It’s noon on a damp, wintry Wednesday in the fellowship hall at Trinity United Church in suburban Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Food is piled on tables, and the heady smell of fresh soup pours from the kitchen. Volunteers smile as people crowd in. Each week, Trinity is the depot for the community food bank, serving 300 families. The congregation feels they “have a responsibility to share with people who don’t have what we do,” says member Joy Galea. Back in the 1980s, it severed some of its land so a 31-unit subsidized housing project could be built on the site. Recently, its UCW contributed $7,000 to the district school breakfast program, helping the school district provide 525 meals to hungry children each week. Trinity has also participated in the Extreme Weather Mat Program, giving homeless people a place to sleep in the harshest days of winter.
Trinity’s compassion feeds its dedication to fulfill and often exceed its Mission and Service commitment. “At Trinity, people look at the needs they see in their home place and then look farther away to help,” says Galea. The 180-member church does this with the assistance of its thrift shop, entirely staffed by volunteers. Last year the shop raised $50,000, of which $13,000 went to M&S (the congregation gave a total of $27,500).
“Jesus said that ‘as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me,’” says Joy. That spirit guides Trinity as it continues to reach out to marginalized people in its community.
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