Faith in Action
For I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothing and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
— Matthew 25: 35-36
At St. Charles, we believe that what we do outside our walls is as important as what we do inside our walls.
We aspire to honor God by Asking Questions, Loving Neighbors, Seeking Justice, and Welcoming Strangers through our advocacy, direct service, and strategic partnerships.
Several St. Charles congregants have participated in Inter-Faith Undoing Racism workshops sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church and facilitated by the People’s Institute for Justice and Beyond. Congregants participated in a joint visit with Dr. Michael White and some of his students in the fall, 2018 to Whitney Plantation which focusses on the experience of slaves. Other Undoing Racism activities are in the planning stages.
Food for Thought
Congregants pack food for the weekend for children on the free & reduced lunch program at Audubon Primary School each week during the school year. Volunteers, purchase, pack and deliver bags.
Criminal Justice Team
Team members inform themselves and each other about the criminal justice system and participate in a variety of activities, including
- Criminal Justice Fact Sheet
- Fact Sheet on Fees and Fines
- Invite partner organizations on criminal justice to send speakers to Wednesday evening dinner programs so members learn about needs, what is being done and opportunities for volunteer service in the community. Click here for upcoming schedule.
- Ad Hoc Advocacy for a just criminal justice system including participation in Lobby Day at the State Capitol each Spring in collaboration with Louisianans for Prison Alternatives and Voice of the Experienced.
- Each year congregants purchase Christmas gifts for children of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals though partner organizations.
- Congregants volunteer with partner organizations:
- Kairos Prison Ministry: Volunteer to spend weekend of ministry with prisoners in state prisons; donate for food or make cookies for these weekends. click here for more information
- Court Watch NOLA: Volunteers are trained to monitor court proceedings and collect information which is compiled into annual reports to hold court officers accountable for conducting just proceedings.
- Support periodic Warrant Clinics conducted by Stand with Dignity to help neighbors settle outstanding traffic warrants that could result in incarceration if not resolved.
- Collaborated with The Graduates to host the national conference Beyond Incarceration for previously incarcerated women, April 4-6, 2018.
- Other Criminal Justice Partners:
- Roots of Renewal: Converts blighted houses into affordable homes while employing & training young citizens recently released for prison & assisting them with transition to meaningful lives
- Unprisoned Blogs featuring he human stories of mass incarceration, produced by WYES radio.
- Together New Orleans (see below)
Welcoming the Stranger Team
Team members inform themselves and each other about issues related to immigrants and the immigration system and participate in a variety of activities, including:
- Invite partner organizations providing services to immigrants to send speakers to Wednesday evening dinner programs so members learn about needs, what is being done and opportunities for volunteer service in the community. Click here for upcoming schedule.
- Ad Hoc Advocacy for a just immigration system
- Each year congregants purchase Christmas gifts for children of immigrants through partner organizations, including Project Ishmael, Hagar’s House, and the Loyola Law Clinic.
Together New Orleans
St. Charles is a member of Together New Orleans, an interfaith collaborative of congregations and non-profits working to make our city better and more responsive to its citizens. Together New Orleans is connected through Together Louisiana with similar organizations in other cities and is currently in a building phase with early research beginning on opportunities to make the local criminal justice system more just. Other anticipated areas of work include education, housing, economy, infrastructure.
Together for Hope, Louisiana
Together for Hope, Louisiana is a project, based in New Providence, LA, of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to address rural poverty and community development through GED and after school programs. St. Charles participates annually in the Back-to-School Backpack program providing school supplies to children in this severely impoverished community and also provides general financial support to the program.
Eden House works to eradicate human trafficking and to restore previously trafficked women to meaningful, independent lives. St. Charles members serve as “Birthday Fairies,” providing cakes and gifts for birthday and other celebrations in the lives and recovery of women participating in Eden House’s programs. St. Charles members also provide gifts for Eden House resident’s to give to their children at Christmas.