In the Community
Our parishioners have made it very clear that they care about the health and well-being of the Taos community and the people who live here. Outreach programs account for approximately one-third of our annual operating budget.
Click here to print a PDF form that you can fill in and mail or deliver to us, to make a donation to our important outreach programs.
The St. James Food Pantry helps meet the needs of the Taos
community by dispensing bags of food staples on Thursdays 1:00 to 5:00 PM to any and all who show up to receive food. We typically give more than 600 bags each week; each bag contains a selection of items that may include beans, rice, oatmeal, cans of food, and fresh produce. In 2011, the Food Pantry distributed more than 129 TONS of food.
Volunteers donate approximately an hour and a half of time once a week on Monday morning to “bag” the food; different teams of volunteers work ABOUT 7 hours on the Thursday afternoon distribution. The
Food Pantry is funded by contributions from members of St. James and other generous donors in the community. Over the years, our most generous and steadfast donor has been Super Save grocery store
here in town.
Just before Thanksgiving and Easter, boxes of food especially chosen
for that holiday are assembled by members of our St. James
community. These boxes are taken home by hundreds of low-income
families, to make a fine holiday dinner.
The baskets are filled and distributed by Food Pantry volunteers,
plus a little extra help for these special holiday giving events.
The annual Empty Bowls fundraiser features hundreds of handmade bowls from ceramics artists all over the country. In addition, we offer a wealth of silent-auction treasures and raffle off lots of wonderful things to grace the home. This festive (and affordable) event provides not only exquisite ceramic bowls to attendees, but fills their stomachs with hearty soup, bread, and dessert. All proceeds from the event go toward feeding the hungry in our community.
Each Christmas many foster children in Taos County are recipients of gifts of clothing, books, toys, sporting goods, and even bikes and trikes, bought and giftwrapped by the members of St. James. The children are clients of the Taos office of New Mexico Children, Youth, and Family Department.
The names of the children and the donors remain anonymous to each other. In the true spirit of Christmas, this continues to be a heartwarming outreach for all who participate.
It has been said that cutting firewood warms you three times: when you cut the wood; when you split the wood; and finally, when you burn the wood. So, too, does a St. James rummage sale benefit us in at least three ways:
- We provide good quality clothes and household items to the Taos community, at very reasonable prices.
- We raise money for our outreach programs through these sales. Recent support has gone to the Food Pantry and the Taos Youth Music School, as well as community nonprofits such as the Taos Coalition to End Homelessness and Community Against Violence.
- We build the St. James community as we work together, having fun both in the setup and the sale.
We collect rummage all year round for sales in spring and fall. The rummage sales are coordinated by the Episcopal Church Women of St. James.
The annual St. James Holiday Bazaar is a festive fundraising event for outreach programs. Months before the bazaar, members of the parish are busily preparing handcrafts for the gift gallery. Dozens of pies, cakes, cookies, and other goodies are for sale during the bazaar. Raffle tickets are available for fantastic prizes, and a silent auction enlivens the day.
Coordinated by the Episcopal Church Women of St. James, the bazaar is traditionally held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. At that time the parish hall is transformed into a charming and colorful shopping village.
The Taos Youth Music School is a free music program for the children of Taos and surrounding communities. The goal of the program is to provide a quality musical experience for all who participate. This goal is accomplished through a variety of methods, including group singing, rhythm and movement, music theory, Orff instruments, hand bells, and performances. St. James Church has been a sponsor since the school's inception.
Classes are held at St. James three days a week after school. For an updated class schedule, go to www.taosyouthmusicschool.org. Classes are held during the school year from September through May.
We provide emergency help with utilities bills, rental deposits, and other expenses to keep a life going during difficult times. A team of trained volunteers interview and discern need, so we can provide food or money to Taos people who find themselves in need of quick aid. A schedule of hours is kept for drop-in requests.
Emergency assistance is coordinated through the church office. Contact: 575-758-2790 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our monthly calendar shows happenings that are part of our parish life. But there is much, much more happening at St. James. Several community groups and individuals use our buildings regularly, as part of our outreach to our neighbors. Among the groups whose meetings are scheduled regularly at St. James:
- Alcoholics Anonymous—
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:30 AM
- Wednesdays at 12:15 (women's)
- Thursdays 6:30 PM
- Rainbow Group - to be updated
- Alanon --
- Tuesday at noon
- ACOA -- to be updated
- Habitat for Humanity—weeklong sleepovers during visits by volunteer homebuilders
- Tai Chi classes—Tuesday mornings at 10 AM
- CHANGES, a group of men working to improve their lives—Thursdays at 6:30 PM
- TAP, the Taos Awareness Project, to integrate people with special needs into the community—Fridays at 9:30 AM
For information on reserving space, contact the church office: 575-758-2790 or email@example.com
St. James has a long and busy history of women taking a vital role in our ministry. All female members of the church are invited to participate in the Episcopal Church Women of St. James, which has as its primary purpose raising funds to support local nonprofit organizations and our church's outreach programs in the community. Two rummage sales each year, plus the annual Holiday Bazaar, are the main fundraising events. Plus, contributions may be made directly to the designated fund for the ECW.
Community organizations are invited to make funding requests directly to ECW. Click here for a PDF form that can be printed out and mailed or delivered to the church by December 1. Funding decisions are made at the ECW's January meeting.
Opportunities to Serve
Here is a listing of the many ways you can use your talent and experience at St. James.
Food Pantry Preparation and Distribution
On Monday mornings, volunteers work a sort of assembly line, preparing the food that will be distributed.
On Thursday afternoons, volunteers distribute the food. A special team of strong-backed people pick up and unload perishable groceries earlier that day.Contact:
Rummage Sales and Holiday Bazaar Volunteers
These events rely on the enthusiastic help of volunteers who transport items to the church for sale, set up the parish hall so that merchandise is attractive and accessible, and "work" the sales.Contact:
The Giving Tree Helpers
Make decorative ornaments for our Giving Tree. Wrap packages for kids. Shop for presents. Our Giving Tree project is all about celebrating the spirit of Christmas. Want to be a helper?Contact:
Anna Mae Patterson,
Emergency Assistance Interviewers
People who come to St. James for emergency help with bills or food or other needs are interviewed by trained volunteers, who keep regular hours at our front entry area. We need not only kind hearts but wise souls.Contact:
Gwenneth Glenn, 575-758-2790