St. Andrew’s Parish Outreach
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. And yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.”
–Saint Theresa of Avila
These words remind us of God’s call to love and honor our neighbors both near and far. In serving others with compassionate hearts, we both share and experience God’s grace in the world. Within the past year, St. Andrew’s parishioners joyfully served others by:
- providing food and supplies for patrons of the local Ecumenical Food Pantry.
- serving cooked meals and lively conversation each month to the guests of the local Wednesday Community Suppers, an ecumenical effort.
- providing diapers for clients of the Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston and to local Damariscotta region families.
- demonstrating love and providing aid for our partner villages in Haiti.
- helping to form and staff a new ecumenical “warming center” for local people to have a warm place to relax with free coffee, snacks, games and conversation, if desired.
- offering our hammers, labor and support for CHIP and Habitat for Humanity efforts
- hosting monthly meetings at which five local churches, comprising the Ecumenical Council for Homeless Prevention, discuss ways of preventing housing crises in our area.
- assisting the Tedford Housing Social Worker in addressing homeless-related needs among our local citizens.
Additionally, many of us volunteer in other facets of our community life, living out our own personal ministries. Below is information on the various Outreach Fund organizations that we support. There is also access to a Request for Funding Form to be considered for a grant.
St. Andrew’s Outreach Fund Recipients 2014/2015 – Helping Neighbors in Lincoln County, Maine, the Nation and the World
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine – delivers a 1-to-1 youth mentoring program through two models: weekly School-Based Mentoring matching elementary or middle school Littles with high school or college Bigs (84 Lincoln County children); and Community-Based Mentoring matching children ages 5-14 with a caring, responsible adult whom they meet with weekly (14 children).
- CHIP Inc. – Community Housing Improvement Project, Inc. is an ecumenical effort to help people meet their basic housing needs (average 75 homes)–repairing leaky windows, addressing winterization and safety issues, providing emergency fuel (180 families), and doing minor construction (like building wheelchair ramps). Each September, CHIP sponsors the volunteer-supported Community Cares Day.
- Coastal Kids Preschool – a nonprofit, high quality, inclusive preschool accessible to all, including community members with limited financial resources and those with special needs children (22 out of 67). They offer partial scholarships, special assistance and developmental therapy for those who need it.
- Ecumenical Food Pantry – On the first Sunday of each month, parish members are encouraged to bring in food and supplies to be distributed on Tuesday mornings through the Ecumenical Food Pantry housed in the Second Congregational Church, Newcastle. The loose plate offering that day also goes to the Food Pantry.
- Eldercare Network of Lincoln County – provides residential long-term care in seven assisted living homes in Lincoln County (58 residents) for elders unable to live safely in their own homes, regardless of financial ability to pay, close to their own families. Now also provide respite care to other elders during daytime hours.
- Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine – As a covenant church of the 7 Rivers Maine affiliate, St. Andrew’s supports Habitat’s growing emphasis on weatherization and repairs (for over 400 homes in 5 years) and helping families achieve homeownership by building new housing or rehabilitating existing homes.
- Healthy Kids! – is the child abuse and neglect council for Lincoln County. It promotes healthy home environments by offering programs, support, and educational outreach to local parents and children.
- New Hope for Women – a domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking resource center that provides services in mid-coast Maine. These include a 24-hour hotline, safe homes, support groups, transitional housing, a batterer intervention program certified by the Dept. of Corrections, court and legal advocacy and community and youth education programs (940 individuals in Lincoln County). Direct services went to 188 local residents last year.
- Spectrum Generations – this Central Maine Area on Aging organization fosters independence, personal achievement, and aging in place for adults of all abilities, caregivers and families. The Coastal Center’s Meals-on-Wheels program serves over 300 nutritious meals a week in Lincoln County. Spectrum programs and activities offer planning and counseling assistance, health and safety information, social events and classes, and caregiver support, touching the lives of over 5,600 local individuals.
- The Community Energy Fund – 100% of donations go to providing local energy assistance in winter months – oil, propane, wood, electricity or gasoline to families in need, especially those falling through the cracks of other programs. Most of these homes house families with children or the elderly.
- Wednesday Community Suppers (served at the Second Congregational Church, Newcastle) – On the fourth Wednesday of every month, volunteers from St. Andrew’s cook and serve dinner for nearly 40 guests in our local community. While open to all residents and visitors, many of our guests are clients of Mobius, which supports local youth and adults with developmental disabilities. Portions of the Outreach Fund go to reimburse volunteers for their food expenses.
- Ecumenical Council for Homeless Prevention – St. Andrews is spearheading this effort (started five years ago) in which a coalition of churches is partnering with Tedford Shelter to respond to emergency needs of individuals and families confronting homelessness in Lincoln County. Tedford provides a Case Manager to meet with clients at the Food Pantry on Tuesday mornings. Participating churches offer donations on both a case-by-case basis and through a joint fund.
- Stepping Stone Housing – A new housing nonprofit with five rental units provides transitional housing at a small campus near downtown Damariscotta.
- Open Door Cafe – is a new outgrowth of the Ecumenical Council for Homeless Prevention, a warm space for local citizens to get out of the cold and enjoy free refreshments, games, silence or conversation. It is currently staffed by volunteers two days a week, from 9 to 3 on Mondays and Thursdays, in the basement of the Damariscotta Baptist Church.
- Genesis Community Loan Fund – provides innovative financing at favorable terms to nonprofit organizations developing affordable housing and community facilities for underserved people in Lincoln County and throughout Maine. These vulnerable populations include single-parent families, the elderly, low-income working families, the homeless, and people with disabilities. St. Andrew’s is a founding member of this local nonprofit and a long-term supporter.
- Episcopal Bishop’s Discretionary Fund – Our grant aids a small parish struggling financially within the Diocese of Maine.
- Trinity Jubilee Center – started within the Diocese, Trinity Jubilee is a community center open to all people that welcomes the disabled, the homeless, the elderly, families with young children, refugees, and the mentally ill at Trinity Episcopal Church (only 25 or so parishioners) in downtown Lewiston. They provide a Meals Program (100 hot lunches a day), a Food Pantry (250 households), a Resource Center doing advocacy and intervention support, a Refugee Assistance Program (helping 250 primarily Somali and Sudanese families), and a Day Shelter for the homeless. As part of our statewide, diocesan outreach ministry, St. Andrews provides a grant, occasional volunteers, and conducts an annual diaper drive during Advent.
- Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) – St. Andrew’s parishioners are also mindful of the needs of people across this country and throughout the globe whose lives are overwhelmed by disease, hunger, and natural disasters. Through the channels and contacts of the Episcopal and Anglican churches around the globe, healing aid can be delivered quickly and efficiently with almost no overhead. We support ERD through the Outreach Fund and many of us support it individually.
- Haiti Fund – St. Andrew’s Church was one of the first parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine to partner with a village parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. In the village of Figaro, located in remote, northern Haiti, the Haiti Fund helps provide hot lunches to young students (often the only meal that they eat that day), teachers’ salaries, and funds for their new school. The fund also supports education in the neighboring town of Gros Morne, as well as Holy Trinity School and St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped in Port-au-Prince.
The St. Andrew’s Outreach Grants Committee places special emphasis on addressing hunger, warmth, and better shelter here in our region and abroad, especially for vulnerable youth and the elderly. We also consider the degree to which other funding sources (like United Way) might complement our offering. As recommended by the national church, we try to allocate the funds roughly in thirds between organizations that are local, ones located elsewhere in Maine, and ones that are national or international.
To apply for an Outreach Fund grant, here is a Request for Funding Form.