The Mustard Seed
The St. James Mustard Seed, a part of Community Service, shares in the Church’s mission of witnessing to the Christian message of hope and of serving those in need.
What is the Mustard Seed?
St. James Mustard Seed, our local outreach program supporting the needs of the community in Madison and Northern Chenango Counties, shares in the Church’s mission of witnessing the Christian message of hope and serving those in need.
The Mustard Seed Store, located on Route 80 in Georgetown, NY, includes clothing, shoes, small household goods and books for all ages, also incorporating an emergency food pantry to service those in immediate need.
Within the past two years, we have instituted a preschool reading program on Tuesday mornings run by Teresa Hudson, a retired elementary school teacher.
We work closely with Community Action Partnership of Madison county to help with monetary assistance when the need arises.
Our outreach coordinator, Veronica Huftalen (Ron), is available to meet individually with clients to help them assess, evaluate, and meet their needs.
The Mustard Seed is the primary sponsor of the St. James Thanksgiving and Christmas basket programs along with our annual Christmas Giving Tree. These programs are for those families who utilize our food pantry.
What is the Reading Room?
Unfortunately, the reading room is currently closed. We will update our site as soon as it is reopened.
The Storytime Room in Georgetown is located above the Mustard Seed clothing and food pantry and is sponsored by the St. James parish Mustard Seed committee.
The room is also supported by the Cazenovia Public Library, which provides us with a continual supply of books to read in the room and to give to children who come to visit.
We have been operational since December 2012. Teresa Hudson is a retired elementary teacher with thirty years of classroom experience, who is in the room to spend time with visiting children each Tuesday morning from 9:00AM – 12:00PM.
Parents or supervising adults sign the children in and must be present in either the pantry downstairs, or they are most welcome to stay in the room.
During the morning, Teresa interacts with the children as they play, do puzzles and crafts, read, and share a snack. Most of our visitors end up staying for the entire morning!
There is a very large and lovely room, filled with books, toys, games and puzzles, most of which have been donated by members of our parish or our local library.
Many of our visiting children who range in age from birth to five years have had the opportunity to participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which mails free books to participants, every month until the child’s fifth birthday. This program runs through the Cazenovia Library and we have signed up several pre-schoolers as they come to our Storytime Room.
The focus in our room is to promote language and early literacy skills, as well as social interaction with others through play and shared activities.
Most of our visiting children are pre-school age, however during school vacations we have many elementary age children come to our room.
Adults have generally stayed in our room throughout much of the morning, and have enjoyed interacting with the children and with each other. We frequently have lively conversations about child rearing, sharing personal experiences with newfound friends.
Since opening in December of 2012, we have been blessed with 825 visits as children have come to read, play and share time together in our Storytime Room.
The mission of St. James Haiti Committee is to humbly serve and advocate for the needs of the people of its twin parish in Haiti, St. Ives, as well as St. Joseph’s Schools.
Thibeau, Haiti, is in the Nord Province about a 30-minute drive on mainly dirt roads from the city of Cap Haitian. A rural village, Thibeau has seen its residents’ lives changed for the better with a parish twin program. The partnership began twelve years ago with the building of a church and rectory, St. Ives, and eventually St. Joseph’s School for the children of Thibeau and the nearby village of Dubre.
Like most of rural Haiti, Thibeau and its surrounding villages lack safe water, electricity, plumbing, and access to education. Life for the rural poor is very difficult. Haiti Committee members have seen first hand what life is like in Haiti on St. James’s annual mission trips to Thibeau.
In an impoverished country like Haiti with an unemployment rate of 80%, education is the most effective way to enable communities to help themselves. To break the cycle of poverty and dependence, education has been a central concern for the Haiti Committee at St. James.
Funding for St. Joseph’s not only provides an education for 100 children in grades K-6, but also a daily meal for its students, many of whom would not eat otherwise. Due to the generosity of St. James Church parishioners, St. Joseph’s continues to grow and thrive.
Scholarships are also provided for students to attend post-secondary schools and further their education.
Through the Sisters of St. Joseph Nursing Scholarship, Judette Sampson of Thibeau is attending the University of Notre Dame in Cap Haitian. Judette is in her final year of study to become a Registered Nurse.
The Haiti Committee holds three annual events to raise funds and awareness for the needs at St. Ives parish and St. Joseph’s school. September kicks off the Annual Appeal.
Presentations are made during masses and tables are set up to answer questions and receive donations. $260 provides yearly tuition, books and a uniform for a St. Joseph’s student, but any amount helps this worthy cause.
Their goal is to raise $40,000 this year.
Another big event is the Annual Haiti Yard Sale held in July. Tons of hard work and effort goes into collecting donations, sorting items and running the sale.
The Haiti Committee also hosts a pasta dinner in January. Here community members gather to enjoy an Italian dinner in the church hall. Money raised at all of these events goes to help support St. Ives and St. Joseph’s school.
Any interest in joining this rewarding committee? We welcome new members! We meet at 10AM on the first Sunday of each month in the St. James church library.