Parishioners at St. Andrew's are ever-sensitive to issues of human suffering, poverty and social injustice. They routinely reach out and offer helping hands in ministries near our shoreline home, as well as ministries in far away places. Some of St. Andrew's outreach ministries, past and present, include:
Meals-on-Wheels is a program that provides hot, midday meals to seniors and those who are homebound. Volunteer drivers pick up meals at the Madison Senior Center around 10:30 in the morning and deliveries are usually finished by noon. Meals-on-Wheels not only provides an opportunity for a hot meal but also a smiling face, a cheerful word and an important check-in with those who might not have much contact with others on a regular basis.
Website: Meals on Wheels
Parishioners plant, water, weed and harvest a garden on a small plot at Bauer Park in Madison. The town of Madison maintains this community garden for the benefit of Madison residents. In past years we have grown tomatoes, squash, peppers, kale and carrots. All the produce is contributed to the Madison food pantry. The garden highlights issues of food scarcity and nutritional needs in Shoreline communities. The garden also offers a positive response to concerns about the environment and human health associated with processed food and large scale farming.
Raise The Roof / Habitat for Humanity
From Branford to Clinton, individuals, churches, civic organizations, and banks and other businesses support the cause of Habitat for Humanity and build houses in New Haven with Habitat partner families. St. Andrew's was a founding sponsor for the organization when they began building homes in New Haven in 2003, and we continue to provide volunteers for group builds and financial support.
Website: Raise the Roof
Madison Community Services
A private, all-volunteer organization consisting of individuals, businesses, civic groups, and churches, offers medical transportation, youth tutoring, summer camp scholarships and more including the Madison Food Pantry. Feeding hundreds of residents and distributing 3,000 pounds of food each week, the MCS Food Pantry is maintained year-round by volunteers. St. Andrew's supports the operation by collecting contributions of food from parishioners and assisting patrons.
Website: Madison Community Services
Vacation Bible School in the Dominican Republic
Every summer the Episcopal Church in Connecticut organizes a group of teenagers and chaperones to run a Vacation Bible School for children in the Dominican Republic. Carrying suitcases full of arts supplies, crafts, jump ropes, drawing paper, soccer balls and more, students head to Santo Domingo and work tirelessly for one very hot week in July. St. Andrew's often sends a group on the trip.
St. Andrew's Orphan Mission
Currently, St. Andrew's provides scholastic sponsorship and care on a tri-annual basis for four Ugandan orphans, ranging in age from 12 to 21. Timothy, the oldest, is half way through a three-year university Information Technology program. Joyce Mary, 16, and Calvin, 12, attend Shalom Primary School, and Cathy, who is 18 and hearing impaired, attends Mbale School for the Deaf. As a result of the support that St. Andrew's has provided, these children are thriving despite their difficult circumstances. This mission is an international component of Outreach, extending a helping hand overseas to those who are the most vulnerable. It is in keeping with the Millenium Development Goals adopted by Episcopal Relief and Development.
Covenant to Care
St. Andrew's participates in Covenant's Adopt A Social Worker program. Faith-based or community organizations agree to partner with a particular social worker in Connecticut to, as far as is possible, provide for the necessary and special items needed for all of the children in that social worker's caseload. This augments the provisions of the State, often assuring greater stability in the life of a child. Through our assigned social worker, St. Andrew's provides financial aid, as well as backpacks, spring baskets, and gifts from our holiday angel tree.
Website: Covenant to Care
Saints on the Shoreline
Saints on the Shoreline (SOS) for Refugees was a multi-church effort, led by St. Andrew’s over a two-year period, to host a refugee family. Other local churches joining this ministry included North Guilford Congregational Church, First Church of Christ Congregational Church in Clinton, Christ Episcopal Church in Guilford, and the United Methodist Church of Clinton. Hosting a refugee family was a complex operation requiring lots of coordination and many volunteers: finding housing and furnishing it, helping find employment, coordinating with local schools, state and federal offices, providing local transportation, and most important helping a family make a major cultural adjustment to life in the United States. In May of 2018 SOS welcomed a family from Afghanistan and arranged housing in Clinton. The children attended the local schools, the head of the family found work, and within a year the family became financially independent and was assimilated into the shoreline community.
Bishops Fund for Children
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut established the Bishops' Fund for Children in 1994 under the leadership of Bishop Clarence Coleridge. The Fund was created to enhance awareness of the plight of children at risk throughout Connecticut, to give Episcopalians in Connecticut the opportunity to pray for children at risk, and to raise funds to underwrite social service programs that aid these children in our urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods. The service providers are both church and non-church related.Â The recipients come from varied ethnic and religious backgrounds. To date the Fund has made grants of more than $ 2.5 million dollars. St. Andrew's has supported the Fund by contributing money. In addition, parishioners and staff have run in the Bishop's 5K Race for Kids, the Fund's main fund-raiser which takes place in West Hartford every spring.
Website: Bishops Fund for Children
Grants for Outreach Projects
St. Andrew's maintains a separate, dedicated "Outreach Fund" and makes grants outside the church's annual operating budget to support outreach work. The vestry approves the disbursal of money from this fund. Grants usually fall in the $500 to $2500 range. Requests for grants typically begin with a conversation with the rector.