St. Bartholomew’s, Beaverton celebrated their patronal day (August 24) focused on one of their major parish projects: putting together the St. Bart’s Assistance Bags. After a summer of collecting non-perishable food items, parishioners gathered to assemble over 550 bags of granola bars, pop-top canned goods, drinks, and other items that can easily be eaten by people who have no kitchens.
Throughout the year, parishioners from St. Bart’s will keep Assistance Bags in their cars to have on hand to pass out to people begging on the street. In addition to food items, the bags also include information on the food pantry run by St. Bart’s, offering another resource for people experiencing food insecurity.
Besides providing needed food aid, the process of distributing Assistance Bags also creates a transformational moment of interruption for parishioners, calling them out of the isolation of their vehicles into an unexpected time of interaction. One person who participated last year said, “I though I’d be uncomfortable and the people would feel insulted, but the people I talked to and gave it to were thankful. I just needed to actually stop and look them in the eyes.” This emboldening spirit is spreading throughout the parish as they stretch further into evangelism and outreach opportunities.