April 30, 2021: St. Paul’s Community Health Clinic—a ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Camden and the Diocese of New Jersey—will receive more than $11,000 in a United Thank Offering (UTO) grant this year.
The focus of the granting process this year was “Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts.” UTO Grants are a ministry of the Episcopal Church.
“I am deeply grateful to the United Thank Offering for their decision to award a grant in support of the St. Paul’s Camden Community Health Clinic which represents a joint project with the Rutgers School of Nursing,” said the Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. “This is a ground-breaking project that represents the kind of vital partnership that can have real impact in a community with significant challenges and help us to carry out the mission and ministry that Christ calls all of us to.”
In the economically challenged community of Camden, St. Paul’s Church has been working for decades to feed the hungry through its Sunday food programs, serving two hundred people for breakfast and dinner each week. Although the idea for a health clinic was conceived late in 2019 as part of a more holistic approach in meeting the needs of the poor and homeless in downtown Camden, the pandemic and its disproportionate toll on the poor gave it special urgency.
Partially funded by a Becoming Beloved Community grant, the clinic—operated in cooperation with the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden—opened on the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church property in January.
“The creation of a health clinic offered our parish a way to meet the most basic health needs of the very poor in our part of the city,” said St. Paul’s rector, the Rev. Z. Mark Smith.
UTO Board President Sherri Dietrich said, “Choosing which grant applications to fund and not fund is always difficult, but during this extraordinary time of suffering in the global Covid-19 pandemic we had to prioritize mere survival over thriving. As always, if we’d had more money to grant, we would have been delighted to fund more of the excellent grant projects submitted, so please continue to be thankful and make your thank offerings to UTO.”
The award of $11,065.18 will be used for start-up and continuing costs for the year. This includes durable and single-use supplies, as well as supervision of the nursing students. The grant will also give the parish and the medical community some time to consider how the new space can best be used in a future post-COVID environment.
“We are very grateful for the support of UTO, Bishop Stokes, and our partners at the School of Nursing at Rutgers for their belief that we can and should address inequities in access to basic medical care,” said Rev. Smith.