Movin' on up- Grades are in!

Grades are in- and Campbell Park is moving on up!

"Good morning all" said Carlos Childs, Community and Family Liaison at Campbell Park Elementary School.

"I just wanted to share some good news with you all this morning, The school grades came out and Campbell Park Elementary has moved from a "F" to a "C".  We couldn't have done it without you all- it was a group effort! Please share this awesome news with your fellow mentors. Thank you!!"

We all know how difficult this past year has been at Campbell Park, but the dedication of the staff, administrators, teachers and most of all the students is showing great improvement.  

This news couldn't come at a better time, since this summer is when we gear up here at the Cathedral (literally and figuratively) for the coming year.

We are celebrating "Christmas in July" and all members of the Cathedral are invited to participate by bringing in a backpack (or 20) to place under the Christmas tree in the Narthex starting this Sunday.

We are also giving a big push this year for mentors at Campbell Park. Last year we had two- this year I would love to see a dedicated team of mentors. If you are interested, email Karen Raihill at kraihill@gmail.com Karen is the Cathedral volunteer coordinator for Campbell Park Elementary.

 

Let's celebrate with Campbell Park and continue to love and support them in this upcoming school year!

Being the Church in the world

It's always a great day when people learn what the Church really is. It's not doctrine and it's not a building.

Rather the Church is a body of people. So, when we "go to Church" on Sunday, we may travel to the Cathedral, but the Church is the people who meet us here. Which is a great reason for people to be committed to regular church attendance (with other great reasons as well)- but that is for another post.

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Today is about being the Church in the world. See, it's generally easy to be the Church on a Sunday morning for the hour and a half that we spend here at the Cathedral. It is more difficult, however, to be the Church the other 166.5 hours of the week. We get busy, life happens, and before we know it, it's Sunday again and we have missed 166.5 hours worth of opportunity to be God's love in the world.

 

So here are two intentional opportunities to be the Church in the world in the coming days.

  1. Campbell Park Elementary is preparing for Testing in February, and in preparation they have been awarded a Family Math Night by Pinellas Country and MIND Research Institute. On January 10th from 5-7:30PM the cafeteria will be transformed into a fun and exciting Math Zone, where students and their families will be able to play games and learn at the same time! They need volunteers to help facilitate the games for the evening. For those of you who love math, this is your night. And for those of you who hate math, this is your night too! I have already asked and while they love for volunteers to have math knowledge, the games come with clear instruction for the facilitators. To sign up click here

  2. The Cathedral Church of St. Peter is an active member in Interfaith Tampa Bay, the local Interfaith Association. I sit on the MLK Service Committee and have been a part of planning this years Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service. The Cathedral will be providing the refreshments for the service, and volunteers are needed to set up and clean up. A bonus, you will get to see Campbell Park Elementary honored with the monetary offering from this service! To sign up click here.

 

As always, I will be present at both events to serve alongside you- my Church!

 

Blessings, 

Canon Katie

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I spent Tuesday morning talking with Carlos Childs, the Family and Community Liaison at Campbell Park Elementary.  We were coordinating the delivery details of the new refrigerator that the Cathedral has purchased for the Teacher's Lounge, since the old refrigerator got zapped when the school was struck by lightening in August. A big thank you to the Outreach Committee for allocating the funds for a new fridge- it gets delivered Tuesday the 6th!

While Carlos and I were speaking, we turned to the Holidays- what was Thanksgiving like and what will Christmas look like for the kids at Campbell Park.

I am so thankful for Carlos.  He is doing a wonderful job at Campbell Park, and I'm not sure I have ever met someone with a more giving and generous heart.  He has secured, through the generosity of a business, one Christmas present for each child at Campbell Park.  What is still up in the air is how the children will eat over the two week break from school.

98% of the student body is on free lunch.  For many of the students the breakfast and lunch provided by Campbell Park is the only meal they will eat that day.  A little less than 200 of the students get food sacks to help make the weekends bearable.

And this was maybe the most painful. 89 students at Campbell Park are designated as homeless.

What my family takes as a given: that we will have food, electricity, and a roof over our head is uncertain for too many of these very small children. In trying to discern what kind of food we might purchase, Carlos and I had to wonder, can we send food home over the Holiday break that requires the use of a microwave or electricity?

December 16th will mark the last day of the Fall Semester at Campbell Park and the beginning of two weeks where there will be a number of students who will not cherish the break from school.  It will mean two weeks of uncertainty about where their food will come from.

How can we help? Thankfully Campbell Park Elementary has Carlos and a team of Social Workers and other trained professionals who can help those who need help.  They are in the process of identifying families that will need assistance over the Holiday Break, and either give them gift cards to provide for themselves during that time OR go food and present shopping for the families.  You can help with both the purchasing of Walmart Gift Cards or with adopting families and doing the shopping for them.

I will be using some of the Project 33701 funds to purchase gift cards. But I want to open this opportunity to all of you as well.  We have before us an opportunity to help meet some of the overlooked needs of our neighbors that can happen with the Holiday season- giving joy and love through a full belly, helping to bridge the time between December 16th and January 3rd when students are back in class.

You can sign up here to adopt a family or purchase gift cards

I truly believe that this is the most wonderful time of the year.  Complicated and complex and sometimes very depressing and heartbreaking.  But this time of year is when we are called to remember that God came into the world and completely changed everything with the birth of Jesus. It is the time of year when we remember just how God chose to show what a relationship with us was going to be like: coming first as a vulnerable and dependent child and leaving as a vulnerable and broken man. I believe that Christ came and left to remind us that it is the vulnerable and broken that we are called to love and serve, that in fact we serve Christ when we serve each other. 

I am filled with gratitude for everyone at the Cathedral- who has supported Campbell Park in ways that cannot be numbered. Continue in your prayers for them. Continue in your love for them. Continue in your support of them. Because they are us, and we are them, and together we are better.

Blessing Of the Animals at Open Streets a Huge success

Check out this great video by AARP, one of our fellow sponsors of Open Streets.  It is a great capture of what a great day Open Streets was for both the City of St. Petersburg, but for the Cathedral as well!

With over 40 Cathedral folks on the streets volunteering, and over 275 animals blessed, Open Streets was a great day for us all!

Saturday Morning Market is Back- and so is Pete's Corner!

Saturday Morning Market opened back up at Al Lang Stadium after spending the summer month's in the Cathedral's front yard.  It was great to be in Williams Park over the summer (even in the heat....well, ok, despite the heat).

Our Family Ministry Coordinator Tessa Burnsed coordinated much of the summer Pete's Corner activities as a piece of our Children's Ministry offering- and I am so grateful and appreciative of her service and sacrifice!  

Since we have have been asked to participate in the regular market season, we will be teaming up with Cheeky Monkey's Books and Toys and Music&Me who have been presenting Story Time at the Market for eight years now on the second Saturday of each month.  We are so excited to be bringing a craft to Story Time that will coordinate with the story and music for the day.  

November 12th, come on out to the Market between 11 and 12:30.  Pete's Corner can be found on the lawn on the SE Corner of the Market.  

The theme for November is "All About Fall" and will feature books and music that explore the changing of the seasons, how our surroundings change, and even talking about gratitude since Thanksgiving happens in November!  The "All About Fall" craft will feature making fall leaves that will leave with the children as a memento of their time at Pete's Corner.

If you are interested in coming for all or a portion of Pete's Corner on the 12th of November, please contact Canon Katie to get connected! Email her at kchurchwell@spcathedral.com

 

Bringing the love- serve with Project 33701

Summer's over y'all, and Project 33701 had a fabulous summer! We got to know our neighbors at Summer Saturday Market, spend time with our neighbors at Mirror Lake and Williams Park to beautify God's creation, we raised over $1000 in donations and cash for victims of domestic violence, and we started off our relationship with Campbell Park Elementary School with food, laughter, prayer and school supplies galore!

My cup runneth over as I have come to know the Cathedral as a place of service, deep love for neighbor, and a willingness to show up. Thank you.

 

 

 

But our work isn't done yet. In fact, if you thought summer was busy, hold on to your hats!

The next few weeks will give us three opportunities to "Bring the love of Jesus to Downtown St. Petersburg" and my prayer is that you will continue to show this community just how much they are loved by God. They are listed below in chronological order. We will be using SignUp Genius to coordinate the variety of opportunities to serve.  Please follow the links below to get all of the details for each service opportunity.

1.       School Block Party at Campbell Park Elementary School (September 30th)

o    The Cathedral is hosting a cupcake walk at the School Block Party! It is a chance to get to know the students and their parents and siblings at a fun filled event!

o    To sign up please go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e49ada62ea3f85-campbell

2.       Blessing of the Animals and more! at Open Streets event (October 9th)

o    The City of St. Petersburg is shutting down the streets to vehicle traffic after church on the 9th of October to allow for the city streets around Mirror Lake and Williams Park to be explored by people on foot, on bikes, with strollers and skateboards! There will be food trucks, the Rowdies, and over 100 "safe, healthy and fun" activities for families of all ages.

o    The Cathedral is participating in two ways- hosting the "Pet Corner" at Williams Park where we will be blessing animals, providing water and treats for furry friends, and facilitating a pet costume contest and pet photobooth. On the sidewalks around the Cathedral we will be providing sidewalk chalk and bubbles for kids AND opening our doors to people interested in tours of the Cathedral and organ demonstrations. A table with information on all of the amazing programs and events happening at the Cathedral will be hosted by friendly and welcoming folks from the Cathedral.

o    To sign up please go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e49ada62ea3f85-blessing

3.       Parent Meeting at Campbell Park Elementary School (October 18th)

o    The Cathedral will provide dinner and childcare at Campbell Park Elementary while the parents spend time with their children's teachers and administrators in an environment where they are able to learn how to help their children succeed in the classroom.

o     To sign up please go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e49ada62ea3f85-campbell1

 

 

 

Pete's Corner

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This Summer, Project 33701 ventured into the community by participating in Saturday Morning Market.  Across the street from the Cathedral, WIlliams Park hosts the Saturday Morning Market during hit hot summer days, providing a great outlet for St.Pete residents to pick up fresh produce, eat delicious food, sample and purchase the arts, crafts, and wares of merchants, and this Summer, make free crafts and art projects.  

 

"It was a great joy to be out with our neighbors, and making the Summer Market something more enjoyable for kids and their families," said Tessa Burnsed, Family Ministry Coordinator at the Cathedral.  "It was also a great opportunity for me to get to know the families of the Cathedral as we prepare to kick off a whole new line-up of programs and ministries for kids of all ages in September."

Pete's Corner was made possible by the many people who gave up time on their Saturday mornings to be in the park.  OVer 20 Cathedral members came to Pete's Corner over the summer, and those 20 people served over 200 kids between June and August.  That's not even counting the relationships built with parents, grandparents, and the vendors of the Summer Market.

Pete's Corner was such a success that the Cathedral has been invited to participate in the regular Saturday Morning Market when it picks back up in October.  One Saturday a month, we will set up and be prepared to create with the children and families of St. Pete.  Won't you consider joining your neighbors in the cooler months of the year on a Saturday morning?  Contact Canon Katie if you would like to serve at Pete's Corner.

Campbell Park: First Day of School!

by: Canon Katie Churchwell

 

The prayer box in the teacher's lounge.  Canon. Katie collects the prayer requests each Monday.  Interested in joining the Project 33701 prayer team? Contact Canon Katie at kchurchwell@spcathedral.com

The prayer box in the teacher's lounge.  Canon. Katie collects the prayer requests each Monday.  Interested in joining the Project 33701 prayer team? Contact Canon Katie at kchurchwell@spcathedral.com

The first day of school was a blast!  A small group of people met at the Cathedral before the sun was up to load up the yummy breakfast treats that people had dropped off prior to the breakfast- this included muffins, fruit salad, ham biscuit sandwiches, and gallons upon gallons of orange juice.  When we included the coffee donated by the Starbucks on 4th St. North and 9th Ave. North is was a delicious spread.

 

By 7AM, we had over 14 Cathedral members at Campbell Park Elementary.  We set up the food, cleaned off and set the tables, and got ready to say hello to the 140 teachers and staff members.  Over the next hour, we greeted and prayed with people from all walks of life who had chosen to make a difference at Campbell Park.  We listened to a teacher who was nervous on their first "first day of school" as a teacher as well as custodial staff who were excited to see students they had gotten to know over the years. 

Staff and community members join together for breakfast.  There was so much food!

Staff and community members join together for breakfast.  There was so much food!

 

 

 

I was able to shake hands with just about everyone who came into the teacher's lounge, as well as go to the front of the school and meet parents dropping off their children.  It was an emotional day for many, and it was a blessing to be there and bear witness to what God is doing in this school.  The Cathedral was joined by a group of men- college professors, City Council members, local pastors, Brighthouse employees, and other professional men- who had gathered to welcome the students on their first day.  This group of dedicated men joined the Cathedral in the teachers lounge after the first bell rang and teachers and students had begun their day of learning.

Cathedral and community members join hands to pray.

Cathedral and community members join hands to pray.

We shared our dreams for South St. Pete and schools like Campbell Park.  We talked of a shared commitment to be present with and give support to these young people.   And we held hands and prayed for strength, courage, and perseverance as we seek to be good neighbors. 

Campbell Park Elementary School

By: Rev. Canon Katie Churchwell

Campbell Park Elementary School Sign- located on 7th Ave. South

Campbell Park Elementary School Sign- located on 7th Ave. South

As you may have seen by now, The Cathedral has partnered with Campbell Park Elementary School as part of a Project 33701.  Located on 7th Avenue South and MLK, Campbell Park is Pre-K through 5th grade and really needs community support.

I first learned about schools like Campbell Park when I was in St. Petersburg in February interviewing for the Canon for Community Formation position.  If you have ever heard of the "Failure Factory" schools- Campbell Park is one of them. 

It has been interesting in getting to know the staff at Campbell Park- if you ever wondered what selfless giving looked like, please, come to the school.  The staff at Campbell Park are working tirelessly to ensure that the students that come through their doors are able to learn and grow, despite not having the same advantages as other students might.  I am so excited that the Cathedral is able to take a role in this endeavor.

So, a few facts.  According to Campbell Park Elementary, 98% of the students that attend the school live at or below the poverty line.  And gathered from the wish list of the school, the students aren't the only ones in need.  Items such as pencil sharpeners and white erase board markers are needed for the classrooms.

So what does this mean for us?  Well, we can first start with prayer.  We can be praying for the teachers and staff  as they get ready to start this new school year.  We can be praying for the students and their families as they get ready to start this new school year.  And we can be praying about where and how God may be calling us as a church and you as an individual to be involved. 

The Cathedral has made some firm commitments:

  1. We are adopting 10 classrooms- six Kindergarten Classes and four 5th Grade Classes- which entails funding these classrooms throughout the school year.
  2. We are sponsoring 4 events/activities- 1 each quarter- to support the school as a whole.  This starts August 10th, as we bring breakfast for the teachers and staff members for the first day of school.  Other events might look like providing a meal and childcare for a parent's meeting.
  3. We will sponsor at least one field trip, ensuring that all students are able to attend regardless of their financial situation.
  4. We will provide donations at the beginning of the year for students and teachers.

Interested in bringing some breakfast food or serving it to the teachers on August 10th? Contact Canon Katie Churchwell at kchurchwell@spcathedral.com

 

Individuals also have the opportunity to volunteer their time in a variety of different ways, from serving once a week as a mentor to a student or less frequently at special events. All members of the Cathedral are invited to ponder if you would like to be a part of a special day at Campbell Park Elementary where you will be asked to share your life story with the students (date and details to come).  I will be spending that day at Campbell Park and would love to hear the richness of y'alls lives shared. If you are interested in being the hands and feet of Christ at Campbell Park Elementary school please contact Canon Katie Churchwell and she can help you get connected

Over 500lbs of backpacks, paper, crayons, and other student and classroom supplies were donated to Campbell Park Elementary.