Chaplains on the Harbor | St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church

Chaplains on the Harbor


Date Sunday, March 1, 2020 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Parish Hall

Chaplains on the Harbor is a mission station of the Diocese of Olympia located in rural Grays Harbor County, founded and pastored by The Rev. Sarah Monroe. Starting from a tiny grant and a backpack full of sandwiches six years ago, this ministry has blossomed into a parish of over 500 poor, homeless, and incarcerated people. Grounding ourselves in what The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the freedom church of the poor,” Chaplains on the Harbor gathers our people together through projects of survival, community building, worship, and human rights organizing. In addition to meeting immediate needs on the streets and in the jails, we also operate Harbor Roots Farm, a four-acre vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm offering living-wage jobs for millennials with a history of homelessness, incarceration, and addiction. We have settled two federal lawsuits against the City of Aberdeen in the past year for violating the human and constitutional rights of homeless people, and are deeply involved with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. When Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited the diocese in 2018, he described his day with the people of Chaplains on the Harbor as the most inspiring event of his time here.

 Aaron Scott, Co-Founder, Organizer, Development Director Aaron Scott is the co-founder, organizer, and development director at Chaplains on the Harbor. He is also the Missioner for Anti-Poverty Organizing in the Diocese of Olympia, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Aaron is a previous winner of the Bishop's Preaching Award and, most importantly, a proud dad to his son Moses.

 Tracy Clayton, Outreach and Shelter Coordinator: My name is Tracy Clayton, I am 50 and I live... well that's hard to answer. I kinda don't feel like I really live anywhere. I met Rev. Sarah while I was cleaning out an apartment building that was getting remodeled and she was there to check on the last few people who hadn't moved yet.  About a week later my house was condemned and I had 24 hours to get out, luckily the homeless camp was right next door. A few months later when winter came Sarah asked if I would help at the Aberdeen shelter. I had no idea that it would change my life. I love what I do. I have a kind of kinship with the struggling population. We kinda get each other. I work in the Westport shelter, and Aberdeen Sunday dinner program and I am our Wednesday sandwich/street outreach person. When the temps are 35 or under I work the cold weather shelter. I love it. I really like to be there with my struggling friends so they don't have to feel alone in this world, I want them to know that bad things happen to good people. I don't want to sit at a desk, I am hands-on, hopefully showing maybe just a little that they are not alone in the suffering.”

 Skye Clayton, Farm and Shelter Associate: My name is Skye, I'm 28 and live in Ocean Shores WA. I first started getting involved helping the homeless community by working in a shelter in Aberdeen after experiencing my own unstable housing issues after a house fire. I then met Rev. Sarah and started helping at the Westport shelter the following winter and more recently, I've started working on the farm too. I stay with Chaplains on the Harbor because I feel the group as a whole is making the biggest difference in the community and I enjoy the work that I do there. The things I've done with Chaplains that I'm most proud of so far are helping people stay warm and fed and just staying alive during the cold, wet winter months. What I want to do most is to keep helping people through their difficult times until they're ready to do what they need to do to better their situation, and to continue to spread awareness about addiction and that people can get better.“

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