Dinner buffet laid out for St. Mary's I-HELP for Women dinner and lodging.

I-HELP has been in continuous operation for the past 25 years. They provide services to the homeless and partner with many different churches in the area to help with nightly lodging and meals. St. Mary’s by the Sea is one of these churches.

While St. Mary’s has been hosting the men of I-HELP for many years, hosting the women is a fairly new ministry for us, being just a little less than three years old.  

Once each month, (occasionally more if another host church is unavailable) we host the women for dinner, company, and a warm place to sleep for the night.  The ministry team plans the evening in advance and then gathers in Edwards Hall to set up tables, decorate, prepare the appetizers, main meal, dessert, beverages, and next morning’s breakfast for between 9 and 20 women.

When they arrive, we welcome them with appetizers and beverages, and start to get to know them as they settle in and as we put the final touches on the meal. When everything is about ready to go for the main course, we gather in a circle for a prayer. Then we serve these women and sit down with them to share about life, the meal and whatever is on their hearts. We find much in common and we are all richly blessed from this time together.  

At the end of the meal and after dessert we leave them to participate in cleaning up and to get settled for the night. We say goodnight and leave them with their breakfast for the next morning. It is our hope that when they come to St. Mary’s that the evening will leave them feeling like they’ve just had dinner with family.

If you are interested in serving on this ministry team or learning more, please contact Rosemarie Axton.

Fundraiser for I-HELP
Save the Date

Pasta with the Pastors
Thursday August 29, 2019
San Carlos Parish Hall

Fun table settings, fun appetizers and an example of the yummy food that this ministry team prepares each month.


By John Willoughby