St. James, Paulsboro, is a small congregation of about 15 families just outside Camden. But they're making a big impact on the homeless and hungry of their community.
Every Tuesday and Thursday since January, St. James has been opening its doors at lunchtime for "Brown Bagging It With Jesus," a program that offers hot meals, brown bag lunches, clothes, prayers, guidance, and genuine friendship. Around 6-10 people on average take advantage of the program.
"God put this in my heart," said Barry Corradetti, who started the program with the help of most of the small St. James congregation. Corradetti saw the problems of homelessness and drug addiction first hand as president of the local neighborhood watch. He'd be out on the streets, reporting incidents to the police, and decided that he needed to pray for a better way.
In December, Corradetti began approaching homeless people throughout Paulsboro, giving them brown-bag lunches and telling them that the church would open for lunch twice a week beginning in January. Most days that Brown Bagging is open, Corradetti goes out on the streets looking for people to invite.
"Through feeding them, our ultimate goal is
to lead them to Christ, Corradetti said.
"That's what I love about this church,"
said Bobby Corradetti, Barry's brother and a
Brown Bagging volunteer. "We're small, but
we're a little family and it's all to glorify God."
"Everybody treats everybody like a family,"
said "Bill," one of the program's regular clients,
who has also begun attending weekly services
at the church. "Just like God welcomes you to his
table, they welcome me to their table."