After decades of declining membership, Grace Episcopal Church in Riverhead, New York closed its doors earlier this year. But now it is experiencing a rebirth as the diocese’s Rural & Migrant Ministry is partnering with other faith-based groups to develop the Center of Alliance, Solidarity and Accompaniment, or CASA, at the closed parish.
The church already has become a regular meeting place for a “consejo,” or council, of farm workers who are helping to develop plans for the diocesan property in Riverhead, which includes the church, a rectory and a parish hall. Leadership counseling, vocational training and English-as-a-second-language classes are among the possible future uses.
“There are so many possibilities,” said the Rev. Gerardo Romo Garcia, who leads the diocese’s Latino outreach on Long Island’s East End. He emphasized that by reaching out to the community of laborers, church leaders hope to “empower the workers and teach them how to empower themselves.”
Read more from Episcopal News Service: Closed episcopal church finds new life as center for farm workers on New York’s Long Island