Serving those in need

When Josie Bryant looks into the faces of the needy who come to St. James Parish in Wikinsburg, she sees Christ.  Many of those who are served believe the same. St. James’ food bank last year handed out 132 tons of food and paper products to neighbors in need. As social service minister, Josie works with families and individuals in crisis who endure poverty, hunger, addictions, pregnancy and other problems. “The key issue is trust,” Josie says.  “People often are in dire need. They can’t pay their rent or utilities. Sometimes they need to find shelter.” The parish also runs a ministry called Mary’s Child to assist parents, grandparents and caregivers of children from infancy to age five. The program provides advice, distributes diapers and other necessities, celebrating life and the new hope that Mary’s Child gave to the world. Visiting shut-ins, nursing home residents and others who just need a hand up, Josie and the parishioners of St. James proclaim the gospel in worship, word and service. They affirm the church’s teaching on the sacredness of every human life, bringing hope to all they serve.  

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