Kansas St. James Parish helps people and agencies in need

FOSTORIA — With the Thanksgiving Holiday around the corner, the Kansas St. James Parish continues its mission to help people and agencies in a time of need.

St. James Parish, located at 6482 County Road 25, was originally located in Kansas but was closed and later torn down. Its parishioners stuck to continuing to meet the objectives of its mission — “To continue growing stronger in our commitment to our faith and our parish community; To worship together; To make God’s love known to others through Christian education; To serve the needs of our community through outreach programs.”

“When we see those in need, we do the best we can to fill that need,” Sue Schwab, a long-time member of the church, said.

Bobbi Bishop, the wife of Fr. Greg Bishop of the church, said “We welcome all faiths. Everyone is equal.”

“We are more true to Christ’s values,” Bishop said. “We work to take care of one another.”

The Outreach Program and fund that has been established has helped many individuals as well as charitable organizations. To date, just over $63,000 has been paid out to assist with those needs, according to Schwab.

Some of the charities are: God’s Storehouse-Bradner, Living Hope Ministry, Special Kids Ministry, Assumption Sister of Nairobi, St. James/St. Andrews Prayer Shawl Ministry, Fostoria High Street Methodist Food Pantry, mission trip to Arizona Indian Reservation, ISOH, Kansas Volunteer Fire Dept, Household of Faith Ministry, Toledo Community Tissue and Organ Bank, Fostoria Emergency Food Program, Fostoria Cash Mob Ministry, CITI Ministries, Fostoria EMS, Harvest of Hope Bettsville Food Pantry, Friends of St. Francis X Cabrini and St. Francis’ Human Trafficking Program.

In addition, St. James furnishes gifts for qualified families at Christmas and throughout the year, clothing and other items are collected and distributed as needed, Schwab said. Assistance is also available to those who can demonstrate a need with rent, heating, electric bills, groceries, medical bills, transportation and other necessary items.

Greeting cards are also made by the younger members of the parish and given to nursing homes and hospitals throughout the year, Schwab said.According to church history, in 1989, St. James formed a choral group to perform “His Last Days,” a Lenten tribute celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus. Over $32,000.00 in donations from more than 42,000 attending the 217 performances through the years has been given to various charitable causes.

Over the years, members have come and gone, but according to Ginny Hull – parish member – and Schwab, “all are family.” The parish is continuously seeking new members and would like to welcome them into the St. James family.

Hull said she had lost faith when the church had been closed by the Catholic Diocese. As members continued to meet in other parishoner’s homes and barns, she knew she had a family.

“We are non-judgmental,” Hull said.

For more information, visit stjameskansas.org.