Emmanuel is now actively engaging in the community — locally, regionally, and globally — with forums that include a broad spectrum of local civic and community leaders and global thought leaders in reconciliation and community building. Our goal as a community is to support the historic Emmanuel Church building in its original and ongoing use as a community center, welcoming all people at all times and in all seasons. With one of the largest and most versatile sanctuaries in Newport, a lively worshiping community and growing community music program, a renovated commercial kitchen that supports a feeding ministry, a hydroponic gardening program that supports the MLK Community Center’s produce needs, and a new, state-of-the-art, hearing aid accessible sound and video system in the nave, Emmanuel Church is now also the home of Newport Classical, a world-renowned classical music performance and education nonprofit, further engaging Emmanuel in the community. Newport Classical reports an additional 1200 served annually from its home at Emmanuel Church. The new sound and video streaming system in the nave will be offered as a first-choice, affordable recording studio to local musicians to further engage community and support our lives together at Emmanuel.
Emmanuel Church serves approximately 660 persons each year in addition to those served from Emmanuel’s hydroponics gardening program and non-perishable food collections. Emmanuel provides on average 80 bags of kale per month for MLK’s Food Pantry, allowing MLK to provide fresh produce year-round in 2020 for the first time. The bags of kale are the same size of those sold at the Newport Farmer’s Market for $5.50/bag, providing valuable nutrition, as well as dignity, to Aquidneck Island families who need them.
Emmanuel continues its community meal program, Soup’s On, feeding 60-80 people hungry for food and community on the first Tuesday of every month.
Additionally, Emmanuel collects and transports hundreds of pounds of nonperishable foods and toiletries to MLK’s Community Center for distribution over each year, and is exploring plans for community gardening in the church yard to reduce waste of maintaining a green lawn and encourage food growth and connection to the environment and the community. We are also exploring pop-up cafes and pop-up subscribed community dinners in the Living Room, our big sky lighted gathering space, staffed by the women-owned businesses that rent the renovated church kitchen and support our community meals program.