On December 7, 2010, the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Pittsburgh gathered at St. Paul’s in Mt. Lebanon to pack Christmas boxes for mariners working in the Port of Pittsburgh on Christmas Day.
Debbie Wiles organized the packing of 21 boxes from our Diocese and Mary Sweeney, chairman of St. Paul’s Church Periodical Club, coordinated the collection 197 paperback books and 50 videos and DVDs.
Since 1898, volunteers of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) have been collecting, packing, knitting and distributing Christmas gifts to the mariners who are away from home on Christmas Day. Christmas on the River is an outreach project of the SCI’s Ministry on the River program lead by the Rev. Kempton Baldridge, Chaplain. This program lets those who can’t be home Christmas Day know that they are not forgotten.
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 New Orleans.
–Report courtesy Mary Sweeney
–Photos courtesy Lisa Brown