to staff the Safe and Warm physical site in Auburn
Help deliver lunches to people living in motels in Auburn

Monetary donations can be made to the “Harriet Tubman Liberation Foundation”
with Safe and Warm in the comment section of the check 
This is a tax deductible gift as the Foundation is a Section 501(c) 3 charity.

For more information, contact Meg Osborne at mhosborne7@gmail.com
or call the Parish Office at 315-685-7600.

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