If you volunteer at the Gathering’s breakfast program or the Saturday lunch located at St. James Episcopal Church, you have probably seen the “for sale sign” out front. A few months ago the St. James congregation made the very difficult decision to find a buyer for the building and secured the services of Ogden and Co. to handle the marketing. The expense of keeping up with the maintenance and repairs of this 1867 historic structure had become overwhelming. The intent of those attending St. James is to stay together as a worshipping community as long as possible and wherever that might lead.
St. James Episcopal is where the Gathering began, formed from the vision of Fr. Michael Stolpman and the Episcopal Diocese. In January of 1982, Fr. Charles Lynch, Rector (pastor) of St. James, together with the Wardens and Vestry (governing body of the church) welcomed the Gathering to the downstairs kitchen, and the rest is history. It continues to be the Gathering’s busiest site, serving 900 plus meals weekly; welcoming 20-40 volunteers six days a week – 1/3 from our guest population; offering collaborative mental health, medical and legal assistance; and housing our Fresh Produce Preservation Project. St. James also hosts the Red Door Clothing Ministry and Sundries from the Avenue, a St. James ministry distributing toiletries and other items to those who are homeless.
The Gathering has formed a committee to look at our options should the building be sold and we are asked to move. At this point in time there have been no offers, and a quick sale is not anticipated.