Cookie Settings

We’re sharing the stories of ministries in congregations around the diocese, celebrating the incredible work being done on the local level. In this local ministry profile, Kay Rawlings of Faith, Poulsbo speaks about their partnership with the Fishline Foodbank.

Faith Episcopal Church in Poulsbo has partnered with our local foodbank, Fishline, to offer showers, food, and clothing to those in need. We started this ministry in July of 2021, coincidently when the Northwest was in an unprecedented heat wave. Fishline is a non-profit social services agency serving the North Kitsap community by providing food, emergency services and resources.

By partnering with Fishline, Faith Church is able to offer showers and other services twice a week. Faith, Poulsbo is a small community with a limited number of volunteers and resources. Partnering with a social service agency has enabled us to provide needed services we could not provide on our own. Fishline is happy to have space and shower facilities to offer their clients, and Faith Church receives the joy of having their facilities used for the greater good of the community.

In the beginning Fishline staff and trained volunteers operate the shower program at Faith with Faith volunteers opening the facility and staying on the premises while Fishline was in the building since Faith volunteers had Safeguarding God’s Children training to comply with the diocese’s safety rules. Grace Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Island reached out to us asking how they could help with the shower program and ended up hosting a Safeguarding God’s Children training for the Fishline staff and volunteers as well as a few of their own members and Faith’s members. Grace Church also made a generous donation to Faith to assist with installing a washer and dryer for use by Fishline clients and other people in need in our community. Unity Church, which shares some space with Faith, has also gotten involved by supplying additional volunteers.

On the first day we offered showers a man came in and said he had been wearing the same clothes for two weeks. While he was taking a shower, the volunteers were able to find a selection of clothes that would fit this person so he had something clean to wear. We were also able to give him water and food. We’ve also noted that a number of the people who come by for showers spend some time in our parish hall and garden areas. We are able to offer a respite from living a life without shelter during the heat wave. And you can visibly see the transformation of people when they walk in the door needing a shower and clean clothes to a couple hours later when they’ve showered, received clean clothes, and had some food in peace. The program helps to restore their humanity and give them a few hours of peace.

This collaboration between Faith, Grace, Unity, and Fishline enables us to provide more and better services than any of us could do on our own. The three churches working together allows all of us to do God’s work in our community. And the involvement of a local social services agency helps us to offer services that are truly needed and meet real needs in the greater Poulsbo vicinity.

This ministry currently involves a social service agency (Fishline) and three churches (Faith Episcopal Poulsbo, Unity of North Kitsap, and Grace Episcopal Bainbridge). My hope is that this partnership continues to grow and by working together we can offer more services to the community.

Volunteers are needed to keep the program going. Fishline provides the volunteers while Faith provides the facilities. There are two–three volunteers on site helping to manage and clean the showers, as well as sorting and handing out clothing and snacks. We are also looking for a barber or hair stylist who is willing to provide haircuts occasionally.

If there was one thing that we really wanted others in the diocese to know about our ministry, it would be that churches can be more effective and offer more services focused on real needs by partnering with community social services who have experience and knowledge of your community. Don’t go it alone or try to guess what is most needed. Connect with your community experts and find out what is truly needed and start there.

We encourage all church communities to look at their local community service providers and considering partnering with others who have the skills, knowledge, and need. There is tremendous benefits to coming together and working as one.

“Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”

― C.S. Lewis

If you would like to learn more or volunteer and support this vital ministry of Faith, Poulsbo, you can do so by following the link below.


If you would like to share the story of your church’s ministry, let us know by contacting us at

Locally Centered Ministries: Faith, Poulsbo’s Partnership with Fishline Foodbank

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *