Shepherd’s Crook hopes to move into new site

(Jan. 31, 2014) The Shepherd’s Crook of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church will be moving to a new temporary location to continue its food ministry. That new site is expected to be the county-owned building on Caroline Street that was used as a health center.

“If all goes well, this weekend we’ll make the move,” church Sexton Joe Fisher said Tuesday. “The nice part is we won’t be standing out in the cold.”

After the devastating Nov. 26 fire that killed two, the man who set himself ablaze before entering the Third Street building and Rev. David Dingwall, who had been in his upstairs office, and injured one, the Shepherd’s Crook moved to Connor’s Beach Café on the Boardwalk at Second Street. It then moved briefly to His Praise Place/Lands End Fellowship on Worcester Street and then returned to Connor’s.

Even on days with frigid weather, with the wind chill below zero, volunteers showed up three times weekly to distribute food and the needy showed up to get cans of food and a bowl of hot soup. Food is available 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, when the weather was brutally cold, one man, who had just learned of the food ministry, walked from 28th Street to Second Street to get food for his family.

“His family needed food and he came,” said Jeanne Cushing, who cooks soups and stews on a regular basis for Shepherd’s Crook.

Cushing is glad to help and is also grateful for the support of others to the food ministry.

“It’s nice to know people care,” she said. “We’re here three days a week so people can get hot food and 12 cans of food every week. It’s refreshing to know people care and I hope it never changes.”

In addition to cooking for the Shepherd’s Crook, Cushing and others have been helping Dana Truitt, the volunteer who suffered third-degree burns over more than 20 percent of her body the day of the fire. They have taken food to her and Cushing will be driving her to Baltimore on Tuesday for treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Bayview Burn Center.

“She’s amazing,” Cushing said of Truitt. “She’s so positive. She can’t wait to get come back [to Shepherd’s Crook to volunteer].”

The Shepherd’s Crook began in 2000 after parishioner Ken MacMullin had a special sort of talk.

“I had a little conversation with my maker,” MacMullin said Tuesday. “It was the first time I recognized him as who he was. He said, ‘I have a project for you. I want you to feed my people. You’re the person I want to do it.’ “

Rector Bryan Glancey had gotten space for the food pantry and had gotten it cleaned up, MacMullin said.

“He had a couple cans of beans and some clothing,” MacMullin said. “And we opened the door and said, ‘Shepherd’s Crook is now open for business. They didn’t flock to our door, but word of mouth spread.”

Shepherd’s Crook prospered, with people donating and other people needing those donations. Even the Nov. 26 fire could not put an end to the food ministry. Now it will continue its charitable work in a new location just a few streets away.

“The actual move isn’t hard,” Fisher said. “Just a couple of guys and a cart. It’s the paperwork.

While Shepherd’s Crook has been in flux, St. Paul’s by-the-Sea has continued holding worship services in Dewees Hall on Third Street. Sunday services are at 9 a.m. with Priest-In-Charge Rev. Dr. Mark Cyr of New York presiding.

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