Community Groups

Among Friends Meal Program

Among Friends is a ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport. Our mission is to provide free nutritious prepared meals in a safe and welcoming environment to all in the community seeking food or fellowship. We have been serving free meals since 1983, and currently offer three meals every week. We serve dinner on Monday evenings and lunch on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. We are the only program in the greater Newburyport area that provides three meals a week. Last year we served over 6,800 prepared meals to the Newburyport community.

Typically, meal programs rely on heavily processed, carb-heavy commercial foods served in a cafeteria-like setting. Since our inception, one of our goals has been to provide prepared nutritious and balanced meals to our guests. Our regular guests – primarily the homeless, the elderly, people in recovery, the unemployed, and people on fixed incomes – are either unable or unwilling to cook for themselves, and generally have poor nutritional health. Providing more nutritious meals promotes better physical health in our guests. In 2018 we substantially increased our freezer and refrigerator capacity, allowing us to take greater advantage of bulk purchases and donations of fresh and frozen protein and produce in our meals. Most of our food now comes from the Boston Food Bank. Volunteers drive weekly to pick up fresh meat and produce.

In addition to offering nutritional meals, we encourage socialization and treat all of our guests with dignity and respect. Many of our guests suffer from loneliness, depression, feelings of guilt and shame, and isolation. We serve our guests at their seat restaurant-style, on real plates and silverware, and volunteers are encouraged to interact and mix with the guests. Studies have shown that socialization helps to counteract these mental health issues and that better mental health translates into better physical health. Better mental health and physical health supports spiritual wellness.

Check our calendar for the specific times of our regularly scheduled meals. If you would like to volunteer as a cook, server, greeter, driver or friends, please call the office at 978-465-5351 to speak to our Among Friends Coordinator.

You Can Help Fund Among Friends

Edie Ellen Knitters

The Edie-Ellen Knitters Guild is a group of approximately fifteen women from St. Paul’s Church who meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 2:00PM in the Library. The group is named in honor of the founder, Edie-Ellen Kimball, who was a member of our parish and an accomplished needle worker, knitting being one of her specialties. The primary mission is to work together to knit prayer shawls that are available to all members of the parish. They are blessed by the priest to be given to anyone who would benefit from the comfort they provide.

The guild has given out over six-hundred twenty-five shawls since its inception and has received some very heart-felt notes back from those who have received one of these shawls. Another focus of our group is support of the Fall Fair. Knitted items for both children and adults, along with many holiday items, are looked forward to by many fairgoers. The guild also participates upon request with other special events being held at St. Paul’s. New members are always welcome, and any of the group would glad to help a beginner get started honing new knitting skills. For more information, please contact Peggy Dunlap at 978-363-2664.

St. Paul’s Mission to the 12-Step Community

As a part of St. Paul’s mission activity to the community, we provide space and support for addiction treatment through 12-Step meetings. Meetings take place throughout the week in our buildings. According to the 12-Step philosophy, they operate independently in anonymity. The meetings are open to all who come, and all are welcome. The following 12-Step meetings currently take place at a variety of times throughout the week: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon (for the families and friends of those affected by addition), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Sex and Love Addicts Annonymous (SLAA), AA Young People’s Meeting, and Debtors Anonymous. At. St. Paul’s Church we join you in hoping for peace and healing through our Higher Power!

Please check our calendar for a schedule of regular meetings throughout the week.

I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of hands.

(2 Timothy 1:6)

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166 High Street Newburyport, MA 01950

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