Moving Forward in Faith
Jesus said, “As you have done unto the least of these, so you have done unto Me.” Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
All in-person gatherings in our church have been suspended, but there are still opportunities to serve. Through this loving service, those serving and those served are both transformed. Recently our church was approved to receive a forgivable $20,500 loan. Our Vestry’s first directive for this gift was to tithe 10% to the local Christian Food Pantry. The following are ministries in which we invite you to participate.
NEWEST OUTREACH EFFORT DURING LENT:
During this Lenten season, St. Andrew’s is partnering with other faith communities in Valparaiso in a ministry called “Sacred Ground,” a ministry created by the Episcopal Church to address the issue of “how can we move beyond racism to better love and understand each other?” One of the issues that impacts racism in our nation is affordable housing.
Valparaiso and Porter Co. have not been immune from the economic and pandemic crisis affecting our nation, further compounding the problem of homelessness and home insecurity. Housing Opportunities is a Valparaiso nonprofit whose mission is to provide affordable housing to the most vulnerable members of our community. Throughout the season of Lent, we are asking you for financial donations to support this important ministry. Checks may be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with the words “Housing Opportunities” in the memo line, and sent to church. We thank you in advance for your generous support of this vital service to our community. To learn more about Housing Opportunities, click these links:
HO Fact Sheet _______ HO Impact Report
Christian Food Pantry
St. Andrew’s parishioners have a heart for serving the poor. We are part of a 40-year long ministry with 7 local churches, wherein parishioners weekly donate non-perishable food items to the Christian Food Pantry of Valparaiso on Sundays, or Monday thru Thursday outside the church, or whenever the church is open.
New Donation Requests During Lent
We are asking for items that cannot be purchased with food stamps: diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels, dish soap, detergent, band-aids, toothpaste, shampoo, chapstick, tylenol or ibuprofen (in sealed containers), etc., along with brown paper bags and egg cartons. Any and all donations are appreciated, and may be placed in “Karl the Kart” at church.Monetary donations: Christian Food Pantry, c/o First Christian Church, 1507 Glendale Valparaiso IN 46383.
Special food drives occur before Easter, Summer, & Thanksgiving. Thank you all very much for your continued support.
ANNUAL OUTREACH MINISTRIES
Advent Mitten Basket
Please help fill our Advent “Mitten Basket” in the foyer! We are collecting NEW mittens, hats and gloves all sizes infant to adult, and NEW socks and underwear for elementary students. Donations may be brought to church and placed in the labeled basket in the airlock during the week or whenever the church is open by Dec. 15th. Call first to check. THANK YOU so much for your generosity.
Virtual Angel Tree Ministry
Every child should experience the magic of Christmas, and one way we help that to happen is by partnering with local schools. We “adopt” elementary school children so to help their families have Christmas presents for their children. This year the schools have asked that, once you pick an angel from the church’s Virtual Angel Tree, purchase gifts, place the unwrapped gifts in a bag with the angel label on the outside, and return them to the labeled school for pickup by the family. Click here for Donor Guidelines and FAQ’s. It is the request of the schools that the gifts be no more than $50- (no video games or electronics).
Part of the back-to-school excitement for children comes from buying new crayons, folders, and backpacks; however, many families in our community are unable to provide school supplies for their children. As you and your kids do back-to-school shopping, would you please pick up a few extra school supplies for elementary and bring them to church and put them in the cart that will be outside the church entry doors, and we’ll pass them on to Parkview Elementary in Valparaiso and the surrounding communities. Collection dates: Mid-July to August 7th. Click here for a complete list of requested supplies.
These food donations are for local school children who get their meals at school, and may have little or nothing to eat on the weekends. A bag is filled with non-perishable, healthy food items by volunteers and delivered to their designated schools for the children to take home over the weekend.
Please click here for the suggested food items and place donations in the labeled bins in the church airlock. Thank You!
The God Pod at Porter County Jail
The Jail Ministry is intentional to bring this group of inmates to God with bible studies and discussions, and is back up and running at the Porter County Jail after Covid quarantine although with fewer inmates and staff in the God Pod to comply with social distancing. Parishioners Tom Muchesko and Mance Parks serve as instructors.
Episcopal Relief & Development – Hurricane Laura
Episcopal Relief & Development is in constant communication with impacted dioceses working to reach vulnerable populations devastated by storms. Donate today to support these efforts, and please continue to keep all those affected in your prayers. https://support.episcopalrelief.org/hurricane-relief
New project as of Sept. 2020 – please help our companion diocese in Honduras. Honduras has been hit hard by COVID-19 and as of mid-August, still in quarantine with strict travel restrictions, 500,000 jobs lost, and hospitals near collapse with limited PPE and testing capacity. Public schools are closed through the end of the year and private schools, including Holy Spirit Episcopal School are online only with low enrollment, with many students unable to attend without access to computers or internet. Donations from our diocese and others are helping to provide food and other assistance for these families. $100 will feed four families for a week and a half. Please send donations to Honduras Development Network, at the following address:
Honduras Development Network, P.O. Box 450865, Sunrise FL 33345
New Creation Men’s Shelter Dinners
Please note that this ministry has been suspended during the pandemic. Different ministries at St. Andrew’s host a monthly dinner from October through April for local homeless men of New Creation Men’s Shelter at The First Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Valparaiso St. Andrew’s through April for local homeless men of New Creation Men’s Shelter at the First Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Valparaiso St. and Bullseye Lake Rd.
Red Cross Blood Drive
St. Andrew’s hosts a quarterly blood drive for the American Red Cross inside our church’s gathering space. With the demand for blood donations at an all-time high, our community partners with the Red Cross to provide much needed blood to people throughout the midwest. The next Blood Drive will be held on Thursday, March 25th_from 1:00pm-7:00pm. Please note time change, and please reserve your time slot at www.redcross.org