Our Outreach Ministries


Members of Shepherd by the Sea contribute to the fabric of our community with our funds, with our individual efforts, and with congregational efforts.

Our main effort is the Gualala Food Bank, on which we collaborate with the Gualala Baptist Church.  On two days each month (usually the second and fourth Fridays) members of the Mission organize and distribute food from local supermarkets, local donations, and the Federal Government. We meet at the Gualala Baptist Church at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for the distribution from 11:00 until 12:30. Volunteers are welcome to come for all or part of the time. Please contact Linda Kennedy (707-785-3682) to volunteer, or to make a food donation.

A second outreach effort is taking a turn each year at preparing and serving the monthly Coastal Seniors Spaghetti dinner in Gualala or Point Arena. The mission of the Coastal Seniors is to identify needs, provide programs, such as Senior lunches in Gualala and Pt. Arena, Meals on Wheels, and other nutrition programs, and promote the well being of seniors in our coastal communities.

Each Christms Eve, Shepherd by the Sea organizes the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, held at the Gualala Art Center.  Clergy and lay readers from all local churches are invited to participate in this community wide service.

In 2020, Shepherd by the Sea initiated an outreach program entitled Making a Difference, to significantly expand our current budget for benevolences in order to make an impact on needs in the community and the area.

Shepherd by the Sea also participates in the South Coast Crisis Aid program (SCCA). providing emergency vouchers for food, gas, and lodging.  Those seeking vouchers can contact the Baptist Church in Gualala or Action Network in Point Arena.  Linda Kennedy is the SBTS liaison to the SCCA.  The SCCA is largely funded by the donations given each year at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve.

Shepherd by the Sea also provides continuing funds for the Gualala Food Bank, the Coastal Seniors, and Project Santa. We support the national and international efforts of Episcopal Relief and Development and Lutheran World Relief including support to help meet the Millennium Development Goals.  Most recently, Shepherd by the Sea, through individual and church-budgeted contributions, supported the Chitwe Secondary School in Kitwe, Tanzania. 


On March 1, 2009,The Rev. Eric Duff, Diocese of Northern California Jubilee Centers officer, presented a certificate designating Shepherd by the Sea as a Jubilee Center. Jubilee Centers are Episcopal churches that have undertaken special ministries in outreach to their communities – in our case the nutrition programs of the Gualala Food Bank and the Coastal Seniors. The designation has been confirmed by the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council.

Following the Sunday Eucharist, the certificate was received by the congregation, joined by Pastor Bill Boland of Gualala Baptist Church, which hosts the Food Bank distribution. Norm Wohlken, who led the effort leading to the Jubilee Center designation, noted that Shepherd by the Sea was probably the Church’s only Jubilee Center without a church building or paid clergy or staff.


An isolated community like the Redwood Coast can thrive if the members of the community care for one another. A community that is two hours of hard driving away from the County seats of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties cannot depend on governmental agencies. Members of Shepherd by the Sea provide volunteer leadership and followership in the community's important social services and cultural groups. In addition to the Gualala Food Bank and Coastal Seniors, members serve Redwood Coast Medical Services, Community Resources Connection, Gualala Arts Center, Coast Community Library, and others.

  July 2021  
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