Please join the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Episcopal Church Women in their new outreach project – the Seamen’s Church Institute’s ("SCI") Christmas on the River.

Since 1898 volunteers of the SCI have been collecting, packing, knitting and distributing Christmas gifts to mariners who are thousands of miles from home. Christmas on the River is an outreach program of the SCI’s Ministry on the River. Gift boxes are delivered to towboat crews who typically work 28-30 days at a time, regardless of holidays. Gift boxes are packed at numerous locations up and down the rivers and include hand-made knitted or crocheted items or a small gift, a devotional, and hand-made Christmas cards from children. This program lets those who can’t be home Christmas day know that they are not forgotten.

Non-knitters can still participate by providing small gift items such as: a sewing kit, stationery, pen, mirror and comb. The mariners would also appreciate items such as lip balm, microwave popcorn, chewing gum and books.

Established in 1998, the SCI’s Ministry on the River is the nation’s only full-time pastoral care ministry on the Ohio and Lower Mississippi River systems. The program includes a pastoral outreach system for river workers and their families extending from Pittsburgh to Houston.

For more information, knitting patterns or gift ideas please contact Deb Wiles, St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon, at

Find more about The Seaman’s Church Institute by visiting


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