Listening to North Country Ministry Board President Clare Decker talk about the agency’s 20 eventful years during the recent volunteer luncheon were Ministry founders (left to right): Sister Mary Brady, Kathy Dorman, Mary Moro, Sister Fran Husselbeck and Father Paul Cox.
Warrensburg “Faith-filled people helping others” is how Sister Fran Husselbeck, North Country Ministry founder, described the agency she helped launch during a luncheon held for Ministry volunteers recently.
In 1992, Sister Fran Husselbeck, North Country Ministry founder, and Sister Mary Flynn, seeking new challenges, came to the North Country at the urging of Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany. They approached many churches in the area to find where the need was.
At the luncheon held at Holy Cross Church in Warrensburg on Nov. 16, Husselbeck was on a panel of five who discussed their involvement with the organization from its beginning 20 years ago. The other four were Sister Mary Brady, part of the original founding group and a past staff member; Mary Moro of North Creek, the first Board president; Kathy Dorman, secretary of the Board for many years; and Father Paul Cox, former pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Lake George which provided funding for the agency from the beginning — along with St. James Church in North Creek and St. Cecilia’s Church in Warrensburg.
North Country Ministry is an ecumenical, not-for-profit outreach organization that provides services to individuals and families in need in northern Warren County. The agency serves over 1,000 people monthly and covers an area over 600 square miles. Their services include supportive counseling, advocacy and referral, a mealsite, a family clothing shop, furniture donations, an emergency assistance fund, parenting support, housing rehabilitation and adult living units.
During the 20 years since North Country Ministry was founded, the outreach organization has grown from a staff of two and a budget of $45,000 to a staff of 12 and a $300,000 budget. They worked out of Leaven House in North Creek.
North Country Ministry has sparked a number of outreach efforts in the area.
With a few volunteers the Gathering Place at St. Cecilia’s Parish center was begun in Nov. 1992 to provide social dining for those who needed food or companionship. Today the Gathering Place serves 30 to 40 lunches twice a week.
Half of the 100 volunteers were present at the celebratory luncheon and were shown appreciation. They were encouraged by Sister Fran who urged them to “let your lives in God flow over into the lives of others.”