Grace Presbyterian Church is located on Coburg Street, city central of the uptown community. They provide support and services whenever possible to whoever in the community comes to them.
This is one of the many reasons the New Brunswick Children’s Foundation has been a partner with Grace Presbyterian Church for over 23 years, awarding over $132,050.00 to the church for children and youth in need and developmental programming. Together we are committed to helping children succeed.
Since its early days on Union Street, the Church has sent bi-weekly donations of Presbyterian Soup to Romero House. The Ethel Shaw Auxiliary of the Mission Society were the first to fill this need, but the Women’s Group has for many years continued to gather every other Tuesday in the church kitchen to enjoy fellowship and the making of soup.
Volunteers from the congregation have continued to play an active role in the Saint John Community Food Basket from its inception in 1984 through to today. Apparently, the day it began the workers had one carton of tuna and six loaves of day-old bread to give away. In 2017, approximately 57,260 lbs of food were handed out – truly a loaves and fishes story!
Recognizing a need to support seniors in the community, the Church of St. John & St. Stephen Home was built and opened in 1977; the congregation is active in providing volunteers and a pastoral assistant to enrich the lives of the residents.
For several years, facilities have been provided for Vision of Hope, Clean and Serene and more recently, Gentle Path, a co-dependency group and a counselling and consulting practice.
Each year, Canadian income tax volunteer program clinics are held in March and April to assist low-income families to complete their tax returns.
The Co-op Kitchen program is held for mothers in financial distress to come together to develop cooking skills, nutritional awareness, and cook a dinner to take home to their family. A child-care service is provided while the mothers learn.
For the children who come after school, the focus is on literacy and the love of reading. The Books and Blankets program provides literacy assistance for elementary through high school children. Activities and materials are provided along with educational games and books, so the children can take them home and share with the family.
Introduced recently for the younger children is the I Read, You Read program, which supports mothers as they work with their toddlers for pre-literacy skill development which in turn improves their older children’s reading progress. A benefit is helping mothers develop the pleasure of reading through participating in their own book club.
As you can see, children are a crucial part of the Church’s mission!