Many churches talk a great deal about “loving your neighbor,” but at St. Andrew’s, making our neighborhood, city, and world more kind, loving, and just has always been at the very core of who we are. We believe that reaching out to the world in loving service and kindness is not about making us “feel good,” but rather is an essential moral duty and at the heart of our calling and responsibility as Christians. Our job, as scripture teaches, is to be “ministers of reconciliation.” That’s what we try to practice every day, in ways big and small. Below are some recent examples of what we - as a community - have been up to around Spokane!
BUILDING COMMUNITY WITH OUR NEIgHBOrs IN NEED
We partner with West Central Episcopal Mission (WCEM), which provides free weekly community meals in one of Spokane’s most poverty-affected neighborhoods. Many of our members are active volunteers at the mission, and enjoy serving meals and building relationships with neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. Others give time cleaning up and organizing the space, wrapping gifts for the annual Christmas Dinner Table event, or serving on the mission’s leadership team. St. Andrew’s raised $4,000 in 2018 for the mission as part of our Lenten fundraising drive and we were proud to fill up three and half tables at this year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser and forum at St. John’s Cathedral, which benefitted the mission’s work. This Christmas, we also raised nearly $500 to purchase movie tickets for at-risk youth in partnership with Crosswalk and Odyssey Youth Movement and over $600 for wildfire relief in California through Episcopal Relief and Development.
Spreading Kindness and fighting hunger
Also in 2018, we installed a free food pantry on our church grounds with the help of our partners at Caritas Outreach Ministries. The message on the outside of the pantry reads, “take what you need, give what you can!” Church members and neighbors fill the pantry with soup, rice, and other foods, which are free and open to anyone in need. Caritas is a collaborative effort of fourteen churches in Northwest Spokane demonstrating Christ’s love by assisting those in need in our part of town. The partnership includes efforts to address local hunger as well as and assistance with energy and utility bills. Caritas is comprised of partner congregations from numerous denominations, including Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Quaker, and Presbyterian churches, among others. We are thrilled to be working together with other people of good will as we strive put our faith into action in ways that truly make a difference in people’s lives.
During the summer, we co-sponsor a free food and activities program for children called Stone Soup Cafe! The program is located at West Central Episcopal Mission.
Comforting The families of prisoners
Our church also provides volunteers for Kairos Outside, a ministry supporting the families of those community members who are facing incarceration. Kairos is based on the idea that when an individual is in jail or prison for whatever reason, that experience can have significant impacts on spouses, parents and relatives. Kairos exists to provide love, support, and kindness to those family members who are suffering while their loved one is away.
Our members give time and energy to charitable and civic causes in countless other ways, both outside the church and within it. We are always exploring new avenues for activism, outreach, and social justice. If you have a new ministry idea you think our church should consider, don’t hesitate to let us know!