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St. James Episcopal Church uses music to bring in food

Wednesday, January 09, 20131065 views

Just before Thanksgiving, the congregation at St. James Episcopal Church (7486 Union Park Avenue) hosted a special “U2Charist” service event to gather donations for the hungry.

“Thanksgiving is a time when we thank God for the gifts that we have,” Reverend John Williams said. “This U2Charist service is a joyful way we can all celebrate and share our gifts with others.”

The U2Charist service was a free evening celebration, so-named because it featured the music of popular rock group U2. The lead singer of the group, Bono, is known for his work as a human-rights activist.

All participants were invited to bring a can of food to the St. James church food bank.

The church has operated the food bank on site year-round since Feb. 2011. The idea for the food bank came from congregation member Nazanin Nourmohammadi, who now acts as director for the food bank services.

St. James congregation member and volunteer Kathleen Murphy credits Nourmohammadi for all of her hard work, and said her great idea has led to the church being able to help many hungry people in the community.

“We started with just one small room [for the food bank]. And it’s really just continued to grow,” she said. “It’s a great idea that’s really blossomed. Little by little, this has grown into a massive effort.”

Since it opened, the food bank is now able to serve families seven days a week. Everyone who shops at the food bank is welcome to pick out what they need to feed their families, such as milk, cheese, milk and fresh produce.

The church food pantry also stocks other essential household items the church supplies, including diapers and laundry soap.

Murphy said she’s proud that the church food bank allows each family it serves to choose items they want, rather than simply handing out pre-selected items.

“It gives people joy and a lot of dignity to be able to shop,” she said.

The congregation of St. James is planning to host additional events, including additional screenings of the U2Charist, to invite more people to get involved. The special public events will be held a few times in the upcoming year to bring more people to the church.

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