Sharing With the Community
Below are some of the ways in which we share, as a community, our hospitality, hope and healing with those who live in our local communities as well as throughout the world. To see organizations our members individually support, please CLICK HERE.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Alex’s Lemonade Stand is a nationwide campaign to raise money for research to combat pediatric cancer. It was started by 4-year-old cancer patient, Alexandra Scott who opened a lemonade stand on the weekend of July 4, 2000, in her front yard in Pennsylvania. Alex died peacefully in 2004 at the age of 8 having raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research.
Beginning in 2005, St. Peter’s sponsors an Alex Lemonade Stand as part of the Smyrna July 4th activities to continue Alex’s work of eradicating childhood cancer.
In August each year we purchase backpacks and fill them with bright new school supplies for second graders. These are delivered to the North Smyrna Elementary School and given to students who otherwise might not have the necessary items they need.
The supplies not only help them with learning but also fulfill the desire to have what the other students have and puts a smile on their faces! There is a great need for these items. In 2018 we donated over 40 backpacks.
Delaware Hospital for Chronically Ill
This is our oldest continually operating service ministry of St. Peter’s. Over 50 years ago, Naomi Dunning (now deceased) was a part of a body of women who started a gift shop for the residents of DHCI. She recruited members of our parish to assist in this endeavor. The gift shop started in a closet and has expanded over the years into a true gift shop that also sells personal items and snacks to their residents.
Every Monday of the year, the shop is staffed by volunteers from St. Peter’s who give their time to assist the residents of DHCI with their purchases.
During the Christmas Season, St. Peter’s sends a Christmas card to all the residents living in the facility and also helps in fulfilling the Christmas wish lists of some of the residents.
Ecumenical Ministry Collections
St. Peter’s is one of several churches active in the Smyrna-Clayton Ministerium where local churches have joined together to serve in the name of Christ those in need who live within the Smyrna School District area.
Throughout the year we collect: food for the community food pantry housed within Asbury United Methodist Church; personal items for the Personal Items Closet housed within Ewell-St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; and money for the Emergency Fund housed at the First Presbyterian Church.
We also participate in the three ecumenical services: Good Friday, Patriot’s Day Remembrance (9/11) and Thanksgiving Eve.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Episcopal Relief and Development is a program of the National Episcopal Church that helps people in need in the United States and around the world. They work with churches in the Anglican Communion as well as other denominations, local organizations, and partner agencies. They send emergency relief in times of natural disasters as well as wars and civil unrest.
During Lent we participate in their Gift of Life program by collecting money to purchase a farm animal for a family in need. Episcopal Relief and Development not only delivers the animal, they teach the family how to care for it.
First State Animal Center
First State Animal Center takes in small animals for adoption and help with animal control throughout the state. They also have medical facilities and housing for large farm animals.
One month during the year, we collect items on the current wish list of First State Animal Center to provide for basic necessities and caring for animals experiencing transitions or trauma.
Hospitality and a Meal
We open our space to preschoolers and their families in the local community twice a year for Lunch with the Easter Bunny and Dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Both events include fun activities for the children, a free meal, and a visit to either the Easter Bunny or Santa and Mrs. Claus. It is a joy to have our facilities filled with so many very excited young children and their families.
Parishioners who can crochet and knit lovingly and prayerfully make prayer shawls that are then brought to the church to be blessed and placed in our meeting room.
Members can then select a shawl to take to a loved one or friend who is sick or in crisis. A prayer gift card is placed in the bag with each prayer shawl. Over the years, several hundred shawls have been made and given out to persons in need in 13 states.
Since 1994, St. Peter’s has operated a part-time preschool in the mornings for four-year olds on Mondays through Wednesdays and three-year olds on Thursdays and Fridays. To learn more, CLICK HERE to go to our Preschool Page.
Soldier’s Joy Boxes
Since 2007 joy boxes have been sent to persons in the military stationed overseas. Parishioners donate items of snacks, books (reading and puzzle), magazines, personal items, and anything our military might enjoy that will also survive the location’s climate.
These joy boxes are sent throughout the year and especially around the holidays. One soldier told us that care packages from home are always enjoyed and those sent by people who don’t know the soldiers personally are extra special.
Super Bowl of Caring
This ministry is held on the Sundays approaching the annual Super Bowl. The thought behind the collection is that many of us celebrate the big football game with parties and get-togethers. In our enthusiasm and excitement about the football game, we take time to remember and contribute for those who cannot celebrate as we do because they have so little. The monies are sent to the Emergency Fund of the Smyrna-Clayton Ministerium.
Thanksgiving Dinner for Community
St. Peter’s participates in the Community Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the Smyrna-Clayton Ministerium held the Sunday before Thanksgiving from 2PM-5PM at the Citizens’ Hose Fire House.
We collect funds to help cover the cost for the meal and breakfast food items to be given to those who dine in. Some members also serve during the meal time. This is a great time for those who live alone or will not cook a full dinner to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal and fellowship.
Home of the Brave is a ministry to homeless veterans. They have an old renovated farmhouse on 5 acres of land, south of Milford. It was started by Vietnam Veterans who saw and understood the plight of homeless veterans and decided to do something about it. A home for women veterans has also been built on the same property.
Each June the parish collects paper products, personal items, household items, cleaning supplies and office products for their small staff and residents.
In December we collect gift cards for gas that are distributed by the Veterans United Outreach of Delaware.
We are blessed to serve those who have honorably served us.